Well, at this point you probably thought you’d heard everything from me, but hummus instead of peanut butter? I’m not saying to pair it with jam or anything like that. I am saying that it is a significantly healthier source of plant based protein. Beans (the main ingredient in hummus) contain a huge amount of protein and fiber. Olive oil and tahini are other key ingredients that add some of those good fats we’ve talked about. Lemon juice and garlic? Are you kidding me? Vitamin c and heart, respiratory, and immune health support? Yes, Please.
What about peanut butter? Well, I know it’s become an american staple, but truth be told it can be pretty yucky for you. It does contain a whopping amount of protein, that’s for sure. And would I recommend all natural peanut butter as a source of protein over pork loin or pot roast? Probably, yes. But here’s what you might not know about most peanut butter. Peanuts, themselves are prone to mold. The specific mold that most often grows on peanuts is highly carcinogenic. The peanuts used to make most peanut butters are the gross moldy ones they can’t sell whole. At this point you might be wondering how I know so much about peanut butter. Well, I get most of my information from two sources. My own experience and extensive reading. This particular tidbit came from the book, “The China Study” by T. Collin Campbell. Some stores allow you to grind your own peanut butter and I’m sure that this is much better for you, but even so the oil found in peanuts is not as beneficial as extra virgin olive oil found in hummus. Plus, if you’re concerned about the quality of ingredients in your hummus you can easily make it yourself at home.
There are plenty of ways to use hummus. It’ makes a fantastic dip for raw vegetables. It’s also a great replacement for mayonaise on a sandwich. Serve it with warm, whole grain pita bread. Even grab a spoonful as a quick snack. There are also many ways you can flavor your hummus once you have the basic template. Try roasted garlic, roasted red pepper, diced olives, or even adding cooked spinach as an alternative to more traditional spinach dips. Hummus is versatile, delicious and healthy.
So, for all of you peanut butter fans that cannot do without it, find a store that lets you grind your own. That way you know it’s made from quality peanuts. Or at the very least, buy organic, natural peanut butter that’s not loaded with additional oils, sugars and preservatives. Try alternative nut butters as well such as natural almond or cashew butter. Almond butter is especially nutritious and great as a fruit dip or with honey on whole grain toast.
So, next time you’re picking up groceries why not try going a week with a tub of hummus instead of a jar of peanut butter. Read the ingredients, of course to make sure it’s all natural. Enjoy its versatility. And if you’re at a loss for ideas of what it goes with… well, how about trying a whole grain wrap with hummus, avocado, spinach, tomato and some of that left over turkey! Or a veggie option, leave out the turkey and add red bell pepper roasted or raw. I promise you won’t be disappointed.