You likely know some famous food holidays like Donut Day, Pizza Day, and Pie Day. Did you know that there’s also a day to celebrate hummus? May 13th is International Hummus Day, a day to celebrate an incredibly popular dip made with chickpeas, tahini, lemon juice, and olive oil. If you love hummus, International Hummus Day is the perfect opportunity to celebrate.
International Hummus Day began in 2012 out of pure love for the delicious Mediterranean dip. Hummus itself, however, has a much longer food history. The earliest known mention of hummus dates back to the 13th century in Cairo, Egypt. The word itself is Arabic for “chickpea,” which has been grown in the Middle East for at least 10,000 years. Egypt, Israel, and Greece (which was a trade partner of Egypt) are just some of the many countries that claim to be the birthplace of hummus, but the truth is that the spread’s origin is lost to time.
While the true origins of hummus may never be known, one thing is for certain; hummus is a delicious food enjoyed by vegans, vegetarians, and omnivores in countries all around the world. It’s perfect as a dip for chips or fresh vegetables or spread on a slice of bread. It can be incorporated into many different recipes, such as sauces, pasta dishes, potatoes, and more. You can even make a dessert hummus! The uses are practically limitless.
Nutritional Benefits of Hummus
It’s Nutrient Dense
Hummus is more than just good, it’s good for you. It’s filled with a variety of essential vitamins and minerals that your body needs, including:
A single 100-gram serving of hummus contains 7.6 grams of plant-based protein, making it an excellent protein source. It’s naturally free from common allergens like gluten, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, and dairy, which also makes it ideal for those with food allergies or intolerances.
It May Help to Protect Your Heart Health
Heart disease is a serious issue, and one of the leading causes of death in the US. Hummus contains several ingredients that may help to protect the health of your heart and reduce your risk for heart disease. Studies have shown that a diet rich in legumes, including chickpeas, reduces bad cholesterol. Additionally, those who consume healthy fats like olive oil have a lower risk of death due to heart disease.
It’s Filled with Anti-Inflammatory Ingredients
Hummus is rich in ingredients that are known to help fight inflammation. Olive oil contains several antioxidants including tocopherols, lignans, and lutein. Tahini, which is made from ground sesame seeds, is also an anti-inflammatory food believed to reduce inflammation markers like CRP and IL-6.
Making Hummus at Home
Hummus requires just a few ingredients and is very simple to make. Here’s a tasty hummus recipe for you to make at home to celebrate National Hummus Day right.
To make a basic hummus at home, you will need:
- 1 15-oz can of chickpeas or 1 ½ cups of cooked chickpeas, drained
- ¼ cup of tahini
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- 1 to 2 cloves of garlic
- Juice of one large lemon
- 2 to 3 tablespoons of water (or more as needed)
- Salt to taste
Using a food processor, process all of the ingredients until smooth. Add more water as needed to reach your desired consistency. Taste your hummus and add more salt if necessary. To serve, place in a bowl and drizzle with olive oil. You may also choose to top your hummus with a pinch of ground cumin or smoked paprika.
Hummus is delicious, filled with vital nutrients, and incredibly simple to make. There’s nothing not to like. Whether you’re new to hummus or you’ve been eating it for years, International Hummus Day is the perfect opportunity to enjoy it with any meal—or even all three!