Is a Hummus Still a Hummus Without a Chickpea?

February 24, 2012 | By | Comments (7)

Lentil-hummusI’m pretty much a sucker for anything hummus. It’s one of those generalized terms, kind of like “beer,” that means different things to different people. For some, the creation of hummus is a two day process, soaking dried beans overnight, boiling for hours, and blending with just the right amount of lemon, olive oil, and spices. Some take the short cut and start with canned chickpeas (which, to the texture snobs of the hummus world is far inferior to the overnight soak). Some add tahini, and many of us just buy it off the grocery store shelf. It’s becoming the ice cream of the refrigerated section of the grocery store… from the classic variety to roasted red pepper, sun-dried tomato, pesto, olive, pine nut, artichoke, or extra spicy… to name just a few.

And while I love hummus, there are only so many flavors I can try before I find myself reverting back to the classic. Regardless of brand, recipe, or flavor, they all have one thing in common: chickpeas. Hummus, by definition, is the Arabic word for chickpea. So if you start with a “non chickpea” is it still considered a hummus?

Either way, misnomer or not, Eat Well Enjoy Life has an entire line of “unique non chick pea hummus products” that are healthy, innovative, and tasty. Aside from the traditional chickpea, this company is introducing the hummus concept to a whole new line of legumes, including yellow lentils, black beans, edamame, white beans and red lentils.

Hummus has always carried that hippie-health-food association, but for good reason. Legumes are a natural source of protein, fiber, and heart healthy fats. And the Eat Well Enjoy Life varieties are no exception. All fall below 100 calories per 2 tablespoon serving, and range from 85 – 125 mg of sodium.  The flavor profiles are quite creative, from Tuscan White Bean with Roasted Garlic to Edamame with Roasted Red Pepper and Toasted Sesame.

We especially loved the light and refreshing Original Plain Edamame, the Sweet and Spicy Black Bean Hummus with Spicy Roasted Corn Relish with a complex, yet delightful contrasting flavor profile, and the Spicy Red Lentil Chipotle Hummus with Poblano Pepper and Corn…. with just the right amount of kick.

Check out their website at You can find them on grocer’s shelves from coast to coast. 

The question now? What best non-traditional dipper suits each non-traditional hummus? The possibilities are endless…

See more: Healthy Hummus Recipes


  1. Ronna Volpone

    i love both chickpeas and greenpeas, although chickpeas has that distinctive nutty taste that i like.’

    See all of the most up-to-date write-up at our new blog
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    January 10, 2013 at 11:40 am
  2. Kindra @ wickfreeforever

    I love hummus and this looks great! Now that im pregnant I have to give it up. . .ugg heres to six more month 🙂

    March 20, 2012 at 9:27 am
  3. Michelle

    I love this hummus and can go through a whole container in one or two sittings. That can’t be good, right? I also am becoming addicted to freeze dried fruits. Can you write a column about how they compare to the real thing? I just finished an entire bag of Jeju mandarin orange slices from Trader Joe’s… :0

    March 6, 2012 at 11:28 pm
  4. Jenny Stevenson

    Please I would say no. Hummus itself is only hummus if it has the chickpeas. The meal derives from the ingredient. Anyway its my opinion. I cant really tell what others might say.

    March 6, 2012 at 12:54 pm
  5. Marina Flats Dubai

    Hummus is Yummus thats all I know and with pita break it is delicious beyond words. I think chickpeas should be there btw.

    February 29, 2012 at 2:19 am
  6. Erica

    I have been making my own hummus for several years now. I’m just not thrilled about buying it in the grocery store now, when I know I can customize it to my own taste at home. I have combined both chickpeas and black beans and it tasted great, but it did not have the creamy texture as will regular chickpeas. Still a keeper! I’m a HUGE hummus fan!!
    Check out

    February 26, 2012 at 10:48 am
  7. Prosperity1122

    Sounds delicious either way. I personally didn’t know hummus was that Arabic word for chickpeas 🙂
    I would love some ideas on dippers, too!

    February 24, 2012 at 5:14 pm

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