11 Ways to Make Tastier, Healthier Hummus

By , SparkPeople Blogger
You should think of hummus as a white canvas and vegetables in your refrigerator or herbs in your garden as the paints to create a colorful work of art.  This painting will not go on the wall but in your belly. Hummus is simple to make and will pair well with almost any flavor you want to add.  Although the basic recipe includes olive oil and tahini (sesame seed paste), too much can be a little too much--it can taste bitter, and it does contain a lot of fat, though it is the good-for-you kind. In my recipe, I reduced the amount of tahini and replaced it with drained and rinsed white kidney beans. 
Start with my Simple Hummus.
 Try these easy quick swaps to make your hummus creamy and not so heavy in oil.
  • Replace 50% or all of the olive oil with plain fat-free Greek yogurt.  The yogurt, with its natural acidity, will also boost the flavor.
  • Replace 50%  or all the tahini with rinsed and drained white kidney beans as I did.  Tahini boasts a strong, somewhat bitter flavor so this tip is perfect for a large crowd of different "likes" and small children.
  • Use roasted garlic instead of raw garlic.  Roasting the garlic will subdue the raw bite and add creaminess.
  • Remove the skins of chickpeas by pinching them between your fingers to ensure a creamy hummus. This will reduce the fiber, unfortunately.
  • Use blanched edamame instead of chickpeas.  Pretty and colorful for spring or summer, this swap also boosts the protein. Remove the skins the same way you would with chickpeas.Mix it up with new additions.
  • Add cooked sweet potatoes or pureed canned pumpkin for a fall-influenced hummus.  Reduce chickpeas by 50%; add 4 ounces cooked sweet potatoes or canned pumpkin.  Throw in some fall spices as well such as cinnamon, nutmeg and a pinch of cayenne.
  • Stir in toasted sesame oil instead of ground tahini paste.  A little will go a long way--add just 1/2 teaspoon to my basic recipe for a strong sesame flavor.
  • Toss in sautéed eggplant and cumin.  Serve as a side with curry or vindaloo dishes.
  • Add 1/4 cup almond butter to the basic recipe for extra thick, nutty hummus. 
  • Roasted red peppers and hummus are a perfect pair.  Stir in one cup chopped peppers for a sunset-colored hummus.
  • Other great additions: finely chopped parsley, fresh squeezed lemon juice, basil pesto, reduced balsamic vinegar, chopped pine nuts, minced black olives, or a sprinkle of feta and red pepper flakes. 
Now that you have this flavorful hummus, what do you do with it? 
  • Use it as a sandwich spread in place of mayonnaise.
  • Toss with pasta for a higher-protein sauce.
  • Spread over flatbread to swap for traditional pizza sauce. 
  • Mix into tomato sauce for a creamy pasta or pizza topping.
  • Spread hummus over meats before roasting. The thick spread will stand up in the heat of the oven and the flavors will work as substitute for a rub but will develop into a creamy pan sauce.
  • Swirl with salsa for a creamy dip.
Try one of these tasty hummus variations:And try this easy appetizer: Mini Stuffed Potatoes with Charred Corn and Red Pepper Hummus
What do you like to do with hummus? Do you prefer it plain or with a topping? If so, which topping?
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SUNSET09 6/19/2021
Hummus is a great discovery, SparkFriends. A nice substitute for dip Report
GEORGE815 4/6/2021
Thanks Report
ELRIDDICK 1/25/2021
Thanks for sharing Report
CECELW 11/15/2020
I love hummus Report
SNUZYQ2 10/3/2020
So glad to see there is a way around the calories in the usual store-bought hummus. Plus, I can make it myself, as fresh or fresher than you can get it anywhere. Thank you for sharing! I will enjoy trying these recipes out! Report
DEE107 9/13/2020
thanks Report
i blend in. a pound of silken tofu. It adds protein, lightens the flavor and doubles the size of my recipe. Report
Great suggestions. Report
I love hummus...but, it's kind've like crack to me! haha It's hard for me to stop eating it once I get started Report
I love hummous. Report
I must try this Report
Thanks Report
Nice recipe Report
I love hummus so will definitely try these veriations Report
Great tips. Thanks. Report
Your recipe sounds interesting, but just totally is not hummus. For anyone living here in the middle east (where I live) Hummus is made with whole chick peas, techina (what you call sesame paste), water, salt, lemon juice squeezed from fresh lemons, black pepper, cumin, and raw garlic. It is topped with zatar (a delicious spice that grows wild here), or cusbarra (cilantro) and either a tiny bit of oil or pine nuts and sometimes is put into roasted eggplant. Raw garlic is healthier and much less caloric than fried garlic or roasted garlic.

