Monday, October 19, 2009

Hummus - Italian Flavored

Last night I made Indian food for dinner and found that I had too many chickpeas. My husband immediately requested that I make hummus. I have mentioned before that we eat hummus all the time and I wasn’t exaggerating.

I wanted to make a different flavor and stood in the kitchen staring at the chickpeas trying to decide how I could make another variation of hummus. Being part Italian I decided to make an Italian flavored hummus. I substituted pine nuts for the tahini. Also I used standard Italian seasonings like oregano, thyme, and garlic. The hot crushed peppers were added so that I could keep the salt level down in the hummus. Here is what I did.

Hummus - Italian Flavored
Makes 4 servings


1 ½ cup cooked garbanzo beans, preferably warm
½ cup bean cooking liquid, this is approximate
¼ cup pine nuts
¼ teaspoon sea salt
¼ teaspoon oregano, dried
¼ teaspoon thyme, dried
2 teaspoons hot crushed peppers
1 clove garlic, peeled and minced


Add the warm chickpeas to the food processor and puree until smooth. You will probably need to add some water. I add a little of the bean cooking liquid a few tablespoons at a time until I like the consistency of the humus. Now add the seasonings and puree to combine.

Refrigerate in a closed container until needed.

Nutritional Information (for ¼ of the hummus only):

Amount Per Serving
Calories - 159.82
Calories From Fat (39%) - 61.89

Total Fat - 7.39g
Saturated Fat - 0.58g
Cholesterol - 0mg
Sodium - 91mg
Potassium - 236.93mg
Total Carbohydrates - 18.42g
Fiber - 5.11g
Sugar - 3.3g
Protein - 6.69g

I had my hummus today with one red bell pepper cut into strips and 2 large carrots cut into spears. After reading the abstract about the impact of food on breast cancer risk I decided to have more vegetables with my hummus than I would normally consume. I have also included the nutrition information with vegetables so that you can see the impact.

Nutritional Information (for ¼ of the hummus with 1 bell pepper and 2 carrots):

Amount Per Serving
Calories - 271.13
Calories From Fat (25%) - 69.05

Total Fat - 8.22g
Saturated Fat - 0.68g
Cholesterol - 0mg
Sodium - 208.41mg
Potassium - 1060.75mg
Total Carbohydrates - 42.67g
Fiber - 12.68g
Sugar - 17.06g
Protein - 9.63g


I recommend warm chickpeas since I find they seem to be easier to puree resulting in a creamier hummus. This is something that I discovered by accident but it seems to work so please give it a try.

Using pine nuts in place of tahini makes a significant difference in the final flavor of the hummus. If you are one of those people that don’t like tahini (yes DT this was a test for you) then I think this version is something you may prefer.

Next time I will probably add a few sun-dried tomatoes and olives to this for more Italian flavor. A few capers or fresh Italian parsley would also be a nice touch. In the end this recipe tastes more Italian and less like hummus than I expected.

When I had my hummus today with one bell pepper and two carrots cut into strips. I input that into the cookbook program and recalculated the numbers. The vitamin A is so high it doesn’t seem correct at over 30,000IU. Folate was also almost double once I added veggies. By including the red bell pepper my hummus snack now has over 195mg of vitamin C. I found it fascinating how adding a big serving of veggies increased the nutrition exponentially. This helps me to begin to understand how eating mostly fruit and vegetables could be linked to a reduction in breast cancer.


  1. This looks so good. I love hummus!
    Debra @ Vegan Family Style

  2. I am in love with hummus..mmm.

    What are your favorite vegan spots in Baltimore? I live outside Baltimore and I'm planning on going out sometime this week to a vegan restaurant in the city, but haven't decided which.. Thanks =)

  3. Madeleine,

    The best vegan friendly restaurant I have been to is in Clarksville in Howard County, Great Sage. I have heard good things about Yabba Pot but the neighborhood is a little dicey in my opinion.

    My husband and I also have had great success at the Lebanese Taverna. The Taverna isn't vegan or even vegetarian but with some creative ordering it isn't a problem. They have a big vegetarian selection (their menu used to be on-line). There is also a little tapas place at the Inner Harbor where we can always find things that can be easily veganized. The last place two places that come to mind are The Casbah and Suzie's Soba. Neither is vegetarian but will alter the recipes upon request.

    What is your favorite restaurant in the area?



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