Americans are more health conscious now than ever, and for good reason. For the first time in American history, younger generations have shorter life expectancies than their parents due to higher incidences of chronic illness such as obesity, diabetes, and high blood pressure and cholesterol in childhood and adolescents. This is compounded by the fact that Americans have become increasingly sedentary due to mobile technology.
On a positive note, Americans have become increasingly aware of the importance of maintaining a balanced, healthy diet. As such, foods such as hummus dip — once considered an “exotic” food that was restricted to the health aisle in grocery stores — has risen to become the king of condiments, replacing high fat and sodium-rich condiments such as mayonnaise.
Hummus dip is a common food, if not a staple of, Mediterranean, Middle Eastern, and North African cuisine, and is made from mashed or pureed chick peas, fresh garlic, lemon juice, sea salt, and often finished off with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. However, several variations are common, such as tahini hummus dip which has a nuttier, creamier texture due to the added sesame seed paste (tahini).
Wary of genetically modified crops (which have been shown to cause and contribute to chronic illness), many Americans are getting adventurous by whipping up their own hummus spread recipes at home. Common variations include roasted red pepper or garlic, olive tapenade, and basil pesto hummus.
If you’re creating your own hummus blend at home and wish to steer clear of genetically modified ingredients — which is highly recommended — be sure to purchase ingredients that are clearly marked has non-GMO and organic. If necessary, you may want to buy directly from local farmers in your area.
Besides being fun to say, hummus is rich in protein, low in sodium and fat, yet full of flavor, making it the ideal condiment and side dish.
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