Spinach and Arugula Hummus Recipe
Whether you are dipping or spreading, hummus is a healthy choice. It is also one of the easiest dip recipes to make, taking just minutes to prepare. Try this healthy veggie hummus recipe that pairs peppery arugula with the more mild and slightly bitter spinach. Dill weed balances the bitterness while the chickpeas (also known as garbanzo beans), tahini, and other traditional hummus ingredients combine to make this green-hued hummus a winner!
Healthy greens provide the vibrant color for this hummus but they also provide a wealth of nutrients. Here are three featured in this recipe.
This power green has more than a dozen different flavonoid compounds that function as anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer agents. Spinach is an impressive source of Vitamins C, A, E and manganese. This green plays a role in bone health too. Vitamin K, that is plentiful in spinach, prevents excessive osteoclasts activation, the cells that break bone down in the body. Spinach also provides a nice dose of calcium and magnesium, all important for bone health.
Arugula with its sharp, peppery flavor is in the cruciferous vegetable family along with broccoli, cauliflower, kale, and Brussels sprouts. A diet rich in cruciferous vegetables has long been associated with a lower risk of cancer. Like spinach, arugula contributes to bone health with a healthy dose of vitamin K and calcium.
Recent studies have shown that this tasty herb has blood sugar lowering properties and can reduce LDL cholesterol levels. Cilantro also acts as a natural preservative by slowing down the oxidation process in foods. Once again, you will find bone benefits with cilantro's as it is an excellent source of vitamin K.
4 Good Reasons to Make Your Own Hummus
Commercial hummus products win out nutritionally over other commercial dips in pretty much every nutrition category. Hummus typically has more fiber, and healthy fats, compared to its dip competitors, but consumers might be surprised to learn about some of the not-so-desirable ingredients in processed hummus products, as well as nearly all commercial dips. The next time you are at your local grocer, turn over that carton of hummus, dip, or spread and look for some of these ingredients below. These ingredients were found on the labels of popular hummus brands, including Sabra, Tribe, Athenos, Cedar's, and even Trader Joe's.
Classified as a safe food preservative by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, some studies have shown a correlation between consumption of this ingredient and hyperactivity in some children. Interestingly, sodium benzoate is commonly used as a prescription drug to treat hyperammonemia, a condition caused by too much ammonia in the blood.
Unacceptable Ingredients List
As a part of its quality standards, Whole Foods Market maintains an Unacceptable Ingredients List of ingredients that cannot be in any of the products on its shelves. Two of these ingredients are profiled here:
- Potassium Sorbate
The good news is that this chemical inhibits the growth of mold in food products and is considered safe to use in foods by the FDA. It might, however trigger migraines, in some individuals who are sensitive to this food preservative. Wouldn't cilantro, as highlighted above, serve as a safer preservative?
- Cheap Oils
Most commercial branded hummus products use cheaper oils, such as soybean, canola, and safflower. These oils provide omega-6 fatty acids, as do many processed foods with vegetable oils. Excessive amounts of this type of fatty acid and a very high omega-6 to omega-3 ratio, as is common in Western diets, promotes disease, including cardiovascular disease, cancer, and autoimmune diseases. Increased levels of omega-3 and more even ratios between these fatty acids reduces the risk of disease. The typical Western diet puts the omega-6 to omega-3 ratio at 15/1 to 16.7/1.
A high-sodium diet is unhealthy and unfortunately, most processed and restaurant foods are very high in sodium. At home, you can control salt that is added to your food at the table and in recipes. In most cases, salt is not needed if you stick to fresh ingredients, herbs and spices. Processed foods are notorious for adding extra salt as a cheap flavoring. The table below compares the sodium content of a couple of popular hummus brands with the sodium content in this recipe.
Sodium Content per Serving
Spinach & Arugula Hummus
Sabra Classic Hummus
Athenos Original Hummus
Tribe Classic Hummus
Trader Joe's Mediterranean Hummus
Spinach & Arugula Hummus Recipe
A good food processor is the secret to making quick, delicious, and smooth hummus. After your processor chops the garlic cloves, you can simply pile up the remaining ingredients and process quickly until smooth. Remember to reserve some of the liquid from the can of chickpeas (garbanzo beans). You can use small amounts of this liquid to smooth out your hummus as needed.
Note: If you are not a cilantro fan, you can easily substitute fresh parsley.
- Prep time: 10 min
- Ready in: 10 min
- Yields: 12 servings
- 1 garlic clove
- 1 15-ounce can no-salt-added garbanzo beans (chickpeas), reserving liquid
- 1 cup fresh spinach leaves
- 1/2 cup fresh arugula leaves
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro
- 2 tablespoons tahini, sodium free
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon dried dill weed
- freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Chop garlic cloves in food processor, about 30 seconds.
- Add remaining ingredients and process until smooth. Add reserved chickpea liquid if desired for a thinner consistency, adding just one teaspoon at time.
- Serve or cover and refrigerate for several days. Use colorful veggies and/or whole wheat pita bread for dipping or as a spread.
|Serving size: 12 servings|
|Calories from Fat||36|
|% Daily Value *|
|Fat 4 g||6%|
|Carbohydrates 7 g||2%|
|Fiber 2 g||8%|
|Protein 2 g||4%|
|Sodium 42 mg||2%|
|* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.|
Vegetables for a "Green" Theme
- Green bell pepper
All of the above plus . .
- Colored bell peppers
- Cherry tomatoes
- Whole wheat pita slices
- Whole wheat crackers
The only kitchen tool you will need to make a great hummus recipe at home is a good food processor. No manual chopping and dicing needed. This 8-cup Cuisinart food processor is the perfect size, dishwasher safe, and costs less than $100.
More Healthy Appetizer Recipes
- Roasted Beet Hummus
Make this beautiful and healthy hummus appetizer for your next party or to enjoy at home. This quick and easy-to-follow recipe includes step by step pictures and serving suggestions.
- Healthy Hummus Recipes | Spicy Black Bean & Traditional Chickpea
Try these two very different hummus recipes - one spicy, one traditional! Both are easy to make and super healthy.
- Easy Pumpkin Dip
Impress your party guests with this fast and super easy appetizer. It also makes a delicious, low-calorie snack paired with fruit slices or ginger cookies.
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"Spinach." The World's Healthiest Foods. The George Mateljan Foundation, n.d. Web. 06 Mar. 2015. <http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=43>.
Ware, Megan, RDN, LD. "What Are the Health Benefits of Arugula?" Medical News Today. MediLexicon International, 23 Sept. 2014. Web. 6 Mar. 2015. <http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/282769.php#possible_health_benefits_of_consuming_arugula>.
"Cilantro & Coriander Seeds." The World's Healthiest Foods. The George Mateljan Foundation, n.d. Web. 06 Mar. 2015. <http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=70>.
Downs, Martin, MPH. "The Truth About 7 Common Food Additives." WebMD. WebMD, 17 Dec. 2008. Web. 06 Mar. 2015. <http://www.webmd.com/diet/the-truth-about-seven-common-food-additives>.
Nnama, Helen. "Adverse Health Effects of Potassium Sorbate." LIVESTRONG.COM. LIVESTRONG.COM, 10 Jan. 2011. Web. 06 Mar. 2015. <http://www.livestrong.com/article/353871-adverse-health-effects-of-potassium-sorbate/>.