Skip to main content
  1. Leisure
  2. Food & Drink
  3. Food & Recipes

Is it time to create your own style of legume and bean dips or designer hummus?

See also

In light of this week's 7-ton hummus recall, maybe you want to make your own hummus (legume dip) today? There are plenty of variations on the bean and/or legume dip style such as avocado, strained yogurt, chipotle, jalapeno, cumin, curry, lemon, garlic and parsley and no added oils hummus with vegetable broth from pureed celery, onions, kale, parsley, and carrots made slightly tangy with lemon juice or apple cider vinegar. Traditional hummus is made from making a paste of chick peas/garbanzos with sesame seeds. The puree is made by either adding oil to dilute the crushed sesame seeds or for those on a low-fat diet, adding vegetable broth. Some people even mix a tablespoon or two of ground flaxseeds to thicken the dip.

When you make your own bean or legume dips such as hummus, you don't have to add oils or fats to it if you're on a reversal diet that limits the amount of fats you can eat daily. You have the choice of a different type of fat, such as avocado, or no added fats, or using strained yogurt instead of oils, or even pureeing the beans or legumes and adding herbs, vegetable broth, and spices instead of oils.

Lately commercial hummus manufacturers are added southwestern/Mexican/Central American spices to hummus such as jalapeno, chipotle, or making the traditional Eastern Mediterranean lemon, garlic, and parsley flavored dip more Indian by adding curry powder or various Indian spice flavorings such as cumin. Avocado hummus is healthier than some of the commercial brands of hummus in most supermarket coolers.

Maybe it's time to make your own hummus, since this week 7 tons of commercial, processed hummus has been recalled, as you can read about those containers of hummus recalls in the news, due to possible Listeria monocytogenes contamination. To make your own hummus, simply put those cooked or soaked chick peas in a blender with liquid or various types of broth of your choice, puree, and add a handful of sesame seeds. No need to add gobs of oil as many of the commercial hummus recipes do.

You'll see some ingredients labels saying they mix canola oil, soybean oil, or safflower oil with pureed chick peas and some sesame seed paste (tahini)

Other brands don't define tahini for those not familiar with the Arabic word. Tahini is pureed or emulsified paste of sesame seeds. Hummus doesn't have to be made only with chick peas/garbanzo beans. You can use any mashed/pureed cooked beans, lentils, or other legumes mixed with mashed avocado, sesame, avocado, and citrus juices, apple cider vinegar, greens, chopped onions, garlic, herbs, spices, or even Greek-style yogurt. Traditional classic hummus didn't use avocado. Middle Eastern versions focused on chickpeas and sesame seed paste with lemon juice, oil, seasonings, and raw, chopped greens such as parsley, mint, or even spinach with lemon juice and garlic.

Most of the brands not labeled as organic are not adding extra virgin cold pressed or expeller pressed olive oil and pureed sesame seeds. You see brands that have added the cheaper canola or soybean oil to hummus instead of the traditional olive oil or sesame seeds crushed so they make their own oil. Tahini that's commercially made may contain canola oil poured into sesame seeds and emulsified/pureed into a tahini sauce instead of just crushing the sesame seeds into a paste that creates its own sesame seed oil.

How many brands do you see adding pure sesame seed oil to the sesame seeds? Sesame seed oil is often used to eat, cook with, and also to rinse the gums in various Asian countries. What you don't want to see on any type of commercial hummus is hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated soybean, sesame, or any other type of hydrogenated oil.

So here's a recipe, which you can vary for making avocado hummus

If you like hummus with cilantro instead of chopped parsley or a combination of mint and parsley, check out the recipe at the site, "The Shiksa in the Kitchen." When making hummus with added avocado, instead of the traditional chopped parsley and lemon juice, you can vary it will chopped dill, or chopped cilantro.

If you want a Southwestern flavor, you'd add a jalapeño chili pepper, seeded and chopped along with 1/3 cup of chopped cilantro. The southwestern flavor also might include a teaspoon of hot sauce such as sriracha or Tapatio. But not everyone likes spices that might burn the tongue. If you want a milder, Middle Eastern flavor, you'd add 1/3 cup of chopped parsley and 1/4 cup of chopped mint leaves or 1/4 cup of chopped dill.

