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Calories in Hummus: Know the Number Before You Snack

Updated on June 20, 2014
Calories in hummus vary depending on ingredients and brand.
Calories in hummus vary depending on ingredients and brand. | Source

Calories in Hummus: How Many Will You Consume?

A popular dip made from beans and sesame seed paste, hummus is delicious and contains healthy ingredients. The number of calories in hummus can vary widely depending on the brand if you buy it ready made, or the ingredients you use to make it. An average 2 tablespoon serving of hummus contains 50 calories, which doesn't seem like much, but can add up if you are eating a significant amount of the dip. Thankfully, there are some easy ways to reduce the calories in your hummus if you make your own at home. The first thing to consider when you are looking to decrease the calories in hummus is what ingredients you use to make it.

Calories in Hummus: Ingredients

The basic ingredients in most hummus recipes include:

  • Chickpeas. Also known as garbanzo beans, chickpeas have approximately 130 calories per half a cup serving. Since chickpeas are the main ingredient in hummus, substituting another ingredient in their place really isn't an option, unless you don't care if what you are eating tastes like hummus.
  • Tahini. Tahini is a paste or sauce made from ground up sesame seeds. It is a Middle Eastern food, although it is widely available in most grocery stores today. 2 tablespoons of tahini contains approximately 260 calories. Many cooks recommend swapping peanut butter for tahini in hummus, because it is cheaper and most people keep peanut butter on hand, making it convenient to make hummus. Peanut butter also contians fewer calories than tahini, at approximately 180 calories per 2 tablespoon serving.
  • Olive Oil. Olive oil gives hummus flavor and helps to create the right texture. Some recipes omit olive oil entirely to decrease the calories in hummus.
  • Lemon Juice. Lemon juice adds to the flavor of hummus. It is very low in calories.
  • Salt. Salt adds flavor without adding any additional calories.
  • Garlic. Garlic is used in most hummus recipes and also contains a very small amount of calories. Some variations of hummus omit garlic in favor of other flavors.

Different flavors of hummus also contain other ingredients like dill, red pepper, and chives, but the ingredients above are the basic ingredients that make classic hummus. You can control the calories in hummus simply by making your own at home, so you can choose what ingredients you use.

Controlling the calories in hummus can be easy when you make your own.
Controlling the calories in hummus can be easy when you make your own. | Source

How To Make Your Own Hummus

Making your own hummus is easy. Once you find a recipe you would like to make, you typically just put all of the ingredients into a food processor and process until they have a smooth, spreadable consistency. Some recipes with added ingredients instruct cooks to process the ingredients together in a few different steps, but generally all you need to do is combine the ingredients using a food processor and you have hummus.

Calories in Hummus from the Store

If you are not going to make your hummus or don't have time, you can find it ready to eat at the store. Most brands of classic hummus contain about 60 to 70 calories per 2 tablespoon serving, but you can find options with lower calories in hummus. Wild Garden, for example, makes a classic hummus that contains only 35 calories per 2 tablespoon serving.

Popular Brands of Hummus and Their Calories

Brand
Calories (per 2 Tablespoon Serving)
Sabra Classic Hummus
70
Athenos Original Hummus
50
Marzetti Otria Classic Hummus Veggie Dip
60
Tribe Classic Hummus
60
Wild Garden Hummus
35
The information above is based on the data available on each brand's website.

Calories in Hummus: Don't Forget to Count Your Chips

Besides just the calories in hummus, those who are watching their calories must remember that any chips, crackers, or pita bread they eat with the hummus will also contain calories, and if you are dipping something unhealthy into your hummus dip, you may be eating a lot of empty calories with the dip. If you are watching your calories and planning to snack on hummus, try to avoid eating the hummus with foods like chips or breads. Instead, you can dip the following, healthy foods into the hummus.

  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Mini bell peppers
  • Sliced cucumbers or zucchini

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