While we find hummus in almost every food store today, it used to be considered quite an exotic food in the past.
Thanks to its popularity with vegans, hummus sales have soared and we see a lot of different hummus varieties available.
But is hummus truly vegan? Or are there any ingredients that might mean it’s not suitable for a plant-based diet.
In this article, we take a closer look at vegan hummus, and everything you need to know about it.
Is Hummus Vegan?
Yes, hummus is usually suitable for vegans and vegetarians. In fact, hummus is one of the most popular foods with vegans, also because it is available in a large range of flavors.
Thanks to its versatility, hummus is not just ideal as a dip but you can also use it for other recipes.
However, while the traditional hummus recipe made with chickpeas is vegan, there is no guarantee that restaurants, stores or chefs won’t add any non-vegan ingredients to their hummus.
Vegan hummus in a store or restaurant is usually labelled as vegan. If this is the case, then you know that this hummus is definitely made with plant-based ingredients.
If there is no vegan label, then it can be a little more difficult to find out whether your hummus is vegan or not.
What Is Hummus Made Of?
The traditional hummus recipe contains only a few ingredients. These include:
- Chickpeas, which are also known as garbanzo beans
- Tahini, which is made from ground sesame seeds (Check out How To Toast Sesame Seeds)
- Lemon juice
- Water or olive oil
You just need to combine these ingredients and make them into a smooth paste which can be used as a spread or added to different recipes.
While this is the basic recipe, there are also fancier variations of hummus out there where other spices and herbs are added.
Saying this, a good hummus is simply a smooth spread that tastes delicious, so you can adjust a hummus recipe to your tastes.
Whether you love avocado, pesto or red peppers, simply add any of your favorites in to make the hummus taste even better.
Hummus is simply so versatile and it is quick to make your own at home. Here is a hummus recipe to try.
Non-Vegan Ingredients You Need to Look Out For In Hummus
If you don’t want to make your own hummus at home, then it’s important to find out what’s in your store-bought hummus.
Check the label and see if it says vegan. If it doesn’t indicate that the hummus is vegan, then this doesn’t mean it’s not.
The best way to find out whether your hummus is plant-based is by checking the ingredients list.
Here are some ingredients that should not be on the list of a vegan hummus. If you find any of these ingredients on the label, then it’s a non-vegan hummus.
Classic hummus is made with olive oil but many mass-produced hummus variations also use palm oil as a replacement because it is cheaper.
There is a lot of discussion around palm oil being vegan or not but it is generally a good idea to avoid palm oil for environmental reasons as well as ethical reasons.
Usually hummus doesn’t contain sugar but if a manufacturer decides to add sugar then this could mean your hummus isn’t vegan.
This is because some refined sugars are processed with bone char which is made from the bones of cattle. Bone char is used to filter sugar to create a bright white color.
If your hummus contains sugar, then it is likely not vegan.
You can find additives in a lot of store products. Additives, such as emulsifiers and stabilizers, are added to extend the shelf life of a product.
However, these additives aren’t always vegan, so when your hummus contains additives, then it is likely not vegan.
Saying this, a few additives, such as Lecithin, are vegan but they usually are clearly marked on the label.
Occasionally, labels say that other ingredients are processed in the same factory as the hummus. This means there is a possibility of cross contamination.
Although it is unlikely that any other non-listed ingredients are in your hummus, there is always a risk.
This applies to almost all store-bought products, and you can really only avoid this if you make something from scratch at home.
Does Hummus Contain Dairy?
No, a classic hummus recipe doesn’t contain dairy which means that hummus is suitable for a dairy-free diet.
Is Hummus Healthy?
Hummus is very nutritious and healthy. The main ingredients, chickpeas and tahini, are both very healthy foods and they offer a good amount of protein.
All ingredients in hummus have an excellent nutritional density. This means that your body gets a lot of different nutrients from hummus.
However, it’s important to be aware of that store-bought hummus can contain a lot of fat. You can easily avoid this by making hummus yourself at home.
It’s perfect as a dip and it adds flavor to many other recipes. If you want to create a low fat hummus, then just add in less tahini and oil.
While the traditional hummus recipe contains olive oil, you are also allowed to use vegetable oil. It has a more subtle flavor but has the added advantage that it’s relatively inexpensive.
You can even lower the salt content in your hummus but adding half the normal amount. It doesn’t take much salt to give your hummus a good flavor.
Plus, you can use it as a dip with bell peppers (Find out Is Bell Pepper A Fruit?), carrots and cucumber as an extra healthy treat.
Hummus is a delicious vegan spread, and most hummus variations can be used in a vegan diet.
However, it’s important to look out for some ingredients, such as sugar or additives, that are not vegan.
The best way to ensure that your hummus is vegan is by making it yourself at home. It only takes a few basic ingredients to whisk this tasty dip together.
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