You have a choice of adding a tablespoon of fresh lemon juice or lime juice or a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar to give a tart or tang twist to the hummus. You can add one or two peeled cloves of garlic, depending upon how strong you want the garlic flavor and how much hummus you're making. Generally one clove of garlic to one cup of hummus is gentle enough on the palate.

Basically, you're using 1 3/4 to 2 cups of soaked, cook chickpeas/garbanzos or a 15-ounce can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed. If you like raw hummus, clean and soak the hummus overnight and then puree it in a blender so that it looks as if it has the consistency of a paste.

It's more nutritious to serve the hummus with crudités for dipping, such as carrot, broccoli, and celery sticks instead of pita chips or tortilla chips, unless the chips have been baked instead of deep friend in hot oil or fat. If you use oil, you can add 1/4 cup of sesame seed oil, extra virgin olive oil, or leave out the oils and fats and use the mashed/pureed avocado (peeled) as if it were the oil, since it has its own fats that are healthier than drinking oil.

Now you have the chance to add sea salt, if you use salt or apple cider vinegar and a sprinkle of dulse and garlic powder or minced onion and the spices of your choice, if you don't use salt. Some people add 1/3 cup of chopped celery to give the hummus a saltier taste, without having to add table salt. And others even add a tablespoon of organic sauerkraut to the blender or food processor to give the flavor a saltier taste.

You have the option of peeling the cooked or canned chick peas/garbanzos which makes the hummus creamier. Or skipping this step if it doesn't matter. You don't have to add fats and oils to make the hummus taste creamier or become a spread on a sandwich instead of mayonnaise, yogurt, oil, or butter.

After you pit and peel the avocado, simply put it in your blender or food processor along with all the other ingredients and the tahini. You don't need a lot of tahini, a 1/4 of a cup is fine. Or better yet, get a package of organic brown sesame seeds and puree them in your blender with a little vegetable juice so that you get the consistency of paste. Then just mix the pureed sesame seeds with the pureed chick peas and avocado. Everything is going to get blended in the food processor or blender into a puree that has the consistency of mayonnaise or paste.

If you're using a food processor, just pulse the ingredients for up to three minutes. You're basically combining tahini, which is pureed sesame seeds mixed with sesame seed oil or a 1/4 cup or less of water or vegetable juice if you're on a low-fat regimen.

All the ingredients get pureed and pulsed together until you come out with a thick, green spread that looks like mayonnaise. You can process longer until the mixture is creamy. You can add any herbs or spices you like and pulse until it's all mixed.

Serve the avocado hummus with food that can be dipped into it or use as a sandwich spread instead of mayonnaise. Since the hummus you make won't have a long shelf-life, like varieties in the supermarket that may be in coolers there sealed and stamped for use for up to 30 days, your hummus shouldn't stay in the refrigerator at home for more than three days. With store-bought hummus, the label usually says not to store in the refrigerator for more than a week, once opened. But be aware that avocado turns brown quickly and won't be green after a few hours.

So make only enough to eat at one meal

Store-bought hummus usually has a plastic seal over it when unopened. Without a lot of air between the wrap and the hummus, the store varieties don't discolor quickly. But it's best to know that the green avocado in a bowl, when mashed, will turn brown in a few hours in your refrigerator.

Some commercial varieties of hummus don't add oils, but add Greek-style yogurt instead. This cuts down on some of the fat, especially if the yogurt is non-fat. On the other hand, if you don't eat dairy products, you won't be adding the yogurt, since the soy yogurt tastes too sour to be added to the hummus, but Greek-style dairy yogurt tastes good when mixed with pureed chick peas.

For those not eating dairy such as vegans, avocado is healthier than adding more oil to the hummus. Some people enjoy adding chopped cilantro, and others prefer parsley, dill, or a mixture of mint and parsley. If you're on a gluten-free diet, vegetable sticks known as fresh vegetable crudités for dipping are better than toasted breads and chips that can have sharp, pointy edges when it comes to gums and tongue.

