Replace Mayo With This Healthy Spread

October 26, 2010   25 Comments

Seems like it is time to take on mayonnaise. I love the stuff, but when you start adding it to sandwiches, the calories sky rocket.

Hummus Recipe

A tablespoon of mayonnaise sets you back 90 calories!! While it tastes really good, it is because you are adding fat to your sandwich and nothing else.

Is there another spread that has nutritional value and tastes good? How about hummus?

Back in April, I promised a hummus recipe in this post: A Rare Find: A Packaged Food that is Healthy and Delicious!. Here we are in October, and I have finally gotten around to making my own hummus.

It is a mere 27 calories per tablespoon and it is made with beans. And you get fiber, Iron, and Vitamin C with those calories. Usually, I buy packages of hummus and use it for my sandwiches at lunch. My kids also like hummus sandwiches in their lunch box.

Why make your own hummus?

First of all, you are going to save money. Those packages of hummus are a rip-off when you realize how inexpensive the ingredients are (beans, tahini, oil). My homemade hummus was about half the price of packaged hummus and, guess what? it tasted better.

Rev up your blenders because you can freeze hummus for a later day saving yourself both TIME and MONEY.

The best part is you can make it the consistency and taste that you prefer. Do you enjoy garlic? Add more! Do you like it creamy like mayonnaise? Add more cooking liquid or water. Do you like it spicy? Add a jalapeno.

I made my hummus with this basic recipe below. Chickpeas are also called Garbanzo beans and are found with other canned beans. I found the tahini (which is ground sesame paste) in the "natural foods" section of my grocery store.

After I added the ingredients, I tasted the hummus. I kept adding stuff and tasting until I decided it was delicious. My family agreed with me! (except my daughter who didn't like the garlic - oh well).

Please share your hummus ideas and recipes.

Hummus Recipe

1.6 from 24 reviews

(makes 8 servings)

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2 cans chickpeas, drained, liquid reserved
1 or 2 garlic cloves
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup tahini
1/2 lemon
salt and pepper to taste


Put chickpeas and 1/2 cooking liquid (or water) in food processor or blender. Add garlic, olive oil, tahini, and squeeze the lemon over the machine. Blend until smooth and adjust flavors.

Nutrition Facts

117 calories, 12.5 g fat, 19.1 g carbohydrates, 6.5 g protein, 6.8 g fiber, 325 mg sodium, 5 Points+

Points values are calculated by Snack Girl and are provided for information only. See all Snack Girl Recipes

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First 20 Comments: ( See all 25 )

Delish! I love hummus and so does my daughter. I have a great pumpkin hummus recipe on my website! Great for the season and very low in calorie.

I make hummus quite often. Also, for variety, I will sometimes substitute black beans for the chick peas, and with it, lime juice for the lemon juice. And just a hint of cayanne pepper. Yum!

thanks snack girl this is yummy and thrifty

yum! i love hummus, and i often have sandwiches using it, cucumbers, tomatoes, and a little feta on whole wheat pita. the other dip/spread i like that is far lower in calories than mayo is tzatziki, which i often buy, although it's not hard to make (and you can omit sour cream and go for a low fat plain yogurt to lower calories/fat). thanks, snack girl!

Where do you find tahini for cheap?! The cheapest I've been able to find is $9, insane.

Yes, tahini can be expensive. I found a can at my supermarket for $5.00 and it will work for about 5 recipes of hummus.

Yum!! I make hummus without oil, making the calories even less, great idea using it instead of mayo! We like to add chopped onions and eat it with carrots - delish!!

Just a comment on the "freeze it for later" idea. I have frozen freshly made hummus and it does not defrost well-- gets watery, oil separates, and the texture becomes more grainy. Just my experience-- hoping someone else will tell me what to do differently to prevent this outcome.

I love Hummus! I have used it as sandwhich spread for years and my kids know nothing about Mayo because of my love for this stuff. Hummus sammies are a fav in our home as well! Freezing it can be a little tricky as bikerchick mentioned. But, I have found that if after defrosting completely I add a few more chickpeas (depending on the amount frozen) it comes right back together perfectly!

Hummus can be made with peanut butter instead of tahini. It can also be made with lemon or lime juice. In lieu of the oil, use the bean liquid to thin to your desired consistency.

Thank you for the hot tip and fabulous recipe. I am going to have to go out and get this stuff on my next grocery run; so I can make it myself.

I lurve hummus as a spread! I use it with spinach, apples and a sprinkle of balsamic all wrapped up in a nice flax pita. Yum! I have actually asked friends if they want to split a can of tahini - too expensive and we never can finish it. Thanks Snack Girl!

I make Hummus but I cut out the tahini and use Peanut butter- but now I am gonna try with the PB2 or peanut flour -- and see how that will work-- no fat calories! Alton Brown has these recipes- I don't use all that EVOO either--

can i not use the tahini? or is there anything else i could use? because, where i live there isn't and i love hummus (tried it on a recent trip to th US)

A tip: The garlic tastes different if you slice it and saute it in olive oil for a minute before adding it. It's mellower and less oniony. Your daughter may like it better that way, as I do.

How long can it keep? As long as the ones in grocery stores? Because I don't use much when I make my sandwiches, only about 2 tsp.

I've had great success replacing the tahini with sesame seeds. About 1/4 cup. You have to blend it a little longer to get it smooth though.

Is it 5 points per serving? I saw it makes 8 servings, looks delicious! I love hummus but it doesn't fit well with weight watchers! Can't wait to try this one.

What is 1/2 cooking liquid???

What is the cooking liquid (not water) you are referring to?

Is it the chickpea liquid that was reserved but not mentioned in the recipe?

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