Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Fat Free Hummus with Roasted Red Pepper and Smoked Paprika

Hummus is almost an addiction at our house. The problem with the commercially made varieties is the amount of calories and fat they contain. I decided that I wanted to make hummus with no added fat that still tasted good. Some of my early attempts needed work. However the version posted below not only tastes good, but also is also better for you.

Chickpeas are an excellent source of protein and cholesterol lowering fiber and iron. The high fiber content keeps the digested chickpea from spiking blood sugar levels making them a nice protein source for diabetics. Chickpeas contain a trace element (molybdenum) that helps the body detoxify sulfites. Sulfites are a common preservative that are added to most wine, and is frequently added to deli salads and salad bars. It is theorized that people that have reacted to sulfites have low levels of molybdenum.

Paprika is an excellent source of vitamin C. Paprika (like peppers) contains capsaicin, whose anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects may lower the risk of cancer. We like the taste of smoked paprika so much I add it many things knowing it is also making the dish more healthy.

Cumin seeds may have anti-carcinogenic properties. One study showed cumin protected laboratory animals from developing liver and stomach cancer. So many other herbs and spices have been shown to have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that it doesn’t seem too far-fetched that cumin could also be added to the list after more studies.

All the ingredients in this hummus are good for you and this hummus has plenty of flavor punch.

Fat Free Hummus with Roasted Red Pepper and Smoked Paprika
makes approximately 4 cups


4 cups of cooked chickpeas (no salt added or reduce the salt added below)
2 garlic cloves, raw but peeled
1 cup of warm water
zest of one organic lemon
3 roasted red peppers
2 tablespoons of smoked paprika
2 teaspoons of kosher salt
½ tablespoon of freshly ground black pepper
½ teaspoon of cumin, toasted


Place the chickpeas, garlic, water, lemon zest, red peppers and smoked paprika into a food processor. Continue to process until the mixture is completely smooth. It will take a few minutes for all the ingredients to fully incorporate. Then add the salt, pepper and cumin and process until combined. The spices should grind up a little but should retain some of their texture.


This hummus is packed with flavor from the smoked paprika, roasted peppers, garlic, lemon and cumin that helps you not miss the fat. The roasted red peppers help to smooth out the texture of the finished hummus. The color of the hummus is a beautiful orange. There is a definite smokiness from the paprika and cumin. You could also add toasted pine pints as a garnish to this hummus, but that is added fat.

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