Not everyone likes hummus with bread, crackers, or chips

You can dip celery, carrot, or red bell pepper slices into hummus instead of smearing it on bread or crackers. Some people prefer heated whole wheat pita bread. Others want the bread cut in triangles and baked in the oven like chips. Some prefer crackers, rice cakes, and corn cakes spread with hummus. And still others don't want bread at all, preferring to dip carrot and celery sticks or broccoli stems and buds into the hummus. Then you have the sandwich set you use hummus instead of mayonnaise to spread on bread or crackers as a filling. Then there are the persons who enjoys dipping jicama sticks or sliced apple wedges into avocado hummus.

For variation, you also can make baba ganouje, which is pureed, peeled and cooked eggplant mixed with sesame seed paste (tahini) and seasonings similar to what goes into hummus made from chick peas. Instead of chick peas/garbanzos, you'd use the cooked, mashed and peeled pulp of the eggplant mixed with sesame paste (tahini), lemon juice and garlic. Just eat it within hours or it will change color as it oxidizes in your refrigerator shortly after you make it. But the lemon juice helps somewhat. You don't have to pour oil over hummus to enjoy it. Avocados have their own fats. See, "8 Healthy Facts About Avocados."

Also, you may wish to see, "Avocados & Belly Fat : Belly fat and avocados, healthy eating habits." Avocados are a nutrient-dense fruit and a source of good fats—both monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. Take a look at the site, "One-fifth of a medium avocado (1 oz) has 50 calories and nearly 20 vitamins and minerals." Or see, "Find information on avocados and reducing calorie intake," and "Read the Avocado Nutrition Facts Label."

For various avocado hummus recipes, check out recipe sites such as the following: Hummus Recipe - Recipes.BushBeans.com, Avocado Hummus Recipe - About.com, Hummus Recipe - BettyCrocker.com, Avocado Hummus with Crispy Pita Chips Recipe, Avocado Hummus Recipe - How to Make Avocado Hummus, Green Avocado Hummus Recipe - Food.com - 113381, Gaby Dalkin's Avocado Cilantro Hummus- Absolutely Avocados, Avocado Hummus - A Cozy Kitchen, Clean Eating Avocado Cilantro Hummus Recipe - Clean and Delicious, The Comfort of Cooking » Avocado Hummus, Avocado Hummus |The Lovely Cupboard, Avocado Hummus - Family Spice, Guacamummus or Hummamole (Avocado Hummus) Recipe, Hummus Recipe - Recipes.BushBeans.com, and Hummus Recipe - BettyCrocker.com.

Can eating a beans and/or legumes daily reduce the risk of heart disease?

Eating one serving a day of beans, peas, chickpeas or lentils can significantly reduce 'bad cholesterol' and therefore the risk of cardiovascular disease, says Dr. John Sievenpiper, a researcher in the Clinical Nutrition and Risk Factor Modification Center of St. Michael's Hospital in Toronto. A daily serving of beans, peas, chickpeas or lentils can significantly reduce bad cholesterol, says the new study,"Effect of dietary pulse intake on established therapeutic lipid targets for cardiovascular risk reduction: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials," published April 7, 2014 in the Canadian Medical Association Journal.

And beans, chickpeas, and lentils are low on the glycemic index, meaning they don't quickly turn to sugar in the bloodstream. Beans, chickpeas, and lentils are also called pulses. The intake of dietary pulses, such as beans and lentils, reduces low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol levels. In a meta-analysis of 26 randomized controlled trials, the authors found an overall effect but substantial variation in results between trials. They call for trials of longer duration and higher quality to verify the results of the new review.

A study unveiled on April 3, 2006 gives new meaning to the word beanpole: The findings show that people who eat beans weigh less than those who don't

Presented at the Experimental Biology conference, April 1-5, 2006, in San Francisco, the study found that adults who eat beans weigh 6.6 pounds less – yet eat 199 more daily calories – than adults who don't eat beans. Similar results were found for teenage bean eaters who consume 335 more daily calories but weigh 7.3 pounds less than non-bean-eating teens.

