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Homemade Hummus: A Healthy Option for Game Day

We’re three weeks into baseball season….and just six weeks from the start of PCF’s Home Run Challenge! It’s the perfect time to incorporate some healthy habits into your Game Day gatherings. If your usual fare is chips and dip, why not try a fresh, nutritious option: homemade hummus.

This savory, hearty, yet smooth dip has its roots in the Middle East and Greece. Traditionally, it’s made with chickpeas, tahini (ground sesame paste), garlic, and lemon juice. Why make your own? Believe it or not, there was a time (at least in the U.S.) when that was the only option: store-bought hummus was not a thing. You couldn’t just head to the refrigerated section of your local market and choose from multiple brands and varieties. You needed a blender.

Here’s why it’s worth it to make your own.

  • It’s cheaper. As we all know, food prices have risen, and buying prepared foods can really spike your grocery bill. The ingredients are relatively inexpensive, especially if you buy dried chickpeas in bulk and cook them at home. And if you’ve got a group coming over to watch the game, you’ll need a big batch; an eight-ounce tub isn’t going to last long!
  • You can make it healthier. If you’re watching your sodium intake, there may be hidden sodium in prepared hummus that you’d rather avoid. You can opt for no added oil, or add a splash of olive oil, with its dose of disease-fighting polyphenols. Avoid unnecessary preservatives and other ingredients like sodium benzoate and guar gum.
  • You can customize it. Blend a little more or a little less to adjust the texture. Be a purist with no added spices, or shake in some cumin and crushed red pepper. If you’re a garlic lover, don’t be shy about adding extra. This Allium vegetable has anti-inflammatory properties of interest to researchers.

Nutritionally, hummus is hard to beat, and certainly surpasses ranch dressing or nacho cheese dip. Legumes and seeds are a good source of plant-based protein. Chickpeas are packed with fiber that not only helps you feel satisfied, but feeds your gut bacteria so that they, in turn, produce beneficial compounds.

With a good blender or food processor, hummus whips up in a flash. Serve with an assortment of colorful vegetables for dipping, and you’re all set until the seventh-inning stretch. (Speaking of healthy options, that might be a good time to actually stretch!).

Homemade Hummus:


  • 3 cups cooked chickpeas, peeled (from 1 to 1 ¼ cup dry chickpeas or from quality canned chickpeas. Go here for more instructions on cooking and peeling chickpeas)
  • 1 to 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 to 4 ice cubes
  • ⅓ cup tahini
  • ¼ tsp kosher salt, or to taste
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Hot water (if needed)
  • Extra virgin olive oil


  1. Add chickpeas and minced garlic to the bowl of a food processor. Puree until a smooth, powder-like mixture forms.
  2. While processor is running, add ice cubes, tahini, salt, and lemon juice. Blend for about 4 minutes. If the consistency is still too thick, run processor and slowly add a little hot water. Blend until you reach desired consistency.
  3. Spread in a serving bowl and add a generous drizzle of olive oil. Options for garnish: A few whole chickpeas, chopped herbs, chopped roasted red peppers or olives, or toasted pine nuts.

Adapted from The Mediterranean Dish.