Is Hummus Keto-Friendly?

Author Image

Written by Brenda Peralta, Registered Dietitian and medically reviewed by Abby Courtenay

Imge of Is Hummus Keto-Friendly?

Contents

[hide]

When thinking about hummus, what first comes to mind is that creamy and velvety sensation that goes along so well with crunchy carrot sticks. 

Nowadays, you can find just about any flavor you can imagine. From plain to roasted garlic to even spicy chipotle for those who love some heat, it can be very versatile. But, although it is one of the most common snacks available, is hummus keto?

This article will answer the most common questions regarding this delicious snack: Can it be eaten on a ketogenic diet? Also, how much of this snack is allowed on keto? What kind can you have? What can you eat with it? Finally, what are some better keto alternatives to hummus?

 

What is hummus?

This a commonly known recipe from the Middle East has chickpeas (also known as garbanzo beans) as its main ingredient. Chickpeas, considered a legume, are a good source of plant-based protein and fiber — critical nutrients for having good health. 

Making this tasty snack is pretty simple. Although there are several ways to make it, the most basic involves chickpeas, olive oil, tahini, lemon, garlic, salt, and pepper. You can then decide to add other flavors, such as basil or roasted red bell peppers.

As you can see, most of the ingredients used are keto safe. For example, olive oil and tahini are both sources of healthy fats. Lemon, garlic, salt, and pepper provide little to no carbs. 

But is hummus low-carb? Its main ingredient, chickpeas, contains both carbs and protein. Fortunately, it’s also got a substantial amount of fiber, which brings down the net carb count. 

Let’s take a look at the numbers!

 

Hummus nutritional facts

This creamy chickpea paste is considered a very nutrient-dense food. It is high in vitamin B6 and also a source of zinc, potassium, choline and iron. 

Furthermore, it is very high in fiber. Fiber is one of the key nutrients for having stable blood sugar levels, and it also contributes to a healthy digestive system. 

Since this food is a good source of plant-based protein, it is widely used among vegetarians and vegans to reach the optimal daily intake of protein. One cup of chickpeas provides the same amount as almost 1.5 oz of chicken.

Serving size: 1 cup store-bought hummus (246 g)

  • Calories: 583 Kcal
  • Fat: 43.8 g
  • Total carbs: 36.9 g
  • Fiber: 13.5 g
  • Net carbs (total carbs - fiber): 23.4 g
  • Protein: 19.1 g

As you can see, hummus does have carbohydrates, and it’s actually pretty high in carbs for keto. However, since it has a lot of fiber, its net carbs are a little bit lower. One cup has 23.4 grams of net carbs.

 

JUMPSTART YOUR KETO GOALS

 

Can you eat hummus on keto?

Yes, hummus can be part of the keto diet. However, you must carefully control how much you eat, keeping in mind the number of carbs you have throughout the day and how many you can spare. 

Although garbanzo beans are not very keto, they can be allowed once in a while in small portions. By planning your portion size, you can ensure that you stay on track for ketosis.

 

How much hummus is allowed on a keto diet?

So how much is too much? It depends on the number of total carbs you are trying to reach for the day. 

A ¼ of a cup (62 g) of hummus will cost you around 6 g of net carbs. Have it along with celery sticks for an easy on-the-go crunchy snack.

If you aim to have less than 25 g of carb per day, the serving size should be smaller. Three tablespoons (45 g), will provide 4.3 g of net carbs to your diet. Since the serving size is smaller, try using it as a spread or even as a dressing.

Just one tablespoon (15 g) has 1.4 g of net carbs, so that can easily fit in a low-carb diet.

 

What kind of hummus can you have on keto?

Nowadays you can find any form and flavor you can imagine. There even is chocolate hummus! The best hummus for the keto diet is the classic one, but you can have any flavor as long as it doesn’t have any carb fillers. If it is store-bought, make sure it is as natural as possible. The shorter the list of ingredients is, the better.

Just keep in mind the portion sizes so that you don’t go over your total net carb.

Sabra hummus is a good option if you are looking for a ready-to-go snack. Most of the flavors they offer have the same net carbs (3 g per 2 teaspoons). Keep away from the chocolate one since it will be high in carbs (9 g of net carbs per 2 teaspoons).

The best way to have hummus on keto is to make it at home. That way, you can control the ingredients you add, plus you’ll automatically avoid the artificial ingredients and preservatives that are common in the store-bought brands.

The basic ingredients for your DIY recipe are:

  • Garbanzo beans
  • Oil (try extra virgin olive oil or avocado oil)
  • Tahini (a paste made from sesame seeds)
  • Garlic
  • Lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper

You can experiment with the quantities depending on your flavor preferences.