Data for the study came from the National Nutrition and Health Examination Survey (1999-2002). The results also show that:

  • Adult bean eaters consume less total and saturated fat than non-bean eaters and have a 22 per cent lower risk of obesity.
  • Adult and teen bean eaters have smaller waist sizes – three-quarter inch and one inch, respectively
  • The fiber intake of adult and teen bean eaters is more than one-third higher than non-bean eaters

"Beans are an excellent source of fiber and previous studies have shown that high-fiber diets may help reduce body weight, so this makes sense," says Victor Fulgoni, PhD and author of the study, according to the April 3, 2006 news release, Research shows adults and teens who eat beans weigh less. "As well, they are naturally low in fat and cholesterol-free. It's no wonder that beans have been called a 'superfood.'"

The federal government has recognized the many health benefits of beans:

  • MyPyramid, the USDA's recommended eating plan for Americans, lists beans in two food groups. Beans are listed in the Vegetable Group because they are a plant-based food that provides vitamins and minerals. Beans also are listed in the Meat and Beans Group because they are a good source of protein.
  • The Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2005 recommends that Americans triple their current intake of beans from one to three cups per week. (By the way, MyPyramid was replaced by MyPlate.)

In addition, other research has shown that diets including beans may reduce the risk of heart disease and certain cancers. The National Nutrition and Health Examination Survey (NHANES) is a continuous survey conducted by the National Center for Health Statistics with survey data released every two years. NHANES 1999-2000 and 2001-2002 contained data on the food and nutrient intake of 9,965 and 11,039 Americans respectively.

The study was featured in two Experimental Biology poster sessions ("Bean Consumption by Adults is Associated with a More Nutrient Dense Diet and a Reduced Risk of Obesity" and "Bean Consumption is Associated with Better Nutrient Intake and Lower Body Weights and Waist Circumferences in Children") and was sponsored by Bush Brothers and Company. For delicious bean recipes and serving ideas, visit the Bush Beans site. Or if you're looking for beans without added salt and not in a can, you might try the dry beans.

Soaking the beans

Soak beans overnight in your refrigerator and cook them yourself. Then store them overnight cooked in a glass jar so all you have to do in the morning is warm them up or serve cold in a salad. Or you could emulsify/puree the beans with herb and spice-flavored water in your blender and make a bean dip, or turn them into hummus by adding lemon or lime juice or some apple cider vinegar and a handful of sesame seeds, then puree them in a blender and use as a dip with crackers or bread or as a salad dressing.

When you look at studies on any particular food, many times, the studies are sponsored or funded in part by the corporations that manufacture processed versions of the food or farmers who grow the food, depending upon which food is involved in studies of how that food promotes health.

Clear labeling is a big issue that customers want when it comes to food or any other item

Experience helps restaurant managers stick with local foods, says a new study, "Restaurant's decision to purchase local foods: Influence of value chain activities," published in the May 2014 issue of the International Journal of Hospitality Management. Restaurant chefs and food purchasing managers who have bought local foods in the past are more likely to continue adding them to menus and store shelves, according to a team of researchers.

"Past experiences will have an impact on buying local foods," said Amit Sharma, according to the April 7, 2014 news release, "Experience helps restaurant managers stick with local foods." Sharma is an associate professor of hospitality management at Penn State. "Restaurant managers who buy local foods currently are significantly more likely to keep purchasing locally."

In a study of the cost and benefits of purchasing local foods in restaurants, managers and chefs indicated that certain actions of local food producers stand out as reasons why they continue to buy local foods. For instance, managers said that a local farmer's or producer's response time -- the time it took a business to respond and process an order -- was more important than delivery time -- how long it takes to actually receive the goods -- as a factor when they considered buying local food products.

"Interestingly, we did not find that delivery time mattered as much for those who purchased food, not to say that delivery time wasn't a concern at all," said Sharma. "However, what was more important to these managers was the response time of a local food producer."

