Chocolate hummus has become a popular snack among health-conscious individuals. It’s a sweet and savory dip that combines chocolate with chickpeas, resulting in a unique flavor profile that satisfies cravings while providing some nutrition.
The big question is: Is Chocolate Hummus Healthy? Some people swear by its benefits, while others remain skeptical about its nutritional value. There seems to be a divide between those who believe it’s a healthy option and those who think it’s just another indulgent treat without much merit.
“Chocolate hummus may seem like an odd combination at first glance, but when you break down the ingredients, it becomes clear that this dip can offer several health benefits,” says one expert.
Both sides make valid arguments, which makes it difficult for consumers to determine whether or not they should include chocolate hummus in their diet. But fear not! We’ve consulted with experts in the field to provide you with all the information you need to make an informed decision about this tempting delight.
In this article, we’ll explore the different perspectives on chocolate hummus and delve into the nutrients it contains. We’ll also examine how it compares to other dips and snacks and offer some simple recipes for making your own batch of chocolate hummus. So, grab a spoon and let’s dig in!
The Nutritional Benefits of Chocolate Hummus
If you are a chocolate lover, but conscious about your health at the same time, then chocolate hummus is perfect for you! It’s an excellent alternative to traditional high-calorie chocolate desserts and spreads. You may wonder, “Is chocolate hummus healthy?” The answer is a resounding yes!
Rich in Antioxidants
Chocolate hummus is made with cocoa powder that contains antioxidants such as flavanols and catechins. These antioxidants help protect against inflammation and oxidative stress in our bodies. Antioxidants can also boost our immune system and lower the risk of chronic diseases, including cancer, heart disease, and Alzheimer’s.
A study conducted by the University of Illinois found that consuming dark chocolate had a positive impact on arterial function and blood pressure, primarily due to its antioxidant content.
“Several studies have shown that regular intake of cocoa or dark chocolate has anti-inflammatory effects, reduces oxidative stress, improves endothelial function, lowers blood pressure, increases insulin sensitivity, and improves lipid profiles.” -European Journal of Nutrition
Good Source of Protein
One serving of chocolate hummus usually has 2-4 grams of protein, which comes mainly from chickpeas and tahini (sesame paste). Proteins play several vital roles in our body, including building and repairing tissues, producing hormones, enzymes, and antibodies and maintaining muscle mass.
Incorporating chocolate hummus into your diet can be a great way to meet your daily protein requirements, especially if you are vegan or vegetarian and have limited sources of protein besides legumes and nuts.
Low in Sugar
Most people associate chocolate with sugar. However, chocolate hummus does not contain the added sugar found in most chocolate spreads and desserts. Instead, it may be sweetened naturally with honey, maple syrup or even dates.
In contrast, a two tablespoon serving of Nutella contains 11 grams of sugar, whereas chocolate hummus’ may contain as little as 3 grams of natural sugar per 2 tablespoon serving. This makes chocolate hummus an excellent option for those who want to satisfy their sweet tooth without compromising on their health goals.
“It just goes to show that this popular combination (chocolate and chickpeas) can not only work but is actually really good for you!” -The Guardian
If you are looking for a healthy way to indulge in your love for chocolate, then chocolate hummus is a must-try! It’s loaded with nutrition and tastes delicious. You can enjoy it as a dessert, dip, or spread, making it one versatile food item in your pantry.
How Chocolate Hummus Compares to Other Desserts
Lower in Calories than Most Desserts
If you are craving something sweet but do not want to consume many calories, chocolate hummus may be a great option. Compared to typical desserts, such as cakes, ice cream, and cookies, chocolate hummus tends to have fewer calories per serving.
For instance, a single cupcake made with boxed cake mix and topped with frosting can have nearly 400 calories on average. Meanwhile, one serving of chocolate hummus – typically two tablespoons – has around 70-100 calories, depending on the recipe used. Therefore, choosing chocolate hummus instead of traditional desserts could help you manage your calorie intake without compromising flavor or indulgence.
Higher in Nutrients than Most Desserts
Not only is chocolate hummus lower in calories compared to other desserts, but it also offers more nutrients such as protein and fiber. These nutrients are essential for promoting satiety, reducing cravings, and maintaining healthy blood sugar levels.
A study published in the Journal of Nutrition found that consuming legumes, which include chickpeas – the main ingredient in hummus – was associated with improved nutrient intake and reduced risk for chronic diseases like type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
In addition, dark chocolate, which is often used in chocolate hummus recipes, boasts antioxidants that protect cells from free radicals that contribute to aging and disease. Furthermore, research suggests that eating dark chocolate can reduce inflammation and improve cognitive function.
