Houmous is basically a well-known dish that started in the Middle East. It is considered as a dip, spread or paste that is made out of chickpeas and tahini. Houmous is typically eaten together with any kind of flat bread or pita during breakfast time. Houmous offers a texture and consistency that is quite similar with peanut butter. As one of the favorite in the Middle East, it is commonly used in countries such as Turkey, Israel, Syria, Lebanon, Cyprus and Greece. The reason for its popularity is not only due to its delectable flavor, but also due to the high nutritional value it has to offer.
There are several ingredients involved in creating houmous, but the main ingredients include chickpeas and tahini. Chickpeas or popularly known as garbanzo beans are considered protein-packed legumes that were grown in the Middle East way back in the ancient times. Tahini is also called as sesame paste. It has a somewhat distinct or strong flavor, which is why many people use this ingredient cautiously. Other additionally ingredients in houmous include salt, fresh garlic, lemon juice, olive oil and paprika. When making houmous, all the ingredients are grounded down until it forms a smooth paste while seasonings are added to taste.
The nutritional benefits offered by houmous are based on the ingredients. Chickpeas are highly nutritious since it does not contain any saturated fats or cholesterol and they are also packed with protein. This is the reason why houmous is a favorite among vegetarians. Additionally, chickpeas are known to be highly effective in preventing the accumulation of cholesterol in the blood vessels as well as regulating the blood sugar levels.
Tahini, on the other, is packed with calories and fat. Nevertheless, the fact that it is used sparingly in majority of houmous recipes and it contains unsaturated fats will not cause a lot of problem. Just like chickpeas, tahini is also rich in protein and it is also a good source of calcium. Olive oil is basically healthy fat that has a rich monounsaturated fat content but low amount in saturated fat, thus it can regulate the cholesterol levels and guard the heart from diseases. Both lemon juice and garlic are packed with antioxidants that can reduce oxidative stress in the body. Aside from that, they improve the immune function of the body as well as fight off viruses and bacteria.
With the nutritional value and the health benefits offered by houmous, it is ideal to add in your diet as a healthy alternative.