Food purchasers also indicated that they would not stock local food just because it is local. Local foods must have a unique selling point, according to the researchers, who report their findings in the May 2014 issue of the International Journal of Hospitality Management.

For instance, a special variety apple used in an apple pie may be more important to the food manager than just a locally grown apple

"Simply saying 'local food' was not enough, chefs really want to provide their customers with a dish that is unique," said Sharma, according to the news release. "You can't just slap a label on it that says it's 'local', and expect it to sell, in other words." While many studies have explored the reasons that customers would want local food, this study was focused on management's buying decisions.

"We're not discounting customer demand, we recognize that consumers have to want it -- in fact our previous studies suggest consumers are willing to pay more for local foods," said Sharma. "But the manager has to make decisions before the food is served."

Clear labeling is another selling point for restaurant managers who are purchasing foods in grocery stores and markets

The labels should be accurate and easy to read, containing specifications including weight, date and product details, for example, according to Sharma, who worked with Joonho Moon, doctoral student in hospitality management, Penn State, and Catherine Strohbehn, state extension specialist and adjunct professor in apparel, events and hospitality management, Iowa State University.

Training staff to handle local foods properly and to communicate the advantages of local foods with customer was also an important factor that could explain the decision to purchase local foods.

Commitment of a business to offer local foods

"Training tells us a lot about the commitment of an operation to local foods," said Sharma. "Local foods may or may not be delivered or processed in the same way as non-local foods, so the staff should be trained and, particularly, chefs need to be trained in developing unique menus using local foods."

Managers did not seem to think food safety was an issue with handling local food. "That's not to say food safety isn't important to managers, it just isn't an obstacle to purchasing locally," said Sharma, according to the news release. "It's not a constraint."

The researchers sent surveys to independently owned restaurants in Midwestern states to investigate management's attitudes toward the decision to purchase locally grown foods. "In this project, we investigated the cost-benefit analysis of restaurants purchasing local foods, along the foodservice value chain, which ranged from the sourcing of local food all the way to serving local foods to customers," said Sharma in the news release. The Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture at Iowa State University supported this work.

When food crises spill over

You also may wish to check out the abstract of another article also published in the May 2014 issue of the International Journal of Hospitality Management. "The negative spillover effect of food crises on restaurant firms: Did Jack in the Box really recover from an E. coli scare?" In that study, the abstract notes that despite the enormous impact of food crises on restaurants, limited understanding of their long-term impacts and associated factors has undermined crisis managers’ ability to handle crisis situations effectively.

In the article, researchers investigated the long-term impact of food crises on the financial performance of restaurant firms and identified the factors that influenced this impact. This explanatory study examined the case of Jack in the Box, whose 1993 Escherichia coli scare was the first and largest restaurant-associated food crisis in modern times. An event study method was used to uncover stock price movements of Jack in the Box, in conjunction with 73 unrelated food crises that occurred from 1994 to 2010.

Stock prices of Jack in the Box exhibited significantly negative responses to other firms’ food crises, moreover, the negative spillover effect was stronger if the crisis occurred closer in time, was similar in nature, and was accompanied with no recall execution. These findings shed light on the long-term financial impact of food crises and offer insights for crisis managers to develop more effective crisis management strategies, according to the study's abstract.

Food quality

Climate change is hitting home -- in the food pantry, this time here in Sacramento. Meanwhile, in Kansas, researchers there are attempting to reverse what they consider to be a critical mistake our ancestors made some 10,000 years ago - the planting of annual crops instead of perennials. They want to replace standard wheat with wheatgrass. See, "New Wheat Crop in the Works - WTVY." But here in Sacramento and Davis, a new field study, "Nitrate assimilation is inhibited by elevated CO2 in field-grown wheat," of wheat demonstrates how the nutritional quality of food crops can be diminished when elevated levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide interfere with a plant's ability to process nitrate into proteins. Findings from this wheat field-test study, led by a University of California - Davis plant scientist is published online since April 6, 2014, in the journal Nature Climate Change.

Food quality researchers from the University of California, Davis, say this new field study shows why food quality will suffer with rising CO2 levels. For the first time, a field test has demonstrated that elevated levels of carbon dioxide inhibit plants' assimilation of nitrate into proteins, indicating that the nutritional quality of food crops is at risk as climate change intensifies.

