For the Love of Hummus

When you think of Middle Eastern cuisine, one of the first dishes people will mention is Hummus. In fact, it has become so popular, that you will undoubtedly find this in most parties paired with crudités and pita bread triangles. It is served at every Middle Eastern restaurant in the world. As to where it truly comes from, no one can say for certain, though the earliest mention of the spread dates back to Egypt during the 13th Century.

The truth is, hummus has been made all over these areas for hundreds of years, a dish likely imported west from the chickpea-growing Arab countries to Greece. There isn't a big difference in the recipe, the only major difference between hummuses lies in how much cumin and tahini, or sesame paste, is used. Turkish hummus substitutes butter for olive oil. Sometimes small amounts of Greek yogurt and hot peppers can be added. But hummus is almost always the marriage of chickpeas, sesame paste, lemon juice and garlic.

I bet you didn't know that hummus was used as an aphrodisiac. It’s made with chickpeas, which is a powerhouse of protein and feel-good vitamins. Aphrodisiac expert and chef Fed Federer refers to these little legumes as the “Queen of Aphrodisiacs,” not surprising given they are packed with iron, magnesium, zinc, and potassium, all known to aid in sexual functions and boost physical energy. So on your next date night, you may want to feed your lover the dish beforehand and get ready to see a whole new side to this Middle Eastern staple.

Try it baked on fish, or made into a flavourful dip to perk up vegetables, chips or pretzels. The bright lemon finish helps cut fats and works well with seafood. It even goes well with meat. The super simple hummus recipe I share here also can be used as a quick, healthy snack or spread on your favourite bread to complete your sandwiches (instead of mayonnaise and mustard). However you choose to eat it, you can be sure it will not only tastes good, but is good for you.


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