Versatile Ingredient for Healthy Desserts
One unique aspect of chocolate hummus is that it can be utilized in various healthy dessert recipes. Whether you crave pudding, brownies, parfait, or truffles, adding chocolate hummus can offer a healthier – yet still delicious – alternative.
You can even use chocolate hummus as a dip for fruits, pretzels, crackers, and more. The possibilities are endless with this versatile ingredient.
Less Processed than Most Desserts
A final benefit of chocolate hummus is that it tends to be less processed than other desserts on the market. Many pre-packaged cakes and cookies contain additives like hydrogenated oils, artificial sweeteners, and preservatives to prolong their shelf life.
Hummus, which is typically made from no more than six or seven ingredients (chickpeas, tahini, lemon juice, garlic, water, salt, and olive oil), is minimally-processed and easier for your body to metabolize. Therefore, consuming less processed foods like chocolate hummus could promote overall health and well-being.
“Healthy eating doesn’t mean deprivation; It means substituting healthy alternatives for things you already love.” -Unknown
Chocolate hummus may be a satisfying and nutritious dessert option compared to traditional sweets. Not only is it lower in calories, but it also offers more nutrients like protein and fiber. Chocolate hummus is versatile enough for various dessert recipes while remaining less processed than most commercial desserts on the market. So, if you’re looking for a guilt-free way to indulge your sweet tooth, then give chocolate hummus a try!
The Potential Health Concerns of Chocolate Hummus
Chocolate hummus has become increasingly popular as a healthier alternative to traditional chocolate spreads. However, there are some potential health concerns that should be taken into consideration before adding it to your diet.
May Contain High Amounts of Fat
While chickpeas – the main ingredient in hummus – are generally considered a healthy source of protein and fiber, many brands of chocolate hummus also contain high levels of added fats such as palm oil or coconut oil. As a result, consuming excessive amounts of chocolate hummus could contribute to weight gain and other associated health problems.
In fact, according to registered dietitian Kelly Jones, “One serving (two tablespoons) of Original Sabra Hummus contains 5 grams of fat while their chocolate flavor boasts 9 grams per two-tablespoon serving.”
May Contain High Amounts of Sodium
Sodium is another potential concern with many store-bought varieties of chocolate hummus. This is because most commercial products use additives like salt and sodium benzoate to enhance flavor and prolong shelf life. The American Heart Association recommends keeping daily sodium intake below 1,500 milligrams for optimal heart health.
If you’re considering trying out chocolate hummus, be sure to check the nutrition label before making a purchase. Some brands may have lower sodium content than others, so it’s important to shop around.
Allergen Concerns for Some Individuals
Because hummus is made from chickpeas, individuals with allergies to legumes should avoid chocolate hummus altogether. Additionally, some chocolate hummus products include tree nuts as an ingredient. If you have a nut allergy, double-check the ingredients list before trying this product.
Registered dietitian nutritionist Rebecca Scritchfield advises, “It’s always best to be careful of plain ol’ ingredients that you might not realize could be in a product – like legumes and nuts – but are common allergens.”
Potential Risk of Foodborne Illness
Like any food made from natural ingredients, there is always the potential for contamination with harmful bacteria if not stored or handled properly. Hummus – including chocolate hummus – should be refrigerated at all times and consumed within 5-7 days after opening.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that contaminated hummus has been linked to outbreaks of illnesses like salmonella and listeria in the past. To reduce risk, take caution when purchasing and consuming chocolate hummus, ensuring it is well within its labeled expiration date before opening and storing as instructed on the label.
“As prepared foods go, hummus isn’t particularly high risk,” says registered dietitian Rachel Berman. “However, fluffing it up with other ingredients does make it more susceptible.”
While chocolate hummus can be a tasty and healthier alternative to traditional chocolate spreads, it’s important to keep these potential health concerns in mind before making it a regular part of your diet. By selecting brands with lower fat and sodium content, double-checking the ingredient list for hidden allergens, and properly handling and storing the product, it can be safely enjoyed in moderation.
Ways to Incorporate Chocolate Hummus into a Healthy Diet
As a Dip for Fruit and Vegetables
If you’re looking for a healthy snack loaded with fiber and protein, chocolate hummus is an excellent option. You can dip your favorite fruits and veggies, such as strawberries, apples, carrots, and celery sticks, into it for a delicious and nutritious treat without the guilt.
According to Healthline, vegetables are packed with essential vitamins and minerals that support our overall health, while fruits provide a sweet and natural way to satisfy our cravings for sugar. By adding chocolate hummus into the mix, you create a well-rounded snack that’s both tasty and nourishing.