"Food quality is declining under the rising levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide that we are experiencing," said lead author Arnold Bloom, a professor in the Department of Plant Sciences, according to the April 6, 2014 news release, Field study shows why food quality will suffer with rising CO2. "Several explanations for this decline have been put forward, but this is the first study to demonstrate that elevated carbon dioxide inhibits the conversion of nitrate into protein in a field-grown crop," he said in the news release.

The assimilation, or processing, of nitrogen plays a key role in the plant's growth and productivity

In food crops, it is especially important because plants use nitrogen to produce the proteins that are vital for human nutrition. Wheat, in particular, provides nearly one-fourth of all protein in the global human diet.

Many previous laboratory studies had demonstrated that elevated levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide inhibited nitrate assimilation in the leaves of grain and non-legume plants. However there had been no verification of this relationship in field-grown plants.

Wheat field study

To observe the response of wheat to different levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide, the researchers examined samples of wheat that had been grown in 1996 and 1997 in the Maricopa Agricultural Center near Phoenix, Ariz.

At that time, carbon dioxide-enriched air was released in the fields, creating an elevated level of atmospheric carbon at the test plots, similar to what is now expected to be present in the next few decades. Control plantings of wheat were also grown in the ambient, untreated level of carbon dioxide.

Leaf material harvested from the various wheat tests plots was immediately placed on ice, and then was oven dried and stored in vacuum-sealed containers to minimize changes over time in various nitrogen compounds

A fast-forward through more than a decade found Bloom and the current research team able to conduct chemical analyses that were not available at the time the experimental wheat plants were harvested.

In the recent study, the researchers documented that three different measures of nitrate assimilation affirmed that the elevated level of atmospheric carbon dioxide had inhibited nitrate assimilation into protein in the field-grown wheat.

"These field results are consistent with findings from previous laboratory studies, which showed that there are several physiological mechanisms responsible for carbon dioxide's inhibition of nitrate assimilation in leaves," Bloom said, according to the news release.

3 percent protein decline expected

Bloom noted that other studies also have shown that protein concentrations in the grain of wheat, rice and barley — as well as in potato tubers — decline, on average, by approximately 8 percent under elevated levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide. "When this decline is factored into the respective portion of dietary protein that humans derive from these various crops, it becomes clear that the overall amount of protein available for human consumption may drop by about 3 percent as atmospheric carbon dioxide reaches the levels anticipated to occur during the next few decades," Bloom said, according to the news release.

While heavy nitrogen fertilization could partially compensate for this decline in food quality, it would also have negative consequences including higher costs, more nitrate leaching into groundwater and increased emissions of the greenhouse gas nitrous oxide, he explained. What do you think is happening to the quality of wheat? Now, that's a topic to explore regarding various possible causes of the decline in food quality as revealed in recent research studies. Comparing the data is a valuable research topic in itself.

In addition to Bloom, the research team on this study included Martin Burger, currently in UC Davis' Department of Land, Air and Water Resources; and Bruce A. Kimball and Paul J. Pinter, both of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's U.S. Arid-Land Agricultural Research Center in Maricopa, Arizona. Funding for the study was provided by the National Science Foundation and the National Research Initiative competitive grants program of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Institute of Food and Agriculture.

Black bean smoothies, brownies, or frozen desserts

If your older children won't eat their plate or bowl of cooked black beans, try a black bean smoothie or frozen dessert. Mix a cup of cooked unseasoned black beans with the liquid it's cooked in along with a cup of coconut water (not from concentrate) and a cup of unsweetened almond milk. Add a 1/4 cup of organic grated coconut and two tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa powder and puree in a blender. If you add enough flaxseed meal, oat bran, or garbanzo bean flour to thicken a smoothie made from pureed black beans, you can bake the batter as a brownie. Just add enough raisins or goji berries to sweeten or other cut up fruit such as figs, prunes, apples, blueberries, or dates and bake like a brownie or thick chewy cookie.

