Some of you may have heard recommendations from health enthusiasts or professionals to include more legumes in our diets. But why? Legumes are a great source of soluble fibre (the type of fibre that helps lower cholesterol- also found in barley and oats (their soluble fibre is called beta-glucan, but we can go into that in another post).
These infamous ‘legumes’ include lentils, chickpeas, beans and split peas. Some may feel that incorporating these foods in your diet might sound like a difficult task. Other than the odd baked beans on toast, when would you include legumes? When I discovered this simple recipe from taste.com for hummus I thought it might give both you and I a way of including some legumes in the form of chickpeas in your diet:
Making your own hummus is not only cheaper – it also tastes better and is a lot healthier than purchasing a pre made mix! It has must less oil, salt and preservatives than the hummus you might buy from the supermarket. It might sound daunting at first – but if you look at the ingredient list and the method – they’re both quite simple!
This recipe uses olive oil as well as tahini – which will give you the benefit of incorporating mono-unsaturated fats. These fats are a healthy alternative to saturated fats (such as butter and lard) and have many benefits such as reducing your LDL cholesterol levels (bad cholesterol) and your risk of heart disease. The tahini paste is also really great to use on salads, instead of mayonnaise.
If you prefer to make the hummus lower in fat, I would only add the tahini and use water instead of oil. You can also serve the hummus with wholegrain, sourdough bread rather than Turkish bread for some added fibre. When I tried out this recipe I blended it with parsley, giving the hummus a beautiful fresh, green colour. The parsley also provides iron and folate for an added benefit!
So, impress your friends – whip up some hummus and serve it with bread, crackers or veggies and you won’t have to think twice about where to get those legumes from!