“Fruits and vegetables also contain different types of fiber, which have various health benefits, including weight management, improved digestion, and a lower risk of chronic diseases.” – Healthline
As a Spread on Whole Grain Toast
Chocolate hummus isn’t just for dipping! You can also use it as a spread on your whole grain toast to make a scrumptious breakfast or snack. Sliced bananas or berries complement this combination perfectly, providing extra nutrition and flavor.
Whole grains are a great source of complex carbohydrates, which give us energy throughout the day, along with essential vitamins and minerals. Using whole grain bread instead of white bread provides additional health benefits, making this snack even healthier.
“Whole grains are linked to a lower risk of heart disease, diabetes, certain cancers, and other health problems.” – Mayo Clinic
As a Substitute for High-Calorie Desserts
If you’re craving something sweet and decadent but don’t want to consume too many calories, chocolate hummus can be an excellent alternative to high-calorie desserts. Instead of reaching for a slice of cake or ice cream, you can turn to chocolate hummus for a guilt-free dessert option.
According to Verywell Fit, chickpeas (the primary ingredient in hummus) are rich in fiber and protein, making them an excellent addition to any diet. Additionally, cocoa powder (another key component of chocolate hummus) is packed with antioxidants, which support overall health.
“Chickpeas are nutrient-dense and can help keep you feeling full and satisfied.” – Verywell Fit
Incorporating chocolate hummus into your diet is a simple way to enjoy a tasty treat while getting additional nutrition. Whether used as a dip, spread, or substitute for high-calorie desserts, chocolate hummus offers numerous health benefits that make it an excellent addition to any balanced diet.
“Adding more whole foods to your diet—like fresh produce, lean proteins, healthy fats, and whole grains—can improve the quality of your meals and give you all sorts of nutrients you may be missing.” – EatingWell
Chocolate Hummus Recipes to Try at Home
Have you ever tried chocolate hummus? This delicious and unique snack has gained popularity in recent years as a healthy alternative to traditional sweet treats. But is chocolate hummus really healthy? Let’s take a closer look.
Classic Chocolate Hummus
The classic recipe for chocolate hummus typically includes chickpeas, cocoa powder, tahini, vanilla extract, and maple syrup or another natural sweetener. Chickpeas are a great source of plant-based protein and fiber, which can help keep you feeling full and satisfied. Cocoa powder is rich in antioxidants and may have potential health benefits such as reducing inflammation and improving heart health.
Tahini, made from sesame seeds, is a good source of healthy fats and essential minerals like calcium, iron, and magnesium. Vanilla extract adds flavor without adding calories or sugar, while natural sweeteners like maple syrup provide a hint of sweetness without the negative effects of refined sugar.
This classic homemade chocolate hummus recipe is a perfect indulgence that is not only nutritious but also satisfies your cravings for something sweet.
Chocolate Peanut Butter Hummus
If you love the combination of chocolate and peanut butter, this variation of chocolate hummus is a must-try. It uses all the same ingredients as classic chocolate hummus with the addition of peanut butter to give it a Nutella-like taste.
A study published in The Journal of Nutrition showed that eating peanuts or peanut butter daily led to a significant decrease in total cholesterol levels and LDL (bad) cholesterol levels in overweight individuals compared to those who did not eat any nuts or nut products. This makes chocolate peanut butter hummus a satisfying and heart-healthy snack option when enjoyed in moderation.
Chocolate Avocado Hummus
Avocado is a versatile fruit that can be added to many recipes, including traditional hummus. This variation of chocolate hummus combines the heart-healthy fats and fiber from avocados with the antioxidant properties of cocoa powder.
A review published in Advances in Nutrition found that avocado consumption may improve cardiovascular health by lowering cholesterol levels, reducing inflammation, improving insulin sensitivity, and promoting healthy weight management.
Incorporating avocado into your diet through this delicious chocolate hummus recipe is an excellent way to support your overall health and satisfy your sweet tooth cravings at the same time.
Chocolate Mint Hummus
If you’re a fan of the classic pairing of chocolate and mint, then this recipe for chocolate mint hummus is perfect for you. It’s made with all the classic ingredients plus fresh mint leaves for a refreshing taste.
Mint has been used for centuries for medicinal purposes due to its antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties. Researchers have also found evidence that suggests it may help alleviate symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
This chocolate mint hummus is not only delicious but also provides additional benefits beyond just satisfying your sweet cravings.
