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Hummus - the king of spreads

I have a love-hate relationship with hummus that changes based on the season. I fully understand it now, as I've come to understand Ayurveda and I'm aware why it is that my body is sometimes absolutely not able to deal with hummus and other times I feel like adding it to everything I eat and it does absolutely nothing to my belly. This is an individual thing, if you speak Ayurveda, there's more on that at the bottom of this post.

However, generally speaking, here are the two most common problems that I see people having with hummus. One has to do with chickpeas (garbanzo beans) and one with garlic.

A lot of people experience severe bloating after having chickpeas. Sometimes it's almost right away and sometimes it's a good few hours later, in your large intestine. And while it might be a sign of a serious imbalance in your body, if you consider yourself relatively healthy it might be simply because you didn't prepare the chickpeas correctly.

How to make chickpeas easier to digest?

First of all, if you cook chickpeas by yourself makes sure you soak them first for at least 12 hours! This is extremely important and it really does aid in their digestion. Some people soak them for as long as a few days, waiting for them to start sprouting which is argued to also increase their nutritional content. If you don't have that much time, there's another method as well. That's when you boil the chickpeas for 5 minutes and then take them off the heat, cover the pot and leave it for about an hour or so.

In both cases you will need to pour enough water for them to absorb in the soaking process, usually about 2"/5cm over the chickpea layer will do. Also in both cases, make sure you drain and rinse the chickpeas before you cook them. To the new water add a pinch of salt and, depending on your soaking method, cook the chickpeas for anywhere from 60 to 90 minuets.

If you're not using them to make anything sweet (like chickpea cookies for instance- yes, that's a real thing, I'll share my recipe for those soon) you may add some cumin or fennel seeds as you cook, that should also make them easier to digest.

Adding ground cumin to whatever dish you're making with chickpeas (or any other legumes for that matter) should also make them more gentle to your stomach.

Although canned chickpeas or chickpeas from a jar aren't usually the healthiest option- they often contain many preservatives, added sugar and lots of salt, I've actually seen that, for some people, those can be even easier to digest. Perhaps it's due to the fact that they have been soaking in the chickpea water for quite some time... Whether you choose to use canned beans for that reason or simply out of convenience, please make sure you get ones that have the least amount of ingredients other than the actual beans and water. They will all have salt, (so make sure you rinse them well), but they absolutely do NOT need to contain any added sugar and unfortunately they often do... so opt for the ones without it if you can.

With garlic, I've noticed that some people are aggravated by the use of raw garlic cloves, as they are very pungent and can even make your hummus quite spicy, especially after about a day. Cooked garlic is actually tolerated much better by most people, but in this recipe I've actually found that garlic powder works very well and seems to be much easier to handle while providing the same kind of flavor, maybe just a little bit less pungent.

Below you will find my favorite Hummus recipe that, over the years, I've perfected to my own liking and my body's preferences. However, since every body is different and so are our tastes and preferences, you're welcome to test it out and enjoy it as is, or tweak it to whatever feels better for you personally- you can to try some of the tips I suggested above. This one is the absolute best one for me, but it's just a basic one. There are also many variations you can make starting from this hummus recipe. You can do that by adding certain foods to change it up a little bit, for instance as these 4 different kinds of hummus spreads, all created from this one base.

I'll share them soon as well, but for now here's the basic one.

The Basic Hummus Recipe

yields: about 450g

prep time: 10 to 20 minutes, depending on your blender/food processor



  • 400g of cooked chickpeas (that's usually one can, rinsed; if you're cooking by yourself, make sure you soak them for about 12 hours beforehand!)

  • 3 tbsp of 100% Tahini (100% sesame butter)*

  • 1 tbsp of ground cumin

  • 1 tbsp of the Provence Herb Mix (store-bought or make your own like this)

  • 1 tsp garlic powder

  • 1.25-1.5 tbsp of Tamari (that's gluten-free soy sauce)**

  • 0.25 tsp of hot paprika

  • pinch of salt (not too much, because we have lots of it already from Tamari/soy sauce)

  • pinch of freshly ground black pepper (adjust to taste)

  • 0.25-0.5 cup of water


  • 1-3 tbsp of rapeseed or olive oil

  • lemon juice- to taste***

*I would say 3 tbsp of Tahini here is the absolute minimum, the more you add the creamier your hummus will be. Also, if you buy Tahini, just make sure it's 100% sesame seeds with no additives (sugars, oils, etc). You can also make your own Tahini by simply blending sesame seeds, for that you would need a very good blender, though.

**I use Tamari instead of regular soy sauce because I can't have gluten, but even if you can I recommend using Tamari as it usually tends to have a lower sodium content.

***I personally don't like the lemon taste in my hummus, but many people love it so if you're one of them, by all means add some lemon juice, I'd say somewhere between the juice of a quarter or a half of 1 lemon should work here.


1) Put all of the ingredients (except for the water) in your blender or food processor.

2) Add 0.25 cup of water to start

3) Blend until smooth

4) Keep adding the remaining 0.25 cup of water if your blender doesn't do well with blending such thick consistencies; depending on your blender you might also stop a few times to scrape the edges of your blending bowl.

5) If you find that your hummus is still too thick you can add a little more water, Tahini or oil. All of those will dilute it a little bit. Just be careful not too make it too runny by adding too much water. And in the case of the Tahini or oil, they will only make it smoother and creamier, but keep in mind that with every teaspoon you're also increasing the calorie content by quite a lot.

6) Once you're happy with the consistency of your hummus, you can enjoy it right away or transfer it to an air-tight container and store it in the fridge, it should keep for up to a week.

You can use hummus as a dip- for veggies or nachos, you can use it as a spread on your sandwiches or tortillas, as a salad dressing, mix it with your pan-fired veggies, even have it as pasta sauce- the possibilities are endless!

If you speak Ayurveda:

I've noticed that I usually can have unlimited amounts of hummus in the Winter/Spring/Summer time and when I'm in balance, but when I have excess Vata or when it's Vata time (fall/early winter time), though I still love the taste of it, I know I should not indulge in it as I later tend to pay for it with painful bloating. This is just me personally, because of my Pitta/Vata nature. You might be totally different.

In general however, hummus, can be adjusted to suit each dosha, depending on your constitution or current vikruti. You can make it better for Kapha by reducing the amount of Tahini you add and using a bit more water instead. You can use the powdered garlic for Pitta and Vata, like I do. You can make sure you soak the beans and cook them well, especially for Vata, and perhaps also add a bit more Tahini or oil, as well a bit more cumin.

As always, I encourage you to experiment and see what your body likes best. Make sure you pay attention to not only your digestion, but also to your stress levels, the environment and manner in which you eat, the time of the day and the season of the year, as they all influence the way your body tolerates the food you put into it.


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