I have never tasted bitter techina - one thing you need to know is that every ingredient in middle eastern food is important and leaving out an ingredient can ruin the whole taste. Lemon juice is a very important ingredient in techina and hummus.

Hummus is a delicious, high-protein, healthy spread that you can use with many things. Report
It makes me want to try Hummus! Report
I have acquired a taste for hummus and normally, purchase it in the grocery stores. Thank you for a healthier version, SparkFriend. Report
I love hummus. I make my own sometimes but most of the time I just buy it. I'm the only one who eats it. Report
Love hummus. Report
Haven't tried it yet. Report
I love hummus however I did not like the gritty texture. I started boiling my chickpeas for 20 minutes adding a pinch of baking soda then rinsing them. They are really creamy like what you buy in the store. I rinse them very well after cooking. I love all your tips cant wait to incorporate them in my rotation😊 Report
I love hummus however I did not like the gritty texture. I started boiling my chickpeas for 20 minutes adding a pinch of baking soda then rinsing them. They are really creamy like what you buy in the store. I rinse them very well after cooking. I love all your tips cant wait to incorporate them in my rotation😊 Report
Thanks for the variations! Lots of great suggestions, though one thing you didn’t mention was replacing all or part of the chickpeas with cauliflower to reduce the carb content. Report
Absolutely Report
I love these ideas! Hummus is so good! Report
I love the taste of hummus, not really intreasted in making it taste like something else Report
I have never tasted hummus. Will certainly give this one a try. Report
Very excited to try this out - my housemate and I were talking about DIY hummus a few weeks ago. This is a great resource. Report
Some new recipes to try....thank you. Report
Ive never tried it-- Report
Sorry - these sound gross. Humus is humus- replacing ingredients makes it whatever but it sure ain't humus. Yuk Report
Love the Ideas! Thanks! Report
I love hummus. I get it ready made and my favorite is spinach and artichoke. Just today I found something new, hummus with toasted coconut. But since these ideas sounded so good, I will try making my own. Report
I have never tried hummus. Thought about purchasing it at the store, but I never have. I might try making it Report
Plan on trying each of those recipes. Just tried a store bought one just to try hummus. Homemade will be souch better! Report
I have never gotten around to trying hummus, but I like the suggestions here and will have to give it a try now. Thanks Report
Love these suggestions for ways to substitute hummus. Excited to try them. Thanks!! Report
Excellent Blog. I did not like the idea of eating hummus but Beth Galvin made me trust it and I love it now. Report
I've recently discovered that tuna salad using hummus instead of light mayo is fantastic! Great flavor. Good spreadability. Colorful too. DH likes it too! Report
I make egg salad and chicken salad with hummus instead of mayo. It adds protein and lots of flavor. Report
Great suggestions for people who don't actually like hummus... Report
Unfortunately my family won't touch hummus. I have tried it at work at company functions and enjoyed it most of the time. I may try these ideas to see if they'll reconsider eating hummus. Thank you! Report
Great ideas!! Thank you! Report
TY for the healthy idea's !! I have been spending quite a lot at the store with this. I LOVE IT and for one who in general "Doesn't care much" for most veggies, this is so GOOD !! I LOVE the idea of using greek yogurt instead of an oil !! I LOVE mine with a TON OF ROASTED Garlic ! WILL also add some peppers (Green, yellow, red which will first be roasted) and greek olives. Report
I use my Ninja to make hummus and if it's looking too chunky, I just add some of the canned chickpea juice back in. Smooth hummus every time. Never would have even thought to use substitute some greek yogurt for 1/2 the olive oil. Can't wait to try it! Report
Love hummus! Going to try some of these tips, but life is too short to peel chickpeas. :-)
Lemon and Coriander (cilantro) Hummus - really nice bite! Report
I love HUMMUS DH is not a fan of it. Thanks for the suggestions to reduce the bitter taste. Pat in Maine. Report