Often, when I do tastings (some call them demos) at venues and stores that carry my products, I talk to my customers about how my products are low calorie and low fat. Some times, I get someone saying that they do not care about calories or low fat. Fact is, I personally don’t care either. I do not count calories and I like to eat a lot of good fats. So, am I being a hypocrite?
Not exactly, What I am concerned with is EMPTY calories. Calories that come from cheap oils. You see, most hummus manufacturers (over 90% of them) add cheap oils such as canola or soy oils into their products. You will see these oils listed as one of the top three ingredients. And as you know the FDA requires that the ingredients are listed in the order of the highest weight to the lowest weight. So, for example, in the hummus ingredient list, the garbanzo beans are listed first because it’s the main ingredient and there is more of it than anything else in hummus. So, in a typical hummus ingredient list, you should see the following order:
Tahini (ground up sesame seeds)
Garlic, or granulated garlic
Notice how there is no oil of any kind. In the Eastern Mediterranean, extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) is drizzled on top of the hummus on a plate just before eating. In these areas, people love the taste of it and they know that it is a healthy fat.
The above assumes a home made recipe which is prepared for home use. Victor Foods Hummus is very much a home made, hand crafted product. However we add a few more ingredients and spices to accommodate the various flavors. More on why and how we add these ingredients in a later blog.
So, this begs the question; why do these companies add a huge amount of oil that is not called for in the original recipes? It is not to enhance the flavor. These oils have no taste. However, because these oils are some of the cheapest ingredients on the planet, I suspect that they are used as FILLERs. They pump up the volume of their products to increase profits. It is not about your health.
Victor Foods Hummus products range from 35 to 50 calories per serving (one ounce, or two table spoons). Compare this to most hummus out there ranging from 60 to 100 calories per serving. Victor’s hummus flavors that are 50 calories per serving are the Chocolate H’Mousse, which has organic cane sugar, and the Toasted Sesame flavor, which has toasted sesame oil. The rest of the flavors are from 35 to 40 per serving.
Canola and soy oils used to be the holy grail of low fat cooking for a long time. Recently, science is moving away from highly processed vegetable oils because of their inflammatory nature. When we have an over abundance of omega 6 oils in relation to omega 3 oils, we can develop chronic inflammation which is responsible for many ills. Therefore, we need to minimize or cut these oils from our diets. Not only are these oils wrong because of their omega 6 content, they are also mostly from GMO sources.
I have seen some organic hummus products that list Garbanzo beans then as a second ingredient, olive oil and no tahini. Tahini is very expensive, so they don’t use it. Regular olive oil is a cheap, heavily processed oil, making it just as inflammatory. In my opinion, the only olive oil to eat is EVOO.
In a later blog, I will talk about the good fats and why we need more of them.
At Victor Foods, we are committed to using the best and most nutritious ingredient with the least amount of anti-nutrients. Huh, anti-nutrients? What are these? That is also another subject for another blog.