Hooray for Hummus

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hummusWhether it’s at home or on the run, maintaining healthy eating habits can be tough. When hunger strikes and your stomach is telling you to grab a snack, it’s tempting to roll through the golden arches and call it quits. But there is hope—it’s time to consider preparing for tomorrow’s munchies by whipping up some hummus. (Recipe posted by Ina Garten on the Food Network website.)

This low-calorie Mediterranean dip pairs well with pita bread, tortilla chips and pretzels. You can use carrots or nearly any other vegetable as a substitute for celery if you’d like.

All you’ll need is a food processor and these ingredients:

●4 garlic cloves

●2 cups canned chickpeas, drained, liquid reserved

●1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt

●⅓ cup tahini (sesame paste)

●6 tablespoons (2 lemons) freshly squeezed lemon juice

●2 tablespoons water or liquid from chickpeas

●8 dashes hot sauce

Start by mincing the garlic in the food processor. Then, add the rest of the ingredients and mix until you have a coarse puree. Use your best judgment for seasoning, and serve chilled or at room temperature. Make this snack even healthier by serving it with a vegetable plate, pretzels or pita bread.

Chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans, are high in protein and fiber. Studies show they improve heart and bone health and aid in weight management, making them beneficial to those with health conditions like diabetes. Hummus is high in heart-healthy saturated fat, which is a feature of the Mediterranean diet. This meal plan is used for weight loss and disease control.

The diet focuses on plant-based foods, whole grains and nuts. Studies show that it reduces the risk of heart disease by replacing butter with healthier fats like olive oil.

Hummus might be your gateway to a new diet,or an eye-opener to the luxuries of more exotic dishes. It’s easy to prepare and pack away for work or send with the kids to school.

Photo credit:  Food Network Website 

Emma Schlegelmilch is a sophomore at Ball State University, majoring in public relations. She is an account coordinator for Cardinal Communications, a student-run communications agency. Writing is one of her favorite pastimes when she is not at work coaching gymnastics or finishing homework assignments.

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