For a black bean smoothie, add a small package of of frozen strawberries or a cup of fresh strawberries (unsweetened) and 1/4 cup of grated coconut. If you want it sweeter, add two small apples cored with the seeds removed, since apple seeds are toxic. Puree the fruit with the black beans and coconut water until you have a thick chocolate-looking smoothie. Pour into a glass and serve the smoothie chilled. Or freeze into a sorbet-like frozen dessert in small serving bowls and serve like sorbet. It tastes somewhat like a liquid brownie.

Is it time to make your own bean or legume dips such as hummus?

Maybe it's time to make your own hummus, since this week there are lots of hummus recalls, plenty of commercial, processed containers of hummus recalls in the news, recalled due to possible contamination. To make your own hummus, simply put those cooked or soaked chick peas in a blender with liquid or various types of broth of your choice, puree, and add a handful of sesame seeds. No need to add gobs of oil as many of the commercial hummus recipes do.

You could even blend a peeled avocado (pit removed) with chick peas and sesame seeds and some vegetable broth and season to taste with pitted olives, lemon juice, sauerkraut juice, or apple cider vinegar. There are many variations on a theme, since hummus is legume dip. You can make hummus or bean dip from any type of cooked beans or legumes such as cooked or steamed lentils or mung beans.

Meanwhile, if you buy commercial hummus to save time with food preparation, the latest news is the hummus recall. So many commercial hummus products are made with canola oil instead of sesame seeds which naturally contain sesame seed oil. Some firms use a small amount of olive oil. But if you make your own hummus, you can substitute avocado for the fats and oils.

Or if you're on a reduced fats diet, just puree the chick peas or lentils with vegetable broth and season with herbs and spices such as parsley and dill or basil and oregano. Or puree with celery and a small amount of onion and garlic. In the meantime, be aware that certain commercial containers of hummus are being recalled this week.

Which types of hummus are being recalled this week?

Prepared Foods manufacturer, Lansal, Inc.( d.b.a Hot Mama’s Foods), announced today that as a precaution it is voluntarily recalling approximately 14,860 pounds of hummus and dip products due to concerns about possible Listeria monocytogenes, an organism, which can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems. Although healthy individuals may suffer only short-term symptoms such as high fever, severe headache, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea, listeria infection can cause miscarriages and stillbirths among pregnant women.

Lansal, Inc. is voluntarily recalling all products manufactured at the same facility and distributed to both wholesalers and retailers during the same time. These include the following products that are packaged in plastic containers, according to the May 19, 2014 FDA news release, "Lansal, Inc. Voluntarily Recalls Hummus & Dip Products Due to Possible Health Risk."

The potential for contamination was found during a routine test of Target Archer Farms Traditional Hummus (10 ounce) by the Texas Department of Health. No illness has been reported. Lansal, Inc. has contacted all impacted retail customers and distributors instructing them to remove all affected product from sale and is working with the appropriate agencies including state Departments of Health, the Food and Drug Administration and local authorities.

Consumers who have purchased the above hummus products are urged not to eat it and to dispose of it or return it to the place of purchase for a full refund.

What's being recalled currently is Target Archer Farms Traditional Hummus 10oz. with a use by date of June 11, 2014. The UPC is 85239233405. There's also Target Archer Farms Traditional Hummus 2lb. (Non-retail item; Ingredient item used in SuperTarget store production of 2 items, Archer Farms Mediterranean Veggie Hummus Wrap and Archer Farms Hummus Veggie Snacker) UPC code, 8968630 01823. Other recalled food items are Target Archer Farms Roasted Garlic with Roasted Garlic Tapenade 17 oz. Use by date: JUN/9/14 & JUN/12/14, UPC 85239233498.

