Hummus, a velvety and exquisite Middle Eastern plunge made using mixed chickpeas, tahini, lemon squeeze, and flavors. This dish has acquired notoriety overall for its delectable flavor and flexibility.
In any case, if you’re on a ketogenic diet, you might think, is hummus keto friendly and low in carbs?
Tragically, hummus on the keto diet is not feasible. Though it is rich in protein and good fats, in a 1/2 cup serving, there are 12 grams of carbs in hummus. This amount of carbs is too high as the carb requirement of a standard keto plan is only 50 grams/day.
In this article, we’ll dig into hummus and its carb content and examine whether there are lower-carb choices.
Serving Size: 1/2 cup
Table of Contents
What is Hummus?
Hummus is a popular dip that comes from the Middle East. “Hummus” actually means “chickpea” in Arabic.
That name is quite fitting, considering that the main ingredient in hummus is cooked chickpeas (also known as garbanzo beans).
Traditional hummus has a few primary ingredients, including:
- Chickpeas: These are cooked until soft and then mashed. They give hummus its thick consistency and are a good source of protein and fiber.
- Tahini: This is a paste made from toasted sesame seeds. It adds a rich, nutty flavor to the hummus.
- Olive Oil: This is often used in the hummus and is commonly drizzled on top before serving.
- Lemon Juice: This adds a tangy flavor that balances out the richness of the tahini and olive oil.
- Garlic: This is often added for additional flavor. The amount can be adjusted based on personal preference.
- Salt: This is added to taste.
Hummus is often enjoyed as a dip with pita bread or vegetables. Sometimes it’s used as a spread on bread or sandwiches.
It’s a popular food with many health benefits, is easy to prepare, and is versatile.
What Does Hummus Taste Like?
Hummus has a unique flavor that’s creamy, nutty, and slightly tangy. Here’s a breakdown of its taste profile:
- Creamy and Smooth: The hummus base is made from pureed chickpeas, giving it a creamy and smooth texture.
- Nutty: Tahini, a paste made from sesame seeds, adds a rich, nutty flavor to hummus.
- Tangy: Lemon juice is often added to hummus, which gives it a tangy or slightly sour taste. This acidity helps balance out the richness of the tahini and olive oil.
- Garlicky: Many hummus recipes include garlic, which adds a savory depth to the flavor.
- Slightly Bitter: Hummus can be slightly bitter, depending on the preparation. This is usually from the tahini or the skins of the chickpeas.
- Earthy: The chickpeas give hummus an earthy flavor that serves as the backdrop for the other ingredients.
The exact taste can vary depending on the specific recipe or brand of hummus and any additional flavorings or ingredients.
For example, some hummus varieties might include roasted red peppers, olives, or different spices, which will alter the flavor.
How Many Carbs Are in Hummus?
Let’s take a look at the hummus nutrition information.
Hummus has 12 grams of net carbs in 1/2 cup, according to the USDA. It’s also packed with 9.5g of protein, 22g of fat, and 291 calories.
It has 18.5g of total carbs, but subtracting the 6.8g of dietary fiber leaves you with about 12 grams of net carbs per serving.
The net carb count of hummus is just a little bit too high for the ketogenic diet.
What are the Health Benefits of Eating Hummus?
Hummus is a nutritious food that offers several health benefits:
- Rich in Nutrients: Hummus is packed with nutrients. It’s a good source of plant-based protein, which is beneficial for muscle growth and maintenance. It also contains dietary fiber, which can aid digestion and help control blood sugar levels.
- Healthy Fats: The tahini and olive oil in hummus provide monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. These fats are heart-healthy and can help reduce harmful cholesterol levels and provide anti-inflammatory benefits.
- High in Vitamins and Minerals: Hummus contains several vitamins and minerals, including B vitamins, iron, magnesium, zinc, and phosphorus. These nutrients are important in various bodily functions, including energy production, immune function, bone health, and more.
- Low Glycemic Index: Thanks to its high fiber and protein content, hummus has a low glycemic index. This means it releases sugar into your blood slowly, which helps prevent blood sugar spikes and keeps you feeling full longer.
- Supports Digestive Health: The fiber in hummus can help promote regular bowel movements and feed the beneficial bacteria in your gut, which supports overall digestive health. You don’t want keto poop symptoms.
- Weight Management: The combination of protein, fiber, and healthy fats in hummus can help control hunger and satisfy you, which may support weight management efforts.
- Plant protein: the chickpeas in hummus are an excellent source of plant-based protein.
Remember, while hummus has many health benefits, it’s still high in calories and should be consumed in moderation as part of a balanced diet.
Is Hummus Keto?
Hummus is not keto-friendly. This is because it contains 12g of net carbohydrates for 1/2 cup.
How many net carbs can you eat per day on keto? Most keto dieters try to stay below 20 grams of net carbs daily. Some low-carb diets may allow more than that, but 20g is a safe number for keto.
This means that hummus would use over half of your daily carb allowance.
Most beans are higher in net carbs than keto dieters would like. That includes the chickpeas found in hummus.
It would be best to avoid traditional hummus while on the keto diet. However, there are some low-carb hummus alternatives to explore.
