Hummus is one of the most ancient foods in all of human history. It has been prepared in the Middle East along the Tigris and Euphrates rivers and as far west as Egypt since the dawn of civilisation.
All the ingredients which are in hummus such as garlic, sesame seed and olive oil have been cultivated for 6,000 years of more. Admittedly lemon juice was a late addition to the recipe about only 2500 years ago.
To this day hummus is a daily dish for almost every meal for those living in Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and every nation of the Middle East.
Even the Greeks and Turks have enjoyed hummus for thousands of years after Alexander the Great brought this food back home after his conquest of the Middle East.
It says a great deal about a food if it lasts the test of time. Today hummus is enjoying a widespread resurgence in popularity, being one of the most popular dips available in Australia Europe and USA.
Hummus is more than just a snack: It’s a perfect protein endurance food
Eating hummus promotes and enables stamina. Since Hummus is a legume-based food using either the fava (or faba) bean or the chickpea, it is intrinsically high in protein and fibre. How high?
When you eat foods high in both protein and fibre in combination, they provide a sense of meal satisfaction. Consuming protein in isolation or fibre alone is not going to work. It is when they are consumed together that appetite is fully satisfied and continues to be satisfied.
The technical word is satiety.
The nutrients in hummus are slowly released into the body and give a smooth delivery of energy. This characteristic of legumes is totally unlike and in stark contrast to foods high in carbohydrates that produce a spike in blood sugar levels and after a short time, increase a sense of hunger.
In mountainous terrain and over long desert trips, ancient travellers could rely on hummus satisfying appetite, giving sustained release of energy and providing a balanced meal full of nutrition.
Travellers from Damascus had to travel thousands of kilometres over the most inhospitable places on the planet.
From the scorching heat of the Gobi desert to the freezing mountainous regions of Tibet and Central Asia.
Travellers simply would not survive this journey without proper quality food. Hummus provided the necessary nutrition for this feat of endurance.
Hummus stores really well – even without refrigeration.
All the ingredients can be shipped via camel through the desert if need be and still arrive in perfect shape.
Dried chickpeas, dried garlic, olive oil, sea salt and tahini paste are not easily perishable.
Neither chickpea or faba bean seem susceptible to insect infestation. Tahini does not grow mould nor grow rancid and olive oil would last – well forever.
For ancient travellers, this was a great feature as they had no refrigeration. So, hummus is especially suitable for travellers who want to travel light. Today it remains the perfect food for backpackers and campers. This is especially so if you take hummus in a powdered dry mix.
Hummus is quick to prepare.
Once the chickpeas and faba beans have been boiled, the preparation time is a matter of minutes. Simply mix in the lemon, garlic, salt and tahini. How easy is that!
Hummus is great if you want to lose weight.
Hummus does this in three main ways. The first aspect is appetite control. This was the slow release aspect described above. Hummus satisfies hunger. And keeps on satisfying hunger. So the desire to snack between meals is removed.
The second method is provided by the fact that both olive oil, tahini contain a high level of monounsaturated fats. This means that they stimulate the body to burn more energy and in doing so actually consume fat stored body fat.
Both the Journal For Diabetes Care and the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, affirm that monounsaturated fats are associated with weight loss.
As a digestive bonus Hummus is really easy for your body to digest as it is alkaline. No bloating or abdominal discomfort.
Hummus improves your immune system
Since Faba bean and Chickpea have very high levels of fibre, this assists in gut health by feeding beneficial bacteria in the gut which in turn aids digestion. All the goodness of the food is therefore absorbed into the body. The digestive process is made more efficient.
The fibre creates perfect conditions for the gut biome which in turn boosts the immune system – since 80% of immune system strength is related to a healthy gut
The Faba bean has 19% fibre comprising both soluble and insoluble fibre.
Hummus is great for gut health and lowers cholesterol levels
“The raw faba bean contains 17% insoluble fibre and 1.6% soluble fibre”
According to the Dieticians Association of Australia, healthy levels of fibre assure a healthy gut.
The Australasian Journal of Science ( January/February issue 20014, states that insoluble and soluble fibre aid in general health. This includes lowering cholesterol levels and evening our blood sugar levels due to slower digestive process.
Hummus is just Yummy.
With either the sweet nutty tahini paste or the slightly bitter unhulled tahini paste, it tastes great. Add garlic, a little lemon juice, drizzle olive oil over the top and eat with fresh Pita bread. Fantastic.
Want a gourmet version? What about char grilled eggplant, some sun dried tomatoes and perhaps a little smoke-dried chipotle chilli? What about some blended beetroot? Or some spinach with pistachio nuts. It seems that hummus can go with just about anything!
The simple fact is that hummus is a taste sensation. We use the Australian made Mayvers Tahini for best results. They make a sweet nutty hulled and a slightly darker bitter unhulled version.
The recipe for hummus adjustable to suit your preferences.
Some like olive oil in the mix, others prefer it mainly drizzled on top. Many prefer lots of fresh garlic and others prefer none. The point is that you can adjust the recipe according to your palate.
So it is surprising just how much you can vary the flavour with these basic ingredients.
When eaten with whole grain bread, it is just about a complete food
Legumes are rich in amino acids and when consumed with wholegrain flatbread, contain each and every amino acid necessary for full vigour, strength and health. A portion of hummus served with flatbread s nutritionally speaking, nearly all you need to stay healthy. Combined with tabbouleh, it is close to the perfect meal.