With Harmons launching a new line of hummus flavors, us dietitians thought it was time to highlight the many health benefits that come with the delicious Mediterranean dip.
Tahini: Tahini is ground sesame seed paste. Peanuts are to peanut butter as sesame seeds are to tahini. Although it is made from seeds, it carries an incredibly nutty flavor and adds an earthy depth to whatever it is in, including hummus.
Chickpeas: Also known as garbanzo beans, these pack plant-based protein and a good amount of dietary fiber, both of which we could all use a little more of.
Lemon Juice: The acidity balances out the fat coming from the tahini. Beyond taste, lemon juice—like other citrus—packs a lot of vitamin C. This vitamin has gotten a lot of attention over the last year because of its role in maintaining a healthy immune system.
The Extras: Beyond traditional hummus, our chefs have created flavors that you’ll find to be exactly like nothing else. Beets, serrano peppers, curry powder, balsamic vinegar, and pesto are just a few of the ingredients you’ll find in our variety of flavors here at Harmons. See Chef Lesli’s post for a list of flavors and pairing suggestions.
Hummus is not a low-calorie food, but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Calories equate to energy and it seems like many of us need more energy in a day. However, some calories supply more benefits to our bodies than others. Because of the other nutrients listed below in this blog, hummus contributes nutrient-rich calories that are worthwhile.
If you are calorie conscious, here are a few stats for you: Traditional ranch dressing has around 140 calories per 2 Tbsp serving, where our fresh made-in-store hummus has just 40-60 depending on the flavor. It is an excellent choice of dip or condiment for this reason.
Disclaimer: Our hummus is so delicious, you will want to eat more than the 2 Tbsp serving listed on the package! Make sure to factor in how many servings you eat to get a correct calorie count.
Per 2 Tbsp serving size, you get 3.5 grams total fat, 4 grams carbohydrate, and 2 grams of protein. This means 57% of calories come from fat, 29% from carbohydrates, and 14% from protein.
As you can see, most of the calories come from the high fat content of tahini. The majority of that fat is unsaturated fatty acids. Nutritionally speaking, unsaturated fats (most plant sources and seafood) are preferred to saturated fats (meat, poultry, dairy, coconut). Thus, in the context of hummus, the high ratio of fat is a great thing.
As for the carbohydrates and protein, these contribute smaller percentages of calories but are just as valuable. Both chickpeas and tahini contribute to carbohydrate and protein content. Because these are bean and seed sources, it means they come in a plant package full of nutrients including fiber, which strengthens our case that hummus is an excellent choice for a nutritious dip.
It’s important to note that the precise macro percentages of one hummus doesn’t matter. However, having an average of macro percentages over multiple days can be a useful tool for some.
Harmons hummus has 70-130 mg of sodium per 2 Tbsp serving. This is defined as a “low sodium” choice in the world of food labeling (less than 140 mg per serving). In comparison, some brands of salsa have 250 mg for the same serving size. Hummus is a great way toinclude dips and lower your sodium intake, which contributes to a healthy heart diet. Our flavors pack so much interesting depth of flavor, we’re sure you won’t miss the excess salt.
Nutrition in the Pairings
One of the most nutritious things about hummus is that it can be a vehicle for eating more vegetables. Crisp veggies are the dietitians’ first pick for pairing with hummus because of their crisp texture, fresh taste, and high nutrient content. Harmons sous chefs save you time with all of the pre-prepared options available here. Other than fresh cut produce, whole grains are delicious for pairing with our unique hummus flavors:
Papa pita is a local company that we love. Smother hummus on a pita round and pile on some fresh cut veggies for the wrap of your dreams. Try brushing on olive oil and broiling the pita beforehand for added flavor and texture.
These sweet potato, beet, or harvest vegetable-based crackers are especially aesthetically pleasing because of their bright colors. These are perfect for a colorful spread on a party tray.
There are a whopping 17 flavors of Triscuits that get our green Dietitians Choice tag! Between 17 Triscuit and 9 hummus flavors, that is a total of 153 unique combinations to taste. You’d better start now!
This gluten free option has a neutral flavor that will go well with anything. Let the contrasting crunch of the crackers and creaminess of the hummus satisfy all of the textures needed for a great snack.
Vibrant Colors Means Vibrant Nutrition
It’s not hard to see that our flavor variety is COLORFUL. These dark, vivid colors actually correspond to health benefits.
Beet Balsamic: Beets are rich in betalains, which research correlated with lower oxidative stress, reduced cell damage, and anti-inflammatory effects. An emerging area of research explores how betalains may improve exercise performance.
Lemon Turmeric and Curry: Turmeric is what colors both of these flavors a deep yellow. Turmeric’s main active ingredient is curcumin. The most widely studied benefit of curcumin is its anti-inflammatory effect. Curcumin is better absorbed by the body with black pepper, so try Cracked Pepper and Olive Oil Triscuits with these flavors.
Chile Lime and Pesto: Poblano, serrano, cilantro, and basil contribute to the green hue in these two flavors. Chlorophyll has also been associated with an antioxidant effect protecting our cells from damage. Dark green vegetables are also often accompanied by vitamin K, folate, iron, and calcium.
Roasted Red Pepper and Chipotle: Red bell peppers and red jalapenos used for chipotles get their color from a pigment called capsanthin. In red peppers, capsanthin is accompanied by lutein and zeaxanthin which contribute to eye health.
It’s important to know that eating hummus won’t cure inflammation or improve exercise performance overnight. However, small amounts of a wide variety of these active components over a long period of time may help you reap benefits in these areas.
Hummus is a combination of wholesome ingredients and can be paired with other nutritious choices for a filling snack or meal. It contains a balance of all three macronutrients, and our variety of flavors adds extra satisfaction and health benefits. If the nutrition of hummus hasn’t convinced you, the taste of our new flavors will. Pick some up today at your nearest location. If you’d like to speak with your Harmons Dietitian individually about nutrition questions, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.