Looking for a healthy alternative to your current sour cream or ranch dressing?

This month, why not give hummus a try? Typically a blend of chickpeas, lemon juice, garlic, tahini and olive oil, hummus is both inexpensive and delicious! This creamy, Middle Eastern chickpea spread is one of my personal favorites and also provides a powerhouse of health-boosting nutrients. Chickpeas are full of fiber and protein, helping you stay full longer, and are also a great source of iron, folate and magnesium. The olive oil provides heart healthy fats, and tahini is packed with vitamin E.

There are so many different hummus flavors out there- from sun dried tomato to roasted garlic to basil pesto, or you can choose to easily make it at home. Just mix all ingredients listed below together in a food processor until it becomes a smooth puree. Enjoy on carrot/celery sticks, a piece of whole wheat toast, or mix with a little water and lemon juice for a healthy salad dressing.

INGREDIENTS

Yield: 8 servings

  • 2 cups drained cooked or canned chickpeas (keep the liquid & add as needed)
  • 1/2 cup tahini (sesame paste), optional
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin or paprika, to taste
  • Juice of 1 lemon, plus more as needed