Many recipes also incorporate other ingredients to increase the flavor and decrease carbs. Here are some of the most common ways you can make hummus for a ketogenic diet:

  • Eggplant. Add roasted eggplant to the recipe to decrease the carb content.
  • Horseradish. Add horseradish to the mix for a different flavor.
  • Beet. Add some roasted and peeled beet to the mix. Not only will it taste great, but it will be beautiful to see. Beets will add carbs, though, so use just a small amount. The pink color is strong enough to shine through. 
  • Macadamia nut. Add some roasted nuts to add a nutty flavor.
  • Zucchini. Instead of chickpeas, use roasted zucchini for a low-carb recipe.

You can also add different spices, like paprika or cumin.

 

BUILD YOUR KETO DIET PLAN

 

What can you eat with hummus?

Hummus will provide a significant amount of carbs. For a good keto snack with hummus, avoid pairing it with something that will add even more carbs. Pita bread is a definite no!

For example, you can have hummus with vegetables. Carrots and hummus will always make an excellent low-carb snack. You can also have crudites with hummus. Celery sticks, broccoli, or cherry tomatoes will always be a good choice, and these are lower in carbs than carrots.

Most people think of it immediately as a snack, but there are delicious keto meals with hummus. 

For a healthy breakfast, try adding it to your scrambled eggs. Then, add parsley to it for an extra flavor kick. 

Instead of an avo toast, spread some to your favorite keto bread and add protein such as eggs or salmon to make a complete meal. 

Finally, mix it with Dijon mustard, lemon juice, and water to make a perfect salad dressing.

 

Keto alternatives for hummus

Now that you know that it can be eaten on a ketogenic diet, it might be tempting to include it every day as an easy snack. However, remember that different foods provide different essential nutrients for a healthy and balanced diet. So it’s best to mix it up!

When looking for a keto hummus alternative, several tasty dips might have the same function. For example, the following options could serve as a spread, dip, or dressing. Instead of chickpeas, add one of the following ingredients to your regular recipe:

  • Cauliflower
  • Almond
  • Avocado
  • Zucchini
  • Eggplant

 

FAQ about hummus on a keto diet

You might still have some questions before you are ready to add this food to your keto lifestyle. In this section, we will go through the most common question asked regarding this fantastic food.

Yes, chickpeas are considered a carb.

More specifically, they are legumes. This makes them not only a source of healthy complex carbs, but also lots of protein — ideal for vegetarians, vegans, and people shifting to a more plant-based diet.

There are several ways to make ketogenic hummus or “fake hummus.” The most common way to replace chickpeas is using cauliflower. The rest of the ingredients are the same (tahini, lemon, garlic, olive oil, salt, and pepper). Remember to roast the cauliflower in the oven before placing it in the food blender.

This fantastic keto cauliflower hummus recipe is a low-carb and straightforward way of replacing hummus.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of cauliflower florets
  • 1 tablespoon of water
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons of tahini
  • 1 tablespoon of lemon juice
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Paprika

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 F.
  2. Grease a baking sheet and toss the cauliflower florets with some olive oil.
  3. Cook the cauliflower for 30-40 minutes until they are brown and fall apart easily.
  4. In a food processor, add the lemon juice, water, olive oil, cauliflower (make sure it is not hot), tahini, garlic, salt, and pepper.
  5. Puree until it is a very smooth consistency.
  6. If it is too thick, you can add more water until you get the desired consistency.

Yes, it can be a good keto snack.

However, it will depend on your daily carbs and the amount you eat. Hummus is an easy go-to snack, but make sure to control your portion size and count the carbs beforehand. 

If you are looking for something similar but with fewer carbs, try making the same recipe with cauliflower or zucchini instead of garbanzo beans.

You can substitute chickpeas with cauliflower or avocado to make a more keto-friendly version. You can even try to add both! Some people have even tried cauliflower with almonds, and the combination is to die for! The benefit is that there are different flavors to explore.

Yes! It is gluten-free.

Gluten is a protein that you can find in wheat, barley, and rye. Legumes are naturally gluten-free. Thus, celiacs can eat them and have no problems. However, make sure that there is no contamination with gluten particles. The kitchen must also be gluten-free, which means that the supplies used are not used with gluten foods.

Yes! Hummus can last up to 3 or 4 months in the freezer.

When you are going to freeze it, make sure it is in an airtight container. Put a thin layer of olive oil on top of the hummus and place it in the freezer.