Hummus…a healthy snack, right? Acclaimed by health panels worldwide, this should be your “go-to, good for you” spread with its low in fat, high in fiber qualities. But, I must challenge the experts when it comes to cheerleading this snack for its protein-packed might. I would agree with most wellness advocates that hummus is both a low-fat and healthy snack, but can it really be considered high in protein?
Let’s consider the facts: a typical 2 Tablespoon serving size of hummus champions only a mere 1.5 grams of protein. This poses two problems. First, who actually consumes just 2 spoonfuls of this highly additive dip, which leads to excessive caloric intake (serious bummer!). And, second, if I want to reap the benefits of choosing a healthy snack, I want it to contain more of the energy-boosting, metabolism-sustaining good stuff (hint: the protein!).
Speaking of energy levels and metabolic rates (oh, and did I mention the unavoidable BIG 4-0 is approaching?!?), I recently added strength training to my workout regimen. While I love feeling like a certified badass after completing a set of burpees, I have to admit that I am much more fulfilled when I return to my kitchen and begin refueling. Simply put, the workout is absolutely exhausting, which means my snacking after sweating needs to be spot-on.
So the food geek in me began researching post-workout regimens (e.g. to stretch or not to stretch!). More than anything, I found numerous fitness websites promoting the best foods to consume both before and after exercising. I quickly learned that protein is NOT the end-all means to building muscle (ooops!), and that the actual exercise is (crap, more burpees!). However, I also discovered that eating an ideal mix of carbohydrates and proteins could help me build muscles more effectively.
While I haven’t gone off the deep end and started carb-loading post workout, I have begun embracing (dare I say it…) bread. Specifically, I’ve started adding things like whole wheat, toasted pita wedges to the assortment of fresh vegetables that I typically prepare for afternoon snacking. The protein-packed compliment to these carbs is my white bean and greek yogurt hummus. It not only tastes amazing, but amps up my heart-healthy amino acid intake with the addition of Greek yogurt and fiber-rich legumes. With the addition of freshly squeezed lemon juice, honey, finely chopped shallot, dijon mustard and a snippet of sriracha, this hummus recipe is not only GOOD FOR YOU, but something like you’ve never tasted before…
Enjoy, exercise and refuel! Xoxo, E.
- 1 15.8 oz can Great Northern Beans
- 1 15.5 oz can Garbanzos (Chick Peas)
- ¾ cup Greek Yogurt (2% or Whole)
- Zest of 1 Large Lemon, plus 2 T freshly squeezed Lemon Juice
- 2 T Olive Oil
- 1 T Honey
- 1 T Finely Chopped Shallot
- 1½ t Dijon Mustard
- 1 t Sriracha
- ½ t Salt
- ½ t Freshly Ground Black Pepper
- Place all ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth and creamy. Transfer to a medium-sized mixing bowl, cover and chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
- Enjoy with toasted pita bread and crudites.