Hummus is so healthy because it is high in iron, vitamins, & fiber... but most uniquely, it is a good source of a 'complete' protein. Our body uses over 20 amino acids to make protein and perform various functions in our body. Our bodies can actually make most of these amino acids on their own. However there are 9 that our body cannot make sufficiently for growth, so it is essential that we get them from the foods we eat. This is why they are called 'essential amino acids'.
Certain foods compliment each other to create a complete protein. For example:
- Chickpeas have sufficient amounts of all the essential amino acids EXCEPT tryptophan and methionine.
- HOWEVER, seeds and grains happen to be rich in tryptophan and methionine, and low in some of the other ess. amino acids that the chickpeas do have.
- THEREFORE, when we combine the chickpeas with tahini (sesame seed paste) and serve it with grains (from the pita bread) you have sufficiently rich levels of ALL the essential amino acids.
Recipe (makes about 2-3 cups):
1 can Chickpeas (aka garbanzo beans), drained
3 heaping Tablespoons of Tahini
Juice of one small Lemon (1/4 cup)
1/4-1/2 teaspoon Cumin (depending on your liking)
a few dashes of Paprika
1/8 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
1/4 cup Water (as needed)
1 small head Roasted Garlic (about 12 cloves)
1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil