I think of hummus as a protein-powered condiment that can be used as a spread over burgers and sandwiches, or scooped into a big bowl with a colorful bowl of vegetables. Commonly made with tahini and olive oil (more on that later), hummus is truly a simple and healthy snack. My recipe below is a great base for adding more flavors, if you'd like.

Making Perfect Homemade Hummus

Chickpeas (aka garbanzo beans) are the main ingredient in hummus. These beans are nutrient-dense, loaded with antioxidants and a good source of protein and fiber. In a nutshell, chickpeas are a good source of fiber, magnesium, iron, copper and folate. The fiber not only helps you feel fuller longer, but it also helps to improve beneficial bacteria in your gut. Fiber in snacks is key! The rest of the micronutrients in chickpeas are beneficial to overall metabolism and health. If you have an extra can of chickpeas in your cabinet and want to make another great snack, try these Crunchy Chickpeas. They're delicious.

Tahini (aka sesame paste) is essential to traditional hummus recipes. Tahini adds a mild nutty flavor, while balancing out the amino acids that chickpeas don't provide. The balance of amino acids between chickpeas and tahini make hummus a complete protein. Nice to know!

Olive Oil: It's good to be picky about olive oil. Unfortunately, not all olive oil is 100% olive oil. While many brands, like Costco's Kirkland brand, and California Olive Ranch (my personal favorite) are true olive oils, many others sold for much less are partially olive oil and partially other cheaper oils (like corn, canola and soybean). The problem is, we don't reap the same health benefits of olive oil as we do from these other oils. What's more, the flavor is not the same either. If you're going to splurge on a food and pay a little more, olive oil is a good one to have on the list!

Why buy what you can make cheaper and healthier?
Here is a really simple recipe for hummus that anyone can whip up in five minutes with a few basic ingredients.