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If you love Hummus–the classic Middle Eastern mash of chickpeas, tahini, garlic, lemon and olive oil–I have a little good news/bad news/good news to share.

The first bit of good news is that chickpeas are one of the world’s healthiest foods. Packed with fiber and nutrients–including antioxidants, protein and iron–a 140 calorie half cup of chickpeas a day can help lower your cholesterol, improve your heart health and curb your appetite.

The bad news is that when chickpeas are combined with tahini and oil, the calories and fat can more than double.

Trader Joe’s Mediterranean Hummus, for example, has 560 calories in a cup! And the Roasted Pine Nut Hummus from Costco? Try  640 calories!

But here’s the second piece of good news: by making your hummus at home, cutting back a bit on the tahini and hiding a little cooked cauliflower in with the pureed chickpeas, you can have the hummus you crave for only 200 calories a cup!!

With fresh garlic and lemon juice giving it a kick, your family and friends will never know you’ve made the switch!


2 cups cooked cauliflower (about half a head)

2 cups canned chickpeas (garbanzo beans) drained, but juice reserved

1-2 t fresh minced garlic (a matter of taste..)

salt to taste

3 T tahini

1-2 T fresh lemon juice

1/2 t olive oil

fresh minced parsley, optional

Cook the cauliflower: Though you can steam cauliflower if you like, the easiest way to do it is to chop it up into small pieces, put it in a microwave safe bowl, sprinkle with a wee bit of salt (do NOT add water) and cover with a lid or a plate that will hold in the steam the cauliflower will release and microwave it on high for 8 minutes.

Place the cooked cauliflower, beans, garlic, salt, tahini and lemon juice in the food processor and puree until smooth. If it seems too dry, add in a tablespoon or two of the bean juice. Taste for seasonings and adjust..adding more salt or lemon if you need to.

Place in a serving dish and drizzle with the 1/2 teaspoon of olive oil and shower with parsley. Serve with sliced red bell pepper, carrots, celery and endive leaves. If throwing a party, you can also serve it with toasted pita chips.


Hummus is a great topping for a Skinny Crostini…  Simply spread 1/2 cup of hummus onto 2 slices of 40 calorie Wasa bread, add sliced tomato, cucumber, olives, and/or a pinch of feta, a little minced basil or parsley and a little salt and pepper. It’s a huge vitamin and fiber filled snack that’s loaded with taste and texture, but only has about 200 calories!


About Lisa McRee

After 25 years as a local and network anchor, Lisa was just another American mother struggling, and failing, to lose weight. Finally, she cracked the code, and lost 30 pounds, quickly and for good, by doing what she loves: reporting, cooking and eating! The Skinny is the inside story on how she did it, and how you can, too!
This entry was posted in Fit For Kids, Quickies, Skinny Sides, Skinny Snacks and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Nancy Josue says:

    loved this! When you get the right amount of lemon and salt its perfect! I was wondering if half the batch can be frozen? How long will it last until it expires?

    • Lisa McRee says:

      So glad you like it! Yes, getting lemon/salt right is key. I’ve never frozen it, but think it would be worth a try. Otherwise, about a week in the fridge is as long as I’ve ever kept it. Cheers!

  2. Pingback: Side Dishes {Healthy Recipes} - jenny collier blog | jenny collier blog

  3. Terry says:

    Thanks for this delicious hummus. I make this recipe every week. It is perfect!

  4. I like your recipe, I’ll try it this weekend. Love to spread hummus onto plain rice cake. so good.

    • Lisa McRee says:

      Have to tell you, amazing shoot with Food Network vets this week…did that recipe.. By lunch, crew had eaten all and I had to make another batch for “beauty shot!!” Instead of rice cake, try using sliced red bell pepper..same crunch, zero calories and more nutrition!

  5. Lisa McRee says:

    Hi, Jackie… I think of a serving as at least a cup… And, if you’re really pumping them into every meal and snack, it’s easy to hit 8 cups a day. I might add 1 cup of veg to my omelet at breakfast, have a Skinny Crostini snack with another cup of veg at 10:30 am (I always eat at 10:30!), have a little roasted chicken or grilled salmon on soy noodles or salad at lunch (salads are usually 3 cups of veg, right?), have a bowl of some sort of bean dish and a few chips around 3, and a couple of cups or more of veg at dinner. Easy 8… And you can also count fruit or other plant foods. If you have a cup of 40 calorie almond milk in your coffee, that’s a serving of a plant based food. I can even argue that air-popped popcorn counts…( Though, nobody seems to buy my argument that M&Ms should count, too!! )

  6. Jackie says:

    Hi Lisa, I remember you mentioning or me reading on your blog somewhere that one should have 8 helpings a day of veggies? Is that true? What conotates a helping, ie salad with lots of veggies? Or is the point more of grazing all day on veggies? Thanks, Jackie

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