- While chocolate hummus does contain natural sugars, it is still considered a healthier alternative to traditional sweet treats because it includes nutrient-dense ingredients like chickpeas, cocoa powder, tahini, and natural sweeteners – all essential components that promote good health.
- The variations mentioned above are made even more indulgent by adding other healthy options such as peanut butter, avocado, or mint while providing their own unique health benefits. These recipes make a great snack option that satisfies both sweet and salty cravings while nourishing the body.
Final Verdict: Is Chocolate Hummus a Healthy Choice?
Depends on Individual Nutritional Needs
The answer to whether chocolate hummus is a healthy choice depends on an individual’s nutritional needs.
Hummus, in general, is rich in fiber and protein, which makes it a healthier alternative to processed snacks or sweet spreads like jam or hazelnut spread. Its consumption has also been linked with several health benefits such as reduced inflammation and improved heart health due to the presence of healthy fats and antioxidants.
The addition of cocoa powder, sugar, and other added flavorings can significantly increase its calorie content. Hence, individuals who are trying to lose weight may need to be cautious about their intake of chocolate hummus as it could lead to over-consumption of calories. People with diabetes should also know that the high sugar content in some store-bought or homemade chocolate hummus could spike insulin levels and cause hyperglycemia.
“Consumers must be mindful of portion size and overall macro-nutrient balance when choosing to incorporate chocolate hummus into their diet,” – Kylene Bogden, registered dietitian nutritionist.
Can be Part of a Healthy Diet in Moderation
While consuming chocolate forms part of unhealthy food choices most of the time, chocolate hummus prepared with natural ingredients and consumed in moderation can form a healthy part of a balanced diet.
A more nutritious approach would be making homemade chocolate hummus using organic cocoa powder, whole foods such as chickpeas, almond butter instead of oil, no-added-sugar nut milk, and other natural sweeteners such as honey or maple syrup to enhance taste. This way, you get fewer calories per serving but still get to indulge in this healthy treat.
Using fresh fruits, vegetable crudite, or low-fat crackers instead of biscotti or cookies for serving chocolate hummus will make it even healthier. In addition, pairing this healthy dessert with fiber- and protein-rich foods like dried fruits and nuts or cottage cheese can enhance its nutritional value while controlling blood sugar levels.
“Anytime we shift to homemade options, we cut back on preservatives and unwanted additives that may not be desirable from a nutrition standpoint,” – Leah Swanson, RDN, registered dietitian-nutritionist.
Knowing the source and quality of ingredients is essential in determining if chocolate hummus is part of a balanced and healthy diet. While it could be high in calories and sugar content, it can still form part of healthy snacks when consumed moderately alongside other nutritious food choices.
Consulting with a qualified healthcare professional or registered dietician to determine individual dietary requirements remains crucial before adding any new ingredient into one’s meal plan. Knowing how much to consume and tracking macros can help ensure successful weight management goals without compromising health outcomes.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is chocolate hummus a healthy snack option?
Chocolate hummus can be a healthy snack option when consumed in moderation. It is a good source of fiber, protein and healthy fats. However, it is also high in calories and should not be consumed in large amounts. It is important to read labels to ensure that it does not contain added sugars or unhealthy fats.
What are the nutritional benefits of chocolate hummus?
Chocolate hummus is a good source of fiber, protein, healthy fats, and minerals such as iron, magnesium, and zinc. It is also low in cholesterol and sodium. The chickpeas used in hummus are known to reduce the risk of heart disease and help regulate blood sugar levels.
Does chocolate hummus contain added sugars?
Chocolate hummus can contain added sugars if it is not made with natural sweeteners such as dates or honey. It is important to read labels and opt for brands that do not contain added sugars or artificial sweeteners. Homemade chocolate hummus is also a good option as you can control the amount of sweetener added.
Is chocolate hummus a good source of protein?
Chocolate hummus is a good source of protein as it is made with chickpeas. Chickpeas are a great source of plant-based protein and contain all the essential amino acids our body needs. However, the amount of protein in chocolate hummus can vary depending on the recipe and the brand.
Can chocolate hummus be a part of a balanced diet?
Chocolate hummus can be a part of a balanced diet when consumed in moderation. It can be a healthier alternative to other sweet snacks and can satisfy cravings for chocolate. However, it is important to consume it in small portions and not as a substitute for other nutritious foods.
Are there any potential drawbacks to consuming chocolate hummus regularly?
Consuming chocolate hummus regularly can lead to weight gain and other health issues if consumed in large amounts. It is also important to ensure that it is not made with unhealthy ingredients such as hydrogenated oils or added sugars. It is best to consume chocolate hummus in moderation as part of a balanced diet.