Hummus is a versatile, easy-to-prepare, nutritious and delicious spread or dip.

The Arabic word hummus actually means chickpeas. The spread we call hummus would be translated as chickpeas with tahini.

Chickpeas, also called garbanzos, are legumes that have been cultivated for more than 7,000 years and remain popular today. These cream-colored beans are buttery-tasting, full of protein and rich in fiber.

Tahini is ground sesame seed paste that adds creaminess and a distinctive nutty flavor. You can find it in glass jars in the refrigerated section or canned in the international section of most large grocery stores.

Hummus is commonly served as a dip with pita bread, but it also goes great with raw vegetables such as carrots, celery cucumber and bell pepper slices. Serve it as a sandwich on whole-wheat pita with sliced tomatoes and cucumbers layered on top. This pairs well with a nice hot lentil soup.

American Institute

for Cancer Research

Hummus

Ingredients:

•30 ounces canned no-salt-added chickpeas, drained

•2 tablespoons liquid reserved

•5 garlic cloves, minced

•1/3 cup tahini

•5 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

•1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

•Salt to taste

•Paprika or parsley sprigs for garnish, optional

Directions:

Place all ingredients except salt and optional garnish in food processor. Process until mixture is coarsely pureed. Add salt to taste. Serve at room temperature or chilled. Garnish with a dash of paprika or parsley sprigs.

Servings: 10

Nutrition information per serving: 144 calories, 7 g total fat (1 g saturated fat), 16 g carbohydrate, 6 g protein, 5 g dietary fiber, 13 mg sodium.