Hummus is one of my top go-to snacks for so many reasons:
- It is inexpensive to make
- It is full of fiber and protein
- It is easy to bring as a snack or part of a healthy lunch
- It works as a veggie dip and as a sandwich spread
One of the great things about making it (other than the low cost) is that you can be really creative in what taste your hummus will have. I love the traditional chickpea hummus, but I thought in the spirit of mixing things up (pun intended!) that I would use kidney beans instead of chickpeas. The basil, walnut and nutritional yeast give this hummus a savoury taste.
With the holidays coming it never hurts to keep some quick, healthy snacks in the fridge. This can also be a great addition to a pot-luck dinner or to serve with veggies as an appetizer tray.
Whenever I go to a pot-luck my trick to making sure I eat healthy is to bring something healthy!
I know that sounds simple but when the buffet table is filled with high calorie cheesy dips, chips and cookies I am glad I can at least make a good effort to fill half my plate with something healthy (and yes, I will definitely be having at least a couple of cookies too!) this makes staying on-top of my eating game a bit easier and my stomach will thank me for it later.
If you’re looking for some more tips on staying healthy through the holidays you can scroll down to the bottom to check out some links for surviving holiday parties, indulging and avoiding the guilt, how to get through the busy weekends leading up to Christmas and even how to sneaking in some exercise and movement!
One thing many of the recipes on my site have in common is that beans or lentils. I can’t tell you enough how great I think they are. Studies have shown that eating beans, peas and lentils at least three times per week can significantly reduce your LDL cholesterol levels (that is the “bad” cholesterol). Having your LDL levels in a healthy range lowers your risk for heart attack and stroke.
Beans are a great source of protein and fiber that are low in fat. Not only can eating them help reduce our risk for heart attack and stroke, it can also help stabilize blood sugar and they are also a source of iron, potassium, magnesium, zinc and B-vitamins as well.
Despite all these great things, when you hear “beans” you might be reminded of that catchy jingle “Bean, Beans, the magical fruit …”
This can be true. Some of the ways you can help avoid the tummy troubles are by soaking beans for at least 12 hours (changing the water a couple of times) before you cook them, and when you cook the beans do it slowly over a lower heat. If using beans from a can, rinse them very well under fresh water.
Now that we’ve established this hummus is a source of protein and fiber, as well as potassium, magnesium, zinc and a few of the B-vitamins, I want to talk about one more thing: nutritional yeast. This isn’t the kind of stuff you make bread with. Nutritional yeast looks like small yellow-orange flakes or powder and has a savory taste, you might even notice they are used in a lot of vegan “cheese” dishes because they can also take on that flavour profile. Nutritional yeast is a really good source of B12.
We need vitamin B12 for our bodies to make DNA, make healthy blood cells and keep nerves working properly. This is important for everyone, but if you’re also suffering with Lyme Disease you may have also had damage to your nervous system. B12 is found mostly in animal or fortified foods, so it is extra important to note that if you follow a plant-based diet that you need to make sure you are still getting in enough B12.
The average adult needs about 2.4mcg of B12 per day. Just 2 tsp of flaked nutritional yeast or 1tsp of powdered nutritional yeast has 1mcg.
White Bean Basil Hummus
1 cup cooked white kidney beans (rinse well if using canned beans)
20 large basil leaves
1 tsp garlic
3 tsp nutritional yeast
4 tsp olive oil
2 tsp lemon juice
¼ c crushed walnut
Combine in a blender or food processor and enjoy!
Your Holiday Survival Guide