Whether you are a diabetic, pre-diabetic or trying to lose weight you were probably told to eat low glycemic index and low glycemic load foods. Any hummus easily qualifies and my recipe has the additional benefit of improving your body’s response to blood sugar. I use a fair amount of fenugreek seed powder as a spice. Multiple research show that fenugreek seeds have a positive effect on both insulin secretion and insulin sensitivity.
The glycemic index (GI) of hummus is around 6, which is very low. For comparison, the GI of a bagel is 72 and anything below 50 is considered low. Glycemic index indicates how quickly a specific food (the carbohydrate in that food, to be exact), will be absorbed into the blood stream and raise blood sugar level. Glycemic load (GL) tells us about the amount of carbs in a typical serving of that food and is a more balanced view of how that food will affect your blood sugar. The glycemic load of 2 tablespoons of humus is 1, practically nothing.
Chickpeas (Garbanzo Beans)
The main ingredient in hummus is garbanzo beans, also known as chickpeas.
- Chickpeas are very rich in manganese, iron, copper, phosphorus and magnesium. To make these minerals bioavailable, I recommend using dry beans and soaking them in water overnight before cooking. This also ensures improved digestibility.
- Chickpeas are very rich in fiber, which is needed for proper elimination of toxins and for the health of our gut microflora.
- They are also high in protein
The second biggest ingredient in the recipe is tahini paste made with sesame seeds. Tahini is very rich in many of the same minerals as chickpeas, and especially manganese. Manganese was found to mimic insulin in the body and has the potential to improve blood sugar regulation. Deficiency in manganese, magnesium and copper is associated with insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome.
Hummus for Glycemic Control
3/4 cup dry chickpeas or 2 cups cooked
2/3 cup tahini paste
1/3 cup cold pressed unrefined olive oil
1/3 cup water or liquid from the beans if you cook them yourself
1 lemon, juiced
2-3 garlic cloves
1 Tbsp fenugreek seed powder
Salt and pepper to taste
- Soak chickpeas overnight, rinse and discard water. Add more water to cover the beans, bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Let cook for about 1 hour, or until soft. Drain the beans, reserve the liquid. Let cool.
- In a blender combine the chickpeas, tahini, lemon juice, water or liquid from the beans, garlic, oil, fenugreek and salt and pepper. Blend together until smooth.
- Serve in a bowl and sprinkle with paprika for decoration. Enjoy!