Is Hummus the Best Substitute for Mayonnaise?

Most of us are familiar with seeing a hummus plate on menus. This Middle Eastern dip is made by pureeing chickpeas (also known as garbanzo beans) with garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, and tahini (a paste made from sesame seeds). It's usually served with a side of pita bread and vegetable crudité, but how many of us have ventured outside the dip arena to look at hummus as a sandwich spread or as a substitute for mayonnaise?

Hummus is an extremely versatile condiment that is both healthy and packed with flavor, but can it replace mayonnaise? Let's take a deeper look at the function of mayonnaise and the benefits of hummus.

The Many Uses of Mayonnaise

Mayonnaise has a serious function when it comes to salads and spreads. In salad dressings, the mayonnaise acts as an emulsifier - the glue that binds together oil and vinegar and keeps them from separating.

Think about an oil and vinegar dressing where the vinegar dropped to the bottom because it's heavier than the oil, which rises to the top. Eggs, a major ingredient in mayonnaise, traps these molecules and binds them together, creating a stable, emulsified solution.

In addition to salad dressings, mayo is used to thicken and add flavor to salads like chicken salad, or to provide body to dips like ranch dressing, It also provides structure, texture, and mouthfeel to dishes, beyond its reputation as unappetizing white stuff.

Mayonnaise is mostly fat, which coats your tongue and allowing other flavors to linger on your palate. Mayo also traps juices: a thin layer of mayonnaise on the bottom bun of a burger will prevent the bread from becoming soggy from the meat juices.

So Why Hummus as a Mayonnaise Alternative?

Hummus is packed with proteins, vitamins, and minerals. While it's high in fat, it's monounsaturated fat, proven to be good for weight loss and decreasing belly fat. It also has 2 grams of fiber per 2-tbsp serving, and the combination of protein and fiber will keep you filling full for longer than a dip that doesn't contain fiber.

One serving of hummus contains 6 percent of daily value of folate, which helps produce new cells and has recently been linked to preventing cancer. It also contains vitamin A, B-6, riboflavin, thiamine, magnesium and phosphorous, iron, potassium, calcium, and zinc. That's a lot of nutrients!

Finally, it's gluten-free, nut-free, dairy-free, and egg-free. So if you or someone in your family has food allergies, this is a great ingredient to work with. While other replacements like greek yogurt, cottage cheese, sour cream, ricotta, plain yogurt are acceptable replacements, they are still full of dairy.

Oh so Flavorful

In addition to the health benefits, it's impossible to get bored with hummus when it's as easily customizable as mayonnaise. You can infuse your own flavors into your hummus, such as roasted garlic, tomatoes, and peppers. Or, you can buy one of many store-bought flavor varieties.

Sabra makes 14 different flavors, along with three spreads that come in upside down bottles, easy to squeeze. Hope Hummus is also making some fun flavors, like spicy avocado, kale pesto, and Thai coconut curry.

It's so versatile, the options are limitless! Here are some of our favorite ways to use hummus instead of mayonnaise.

1. Spread it on Your Sandwiches

This sandwich will be so delicious, you won't even miss the mayonnaise!

Like mayonnaise, the hummus adds a nice barrier between the juicy deli meat and the bread so you aren't left with soggy slices from that tuna salad.

2. Substitute for Cream Cheese

No better way to start my Friday than with this #bagel#salmonbagel#healthyfood#hummusspread.

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Use hummus instead of cream cheese on your bagel, then pile on your favorite toppings, like lox and capers.

Hummus even turns bagels into an acceptable lunch, especially for days when you're craving something more substantial than your favorite salad.

3. Make a Salad Dressing

Thin it out with a little water or broth, and make a delicious salad dressing. It'll add an incredible, tangy flavor to your greens.

4. Make Chicken Salad

Use hummus as the binder for chicken salad, pasta salad, egg salad - any type of salad will work!

Potato salad with hummus is a great barbecue option when you're unsure of any guest allergies.

5. Deviled Eggs

Make your eggs extra-devilish by making them healthy! Hummus is thick enough so the texture given by the egg yolk is mimicked in the spread.

Add a dash of brown mustard or honey mustard, and you've got a delicious filling. Scoop up the leftovers with pita chips and you have the best of both worlds.

We would love to hear about your favorite ways to use hummus. Leave your recipes or inspirations in the comments!

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