Are you a vegan asking yourself ‘is hummus vegan?’ Click here to find out everything you need to know before you head out the grocery store!
Leading a vegan lifestyle can be quite difficult at times, especially if you are new to being vegan and are not quite sure which foods are actually vegan-friendly and which ones are not. But I’m happy to report that for the most part hummus is vegan!
With that in mind, I have put together this comprehensive article explaining what exactly is hummus, and how it can fit into a vegan lifestyle. I hope you find this information helpful for answering the common question of “is hummus vegan?”.
What is Hummus?
Hummus is a thick and creamy spread that is originally of Middle Eastern origin. Thanks to to its excellent taste, great health benefits, and overall versatility, it has become a popular food all around the world, even in America and Europe.
In fact, according to an article on the Dr. Axe website, hummus is one of the widely consumed foods in America, with more than fifteen million people reporting that they eat it frequently in the year 2008 (and it is safe to assume that even more people eat it now!).
Hummus is also notable for being both very healthy to eat and also incredibly easy to make (both qualities which we will discuss more in-depth momentarily).
Now, to answer the important question: is hummus vegan? The answer is (in most cases) a resounding yes. While a few store bought hummus products will sometimes contain dairy, most hummus products are very vegan-friendly and contain only all-natural ingredients that do not come from animals in any way.
Ingredients In Hummus
Hummus is by design a straightforward and simple food in most circumstances. According to Vegan.com, a basic hummus is most commonly made out of only six ingredients: garbanzo beans (also known as chickpeas), tahini, garlic, olive oil, salt, and lemon juice.
That being said, there are many different kinds of hummus. So if basic hummus is not really your cup of tea, do not worry!
There are so many different varieties of hummus that you can choose to eat instead; some come in different flavors, while others still are made out of different ingredients.
In the next section of this article, we will go over some of the different kinds and flavors of hummus. It is my hope that having a good understanding of your hummus options will help you better determine what kind of hummus might work best for your own wants and needs.
Different Kinds and Flavors of Hummus
As mentioned previously, there are many different kinds of hummus aside from the basic version.
There is no fixed number for how many unique hummus recipes are in existence (largely because everyone has their own unique way of making it), but there is no denying the fact that some flavors are more popular than others.
Some great flavors that many people find delicious are turmeric-flavored hummus (which reminds many people of curry and other Indian foods), spinach and artichoke hummus, basil pesto hummus, chipotle hummus, caramelized onion hummus, and roasted garlic hummus.
And while most of these flavors can be purchased at grocery stores for reasonable prices, they are also quite easy to make at home as well.
In addition to being available in different flavors, hummus is also notable for having alternative versions that are made from different ingredients when compared traditional hummus.
An article on the Dr. Axe website lists some of the best alternative hummus recipes, including (but not limited to):
Avocado hummus (which combines traditional hummus with avocado, giving it a taste similar to guacamole)
Black bean hummus (which substitutes blacks bean in place of chickpeas)
Red lentil hummus (which substitutes lentils for chickpeas)
Pumpkin hummus, roasted cauliflower hummus (this hummus involves switching out chickpeas for cauliflower instead)
Roasted eggplant hummus (which features eggplant instead of chickpeas)
Zucchini hummus (with the squash as the primary ingredient)
Beet hummus (which has beets in place of chickpeas
Is Hummus Vegan? Does Hummus Have Dairy?
As stated earlier, the answer to the question of “is hummus vegan” is yes in most cases, with hummus containing dairy being a notable exception.
That being said, while some companies will add dairy into their hummus to make it smoother and creamier, traditional hummus contains no dairy.
To read about all the reasons you should be avoiding dairy click here.
Traditional hummus is made out of ground chickpeas, tahini (which, when pure, is made solely out of ground sesame seeds), garlic, olive oil, and lemon juice (with some salt for seasoning).
Therefore, if you are concerned about hummus containing dairy, you do not need to be. Most types of hummus are dairy-free and vegan-friendly.
You should still take precautions and take the time to read the labels on any and all products you purchase from a grocery store to ensure that they do not contain any ingredients that you need to avoid.
There are some other things to consider when buying hummus in a store, which we will discuss up next.
What To Consider When Buying Hummus: Is It Healthy?
While hummus is indisputably a very healthy food in general (especially when compared to other spreads and dips, which are often high in fats and grease), there are still some things to consider when buying it in a store (or even when making it, depending upon what ingredients you choose to use).
One important thing to understand is that while hummus is widely accepted to be a healthier option, it is by no means fat-free or low in calories.
Generally speaking, however, the two ingredients that add the most fat and calories to your hummus are the tahini (a calorie-dense food item which is made from sesame seeds) and the olive oil used.
Even so, these ingredients do not necessarily make hummus an unhealthy food. On the contrary, its many benefits (which we will discuss shortly as well) more than make up for the higher calorie content.
According to this STACK article by Brandon Hall, however, if you truly want to eat hummus and be healthy at the same time, portion control is a must.
Many people eat beyond the suggested serving for hummus (a single serving of hummus is generally considered to be about two tablespoons), and as such end up consuming excess calories and fat.
This also explains that the more ingredients you add to a hummus recipe, the more unhealthy it will be.
Basic hummus has very few ingredients and as such is considered the healthiest; other hummus types (such as basil pesto hummus which adds in pesto, a food known to be high in oil and fats), are not going to be as healthy in comparison because of all the additional ingredients that are added in.
