A lot of people consider food that is healthy and good for you to be “free,” meaning you can eat as much of it as you like. One of those foods is hummus. Next time you are in a grocery store, pick up a can of chickpeas (or any bean for that matter) and look at the calorie content. Do the math for the whole can. Your jaw will hit the floor at the number. There are almost 300 calories in one cup of garbanzo beans. Another ingredient in hummus is olive oil, which comes in at 120 calories per one tablespoon. A lot of hummus recipes call for up to 1/4 cup of olive oil equaling almost 500 calories. A third ingredient commonly found in hummus is tahini paste which is basically a paste made from grinding sesame seeds. Tahini is about 100 calories per tablespoon.
Now, I am not saying that hummus is not good for you. I love hummus. I love garbanzo beans. I love olive oil. I love tahini paste. I realize and respect that all of these foods carry great health benefits when you eat them. I am not recommending that you eliminate any of these foods from your diet. I’m just here to warn you. You have to be careful with beans and oil and nuts and seeds. Yes, they are very good for you, but they also contain a lot of calories. These foods are almost more dangerous than candy. You know that candy is bad for you. You know that candy is loaded with calories. Hummus, however is good for you. What are you going to dip into your hummus? A triscuit? Triscuits are 20 calories each. Say you dip on average about 1/2 tablespoon per triscuit…that’s 40 calories/dip. So, five triscuits with 1/2 tablespoon hummus on each = 200 calories. That’s how much I allow myself for a snack. This is why I had trouble losing weight. I was eating healthy, but I was having 7 or 8 or 9 or 10 triscuits with hummus. I like this diet because I don’t really eliminate any food (maybe candy). I just keep track of how much I’m eating.
Most commercially made hummus brands come in at about 40 calories per tablespoon. That equals around 160 per 1/4 cup. That’s not too bad. My recipe, however, cuts the oil way down and adds caramelized onions and roasted garlic for flavor and texture. This method for roasting garlic uses very little oil and doesn’t take hours. My caramelized onion and roasted garlic hummus comes in at 77 calories per 1/4 cup. That’s less than half the calories of commercial hummus.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut the onion in half. Cut into half moons.
Heat a dutch oven or heavy duty saucepan over medium high heat. Spray pan quickly with olive oil pan spray.
Cook the onions, stirring often, until they are a deep brown color. Transfer caramelized onions to a 13 x 9 inch baking pan. Peel seven garlic cloves.
Add garlic to pan with the onions.
Add 1/8 cup water.
Add 1 Tblsp olive oil.
Cover pan with foil, and place in the oven for 20 minutes. Remove foil and continue cooking until most (but not all) of the water has evaporated and garlic is browned and soft, about 15 minutes more.
Open one can of garbanzo beans and drain. Place beans in food processor.
Add caramelized onions and garlic, juice of half a lemon, salt, pepper, and cumin.
Puree mixture until completely smooth.
The recipe makes about 1 and 3/4 cup. A great snack is to take 1/4 cup hummus (77 calories) and spread on a small tortilla (90 calories).
I add about five pitted olives and a couple of pepperoncini (about 25 calories).
I finish the wrap with a handful of fresh greens (I like arugula or Boston lettuce). That adds up to just under 200 calories. A sandwich wrap for a snack! This sort of thing makes me very happy.
ROASTED GARLIC HUMMUS RECIPE
1 yellow onion, french cut
7 each whole garlic cloves, peeled
1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1/8 cup water
1 can garbanzo beans, drained
juice of half a lemon
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp Diamond Krystal kosher salt (use 1/2 tsp if using Morton’s kosher salt)
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Heat a dutch oven or heavy skilled over medium high heat. Spray quickly with olive oil pan spray. Add onions.
2. Cook onions, stirring often, until they are a deep brown color. Transfer onions to a 13 x 9 inch baking pan.
3. Add garlic, water, and olive oil to pan. Cover with foil and place in the preheated oven.
4. Cook for about 20 minutes. Remove foil and continue cooking until garlic is soft and golden browned, and most (but not all) of the water has evaporated.
5. Place garbanzo beans, caramelized onions and roasted garlic, lemon juice, kosher salt, black pepper, and cumin in the bowl of a food processor.
6. Puree mixture until very smooth.
Yield: about 1 and 3/4 cup