“Homemade hummus is intimidating to make, I’ll opt for store bought!”
This was my attitude in the past. I hadn’t made hummus before but assumed it to be a complicated process! But homemade hummus couldn’t be simpler to make! If you have access to a food processor you can whip up a batch of hummus in less than 10 minutes.
Store-bought hummus tend to contain quite a lot of added oil. While oils and fats are not to be feared, my homemade hummus exclusively uses tahini. Tahini is a whole food fat source as it is simply sesame seeds ground into a seed butter. Whole food fat sources offer more fibre and vitamins and minerals! Plus, tahini packs so much flavour into this classic dip. You can find tahini in the natural food section at most grocery stores or make it homemade by roasted sesame seeds and whirling them in your food processor until they turn into a creamy paste!
Homemade hummus is a creative opportunity to experiment with flavour combinations. The recipe below is for classic hummus! Get creative with variations like roasted garlic or red pepper, olive tapenade, or beetroot.
My favorite ways to enjoy hummus include:
...oh the options!
I used to steer clear of beans, including chickpeas, because I felt gassy and bloated. Not ideal!
The main cause of gas is fermentation of undigested carbohydrates by normal gut bacteria. Beans and lentils contain high amounts of complex carbohydrates called oligosaccharides, sugars that the body can’t digest because it lacks the enzyme to break them down in the small intestine. Once these undigested sugars end up in the large intestine, resident bacteria ferment them causing gas that gets released as flatulence.
But there is a upside to this fermentation! Much of the indigestible carbohydrates in beans are prebiotic, meaning they fuel the growth of beneficial gut bacteria. These microbes are thought to aid the body in many ways including immunity. The good news? You can enjoy beans and chickpeas without the digestive upset and support a healthy gut microbiome, too!
With a few tips, you can comfortably embrace beans and lentils as a nourishing and fibre-packed addition to your diet.
Soak, drain, rinse.
Cooking beans and lentils from scratch is the best way to improve digestibility. Canned beans produce gas promoting compounds in the brine (ie. aquafava!) and these gas causing compounds build up over time. While rinsing canned beans will remove some of these compounds, I still find canned beans to be promoting compared to beans prepared from scratch.
To prepare beans from their dried state:
Voila! In addition to improved digestion, dried beans are budget-friendly, environmentally-friendly, and my favorite perk… easier to carry! Beans absorb a lot of water so canned beans and lentils are heavy to lug from the grocery store to your pantry. Light-weight dried beans are especially appreciated if you are someone who regularly walk to get groceries or for older populations who may not be able to easily carry heavy grocery bags to and from their car.
If you’re new to beans, start by eating a small serving. Your digestive tract needs time to populate your gut with bacteria that can digest the carbohydrates in the beans. As the community of bacteria in your gut shifts, it will adapt to regularly incoming oligosaccharides and you’ll produce less gas. I recommend starting with ¼ to ½ cup of cooked beans and increase as digestion allows!
Know your fibre intake. Most women feel their best with between 25-35g of fibre per day and men with 38-50g. While these recommendations are individualized, a fibre intake outside this range can cause digestive upset including gassiness, constipation, or diarrhea. If you already consume a high-fibre diet and then add beans on top of it, there is a chance your fibre intake might be a little too high! While this isn’t harmful, it can cause digestive discomfort.
Increase your fluids. If you’ve recently increased your fibre intake by adding beans or other high-fibre foods, you’ll need to simultaneously increase your fluid intake. Water lubricate the digestive tract to pass food waste easily and comfortably.
Chew thoroughly. Chewing food stimulates your salivary glands to release amylase, an enzyme which begins the process of breaking down carbohydrates. Chewing food also improves the digestion and absorption of nutrients as your stomach and intestines can do less work to access the nutrients.
Adjust your meal. Beans aren’t the only foods that can cause intestinal gas. Vegetables from the cruciferous family including broccoli, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts can also make you gassy. If you are new to beans, avoid creating a meal with too many potentially gas-producing ingredients!
YIELD: 10 servings
SERVING: ¼ cup (50g)
CALORIES: 75 l CARBS: 9g l FAT: 4g l PROTEIN: 4g l FIBRE: 3g
Cooking dried beans. If using dried beans, this is about 1 cup (150 g) dry beans. The beans will double in weight to about 2 cups (300g). Prepare the dried chickpeas by soaking them overnight. Drain and rinse the chickpeas before cooking in fresh water. You’ll need about double the water as chickpeas for cooking. Bring the chickpeas to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. The chickpeas will need to simmer for about 1 hour or until your desired tenderness. Let the chickpeas cool before preparing the hummus.
Variations: the options are endless. Add roasted garlic, roasted lemon, roasted beet root, or roasted bell peppers for more depth. Add spices as desired, such as paprika, basil, or cumin.
Speed-it-up: using canned chickpeas speeds up the process. Just make sure to give 'em a good rinse to remove those gas-promoting compounds!
Storage: store in an air-tight container in the fridge for up to one week.
Let me know how it went! Comment below and share a picture on Instagram with the hashtag #vitalitynutrition