Keep in mind that it is very important to read the labels when buying hummus in a store, so you can be absolutely positive that it contains healthy vegan-friendly ingredients.
The Nutritional Value of Hummus
Aside from tasting great, hummus also can offer a lot in the way of nutrition, particularly when it comes to protein. This is thanks to the main ingredient of hummus, chickpeas.
Chickpeas (also known as garbanzo beans) are naturally high in both protein and fiber. Furthermore, according to a Health New Today article, they also contain important vitamins such as iron, phosphate, calcium, magnesium, manganese, zinc, potassium, vitamin C, vitamin B-6, and even vitamin K.
In regards to protein specifically, a single serving of a commercial hummus (that is to say, one that is store bought, such as Sabra or Cedar’s) contains approximately 1.2 grams of protein.
While it may not seem like those few grams of protein from hummus make a significant dent in the amount of protein a person needs, it can actually make quite a difference, especially when it comes to people leading a vegan lifestyle.
Vegans cannot eat meat and animal products, which are the most common sources of protein. Instead, vegans must obtain protein from other dietary sources, such as vegetables and vegan-friendly foods like hummus hummus.
Therefore, it is plain to see that hummus is actually a fantastic source of protein (especially for a vegan), and a great source for other important vitamins and nutrients as well.
The Cost of Hummus: Is it Affordable?
There is no denying the fact that sometimes leading a vegan life can get expensive. This means that after the question of “is hummus vegan?”, the question of “is hummus affordable?” is the next most important query.
Luckily for all of us, hummus is a very affordable food, both to buy at a store and to make yourself.
Most grocery stores these days carry a good selection of vegan-friendly hummus products, all at reasonable prices.
In most cases, an average-sized container of hummus can be purchased for just a few dollars, with organic options being only marginally more expensive.
Additionally, making your own hummus at home (which we will discuss more coming up) is even more affordable!
According to this guest article on BonAppetit.com, making your own hummus can both be cheaper (it is cheaper to buy the ingredients and combine them yourself, plus you will gain more product by the time you have finished) and healthier (since your homemade hummus will not contain any of the nasty preservatives that are often found in store-bought hummus).
As mentioned a moment ago, making hummus yourself at home can both be healthier and more cost effective than purchasing hummus from a grocery store. But while many people like the idea of making their own hummus, they do not understand how to actually go about doing it.
But as it turns out, making a good hummus is actually quite easy to do! All you need to get started is a food processor and the following hummus ingredients:
Salt and pepper for seasoning (optional).
As mentioned earlier, you can add different ingredients to change the flavor of your hummus or even substitute black beans or beets in place of chickpeas, but honestly all you need for a simple hummus is the few basic ingredients mentioned above.
Combine them together in the food processor and blend them together for about five minutes until the resulting mixture is smooth. Enjoy!
This article is a great resource if you want detailed step-by-step instructions for a simple yet delicious hummus.
Or you can watch the video above, which will also show you how easily you can make hummus right from your kitchen.
Do not feel restricted by any one recipe; feel free to experiment with seasonings and ingredients to find the right hummus mixture for you!
Ways We Can Enjoy Hummus
Just as there are endless recipes for hummus, so too are there limitless options for how it can be eaten. While many people use it as a dip (for everything from chips to vegetables), there are many other ways to use hummus; it is an incredibly versatile food item.
There are also recipes for hummus mashed potatoes, hummus soups, hummus quesadillas, hummus-stuffed peppers, and more. There are even recipes for hummus muffins and cakes in case you are looking for some slightly sweeter options.
Ultimately, hummus truly is an incredibly versatile food item and it seems that there are no limitations to what it can be used for as long as you possess enough creativity and ingenuity in the kitchen.
What Is My Favorite Kind of Hummus?
I used to buy Trader Joe’s Organic Hummus Dip all the time because of its amazing taste and flavor. However, in order to cut back on oil consumption, I was on a mission to search for hummus that contains no oil.
Luckily, I found the one with no oil, which is Trader Joe’s Eggplant Hummus and quite honestly, both organic hummus dip and eggplant hummus taste incredibly amazing.
However, if you are not concerned about caloric intake or are already in good shape, you can pick the organic hummus dip.
Trader Joe’s Hummus – Eggplant Dip
Ingredients: Chickpeas, eggplant, sesame tahini, lemon juice, garlic, water, sea salt, pomegranate juice
Trader Joe’s Organic Hummus Dip
Ingredients: Organic garbanzo beans (organic garbanzo beans, water, salt), water, organic tahini (crushed organic sesame seeds), organic canola oil, organic garlic, organic extra virgin olive oil, organic lemon juice, organic cultured dextrose, salt, organic spices.
As you can see, hummus is a truly great food for anyone leading a vegan lifestyle. Not only is it incredibly delicious even in its simplest form, but there is also a great deal of variety.
Furthermore, it is a fantastic source of protein, and great for providing other important nutrients and vitamins as well.
And in addition to all of that, it is incredibly versatile and can be used in many different recipes, and is even affordable to both buy and make at home.
All in all, hummus seems to be one of the best vegan-friendly food products, and I am confident that you will not be disappointed in it.
What is your favorite kind of hummus? Do you prefer to make it or to buy it at the store? Let me know on the comment section below. And don’t forget to share this article in your favorite social media platform!