How to Make Hummus on the Keto Diet
It is possible to make eat hummus in the keto diet. Low-carb keto hummus can be a great option to experience hummus without the high grams of net carbs.
This homemade hummus recipe substitutes roasted cauliflower florets for the chickpeas normally found in hummus.
Cauliflower hummus can be as tasty as the original if prepared correctly. It has a creamy texture similar to classic hummus but is made in a keto-friendly way.
It’s also a great way to add fiber to your diet from roasted veggies.
Keto Cauliflower Hummus Recipe
This keto hummus recipe gives you a dip similar to classic hummus but only contains about 5g of net carbs per 1/2 cup serving.
The roasted cauliflower gives it a creamy texture that will be familiar if you enjoy hummus.
- 1 medium head of cauliflower
- 1/4 cup tahini
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic
- Lemon Juice of 1 lemon
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Optional: additional spices like cumin or smoked paprika
- Cut the cauliflower into florets and steam until tender.
- Once the cauliflower is cooked and cooled, add it to a food processor or high-speed blender with tahini, olive oil, garlic, and lemon juice.
- Blend until smooth, scraping down the sides as needed.
- Season with salt and pepper, and add any additional spices if desired.
- Blend again until all the ingredients are well combined.
- Serve with vegetable sticks or other keto-friendly snacks.
Remember, while this version of hummus is lower in carbs than traditional hummus, it still contains some carbs from the cauliflower and tahini, so it should be consumed in moderation on a keto diet.
What to Eat with Keto Hummus
Hummus is usually enjoyed as a delicious dip, so we need some keto-friendly foods to dip into our cauliflower hummus.
You must consider your daily carb allowance when pairing hummus with a dippable food.
Here are a few suggestions for keto-friendly dippers:
Many vegetables are low in carbs and can be used as a crunchy, refreshing dipper for hummus. Try cucumber slices, bell pepper strips, celery sticks, broccoli, or cauliflower florets. See our list of the best vegetables for the keto diet to get more ideas.
These are made by baking or frying cheese until it becomes crispy. They can be a delicious, high-protein alternative to traditional crackers. You can even buy some pre-made keto cheese crips.
These are crunchy, satisfying, and virtually carb-free. We have a great article on keto-friendly pork rinds.
Keto-friendly Crackers or Flatbreads
Many delicious recipes are available online for low-carb crackers or flatbreads made with almond flour or coconut flour. Check out some of the best keto crackers.
Zucchini or Eggplant Chips
Thin slices of zucchini or eggplant can be baked until crispy and used as a low-carb chip substitute.
Keto Bread or Tortillas
If you miss the traditional pita bread with your hummus, keto-friendly bread and tortillas are made with low-carb ingredients. Here are some of the best keto-friendly tortillas.
Remember, while these foods are generally low in carbs, watching your portion sizes is essential, as the carbs can add up. Always check the nutritional information if you’re following a strict keto diet.
Keto Hummus Alternatives
If you’re not interested in making homemade hummus, there are other options to replace hummus with something with a lower carb count.
Here are a few options for some great, low carb alternative no-carb alternatives to hummus:
As mentioned earlier, cauliflower can be used as a substitute for chickpeas to make low-carb, keto-friendly hummus.
Avocados are high in healthy fats and low in carbs, making them a great base for keto-friendly hummus. Simply blend ripe avocado with tahini, lemon juice, garlic, and olive oil.
Zucchini is another low-carb vegetable that can be used as a base for hummus. It can be roasted and blended with the usual hummus ingredients for a light and flavorful dip.
Almonds can be soaked, peeled, and blended to create a rich, creamy hummus-like dip.
Eggplant Dip (Baba Ganoush)
While not technically hummus, baba ganoush has a similar texture and flavor profile and is made by roasting eggplant in olive oil and blending it with tahini, garlic, and lemon juice.
A creamy, cheesy artichoke dip can be a satisfying alternative to plain hummus while on a keto diet.
Greek Yogurt Dip
Full-fat Greek yogurt is high in protein and can be used as a base for various dips. You can flavor it with herbs, spices, or even some garlic. Just be mindful of the carb content, as even plain Greek yogurt contains some carbs.
Almond butter, peanut butter (make sure it’s the no-sugar-added kind), and other nut butter can be a good alternative to hummus. They’re high in healthy fats and typically low in carbs.
You can enjoy them as a dip for low-carb veggies or spread them on keto-friendly bread or crackers.
Remember, even though these alternatives are more keto-friendly than traditional hummus due to low net carbs, they still contain some grams of net carbs and should be consumed in moderation.
Always check the nutritional information and adjust the serving size to fit your dietary needs.
Final Word on Keto Hummus
Enjoying hummus is a common tradition around the world.
While traditional hummus may not be the best dip for the ketogenic diet, a few alternatives to store-bought hummus will fit into your daily carb allotment.
You can get the desired consistency without the added carbohydrates by substituting a low-carb hummus recipe or low-carb alternatives.
A low-carb diet doesn’t have to limit every food that you enjoy. With these alternatives, you will continue burning fat while in ketosis.