Recalled also is Target Archer Farms Traditional Hummus 10oz. JUN/11/2014, 85239233405. Use by date is JUN/11/2014. Recalled is Target Archer Farms Traditional Hummus 2lb. (Non-retail item; Ingredient item used in SuperTarget store production of 2 items, Archer Farms Mediterranean Veggie Hummus Wrap and Archer Farms Hummus Veggie Snacker). Use by date is JUN/11/2014. UPC is 8968630 01823. Other recalls include the following as well as those just mentioned and are:

Target Archer Farms Roasted Garlic with Roasted Garlic Tapenade 17 oz. Use by date: JUN/9/14 & JUN/12/14. UPC 85239233498. There's also Target Archer Farms Roasted Red Pepper with Roasted Red Pepper Topping 17 oz, use by date: JUN/12/2014. UPC 85239233481. Other hummus recalls are Giant Eagle Chipotle Hummus 8oz. Use by dates: MAY/7/2014 & MAY/14/14, 30034065881.

Regarding the other hummus recalls that have passed the use by dates but had use by dates in May or April that might still be in your refrigerator and unused yet, don't use them. Throw them out or return them to the store as they're also on the recall list. Those recalled foods this week include the following:

Recalled items also include Giant Eagle Chipotle Hummus 8oz. UPC 3003406588, Giant Eagle Garlic Hummus 8oz., UPC 30034064747, Trader Joe’s Edamame Hummus 8oz. UPC 988582. The Trader Joe's Edammame Hummus had use by dates as APR/28/14 & APR/29/14 & MAY/9/24. So please don't eat these recalled items. Other Trader Joe's recalled items are Trader Joe’s 5 Layered Dip Small 11.5oz., with MAY/7/2014 & MAY/14/14 use by dates and Trader Joe’s Edamame Hummus 8oz. Return them to the store you bought them at or throw out the item.

Also recalled are Trader Joe’s 5 Layered Dip Large 24oz. with the recall date APR/15/2014. And recalled also is Tryst Yellow Lentil Hummus with Sunflower Seeds & Apricots 10oz. You can return this product to the store you bought it at or throw it out.

You may wish to check out the articles, "Hummus recall at Target, Trader Joe's," and "Trader Joe's, Target Hummus Recalled Over Listeria Fears." Hummus and dip products totaling about 14,860 pounds are being voluntarily recalled by Lansal Inc. amid concerns about possible bacterial contamination. At the same time, Sherman Produce is recalling some bulk and packaged walnuts sold to retailers in Missouri and Illinois. These two recalls are precautionary measures against possible Listeria monocytogenes, which may cause serious and even fatal infections in people with weakened immune systems, such as the elderly.

No illnesses have been reported in connection with either recall, the respective companies said. Both companies advise consumers who bought the recalled products to throw them out or return them for a full refund. The products should not be eaten

Also this week, the USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service said 1.8 million pounds of ground beef products were being recalled because they could be contaminated with a strain of E.coli. You may wish to check out the article, "E. coli outbreak linked to sprouts; hummus, dips, walnuts recalled." Or see, "Why sprouts make you sick." You also may want to check out the site, "See a list of recalled products."

Sherman Produce said it was recalling "241 cases of bulk walnuts packaged in 25 lb bulk cardboard boxes and Schnucks brand 10 oz trays with UPC 00338390032 with best by dates 03/15 and 04/15." Before you buy your next round of groceries, it's a good idea to check out the government sites to see what foods are being recalled each day, before you've bought them. You can look at the FDA's (government) Safety Recalls website to see what's on the latest lists day by day.

Advertisement

Related Videos:

  • A soup for all seasons
    <div class="video-info" data-id="79731442" data-param-name="playList" data-provider="5min" data-url="http://pshared.5min.com/Scripts/PlayerSeed.js?sid=1304&width=480&height=401&playList=79731442&autoStart=true"></div>
  • When local food hubs serve fresh organic produce: Alternative systems.
    <div class="video-info" data-id="517159235" data-param-name="playList" data-provider="5min" data-url="http://pshared.5min.com/Scripts/PlayerSeed.js?sid=1304&width=480&height=401&playList=517159235&autoStart=true"></div>
  • Rhonda Peters.
    <iframe width="420" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/3EJ0C2IA1pE?rel=0?rel=0&amp;VQ=HD720&amp;allowfullscreen=true&amp;autoplay=1"></iframe>