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Hummus, that creamy dip that hails from the Middle East, has a reputation as a clean, healthy food. It deserves it.

All the main ingredients are super foods in their own right. It's got chickpeas, sesame paste, garlic, and olive oil in most traditional versions.

Homemade Is a Home Run

It's convenient to buy a plastic container of hummus at the store, but you’d be surprised at how easy it is to whip up at home. You'll save a few bucks and know exactly what's in your hummus.

Just combine 1 can of chickpeas, 1/4 cup tahini, garlic to taste (try 1-2 cloves), 2 tablespoons olive oil, and the juice of half a lemon in a food processor or blender, and whirl until smooth.

Tip: You can adjust the proportions of the ingredients to taste, depending on how strong you want the flavor to be and how thick you like your hummus. Start with less liquid than you think you might need. You can always add more as you blend it, but if you add too much, you've got a sauce, not a dip.

Healthy Ingredients

Chickpeas, hummus’s main ingredient, give you protein, good-for-you carbs, and fiber. Like other members of the legume family, they routinely top lists of the world’s healthiest foods.

Eating more plant foods is good for you. People who make that a habit are less likely to get certain diseases. Of course, lots of things affect your health -- there's no miracle food -- but a little hummus wouldn't hurt.

Garlic and olive oil are two of the best-known and most studied ingredients. They're both part of the famously good-for-you Mediterranean Diet. These zesty seasonings give hummus its great flavor.

Portion Control

There's plenty of nutrition-packed goodness in every scoop of hummus. There are also lots of calories: 408 per cup.

You're not going to eat a whole cup of hummus, are you? Like anything else, you need to watch your serving size. You can get too much of a good thing.

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