When it comes to spreads and dips, hummus is perhaps one of the most popular. Middle Eastern in origin, this is now popular all over the world because of its distinct flavor and texture. It is made from ground chickpeas. You can easily make it at your home and store it for the long term.
If you want to make home-made hummus, keep on reading the rest of this post to know more about its shelf life and storage. Does hummus go bad? What is the best way to store hummus? How would you know if hummus has spoiled? If you have all these questions, we will provide the answer in this article.
What is Hummus?
Before anything else, let us first talk about what hummus is. Simply put, it is a Middle Eastern dip that is made mainly from ground chickpeas, either fresh or ground. To achieve the desired texture and flavor, garlic, tahini, and fresh lemon juice are added.
There are many ways by which it will be possible to consume hummus. You can eat it as a snack on its own. More popularly, however, it is used as a sandwich spread or as a dip for finger food. Several spices and other ingredients can be added to achieve the preferred taste.
More than the distinct flavor and aroma, hummus is also known for being good for the health. Chickpea is known to have a high iron content, making it excellent for those who have anemia. It also has Vitamin K, which is excellent for the blood. Meanwhile, it is also rich in fiber, which is why it is popular amongst weight watchers.
If you want to make hummus at home, here is a short video that shows how you can do it:
Does Hummus Go Bad?
Similar to all other types of spreads and dips, hummus does not come with an indefinite shelf life. Unfortunately, there will come a time when it will go bad and will no longer be safe to eat. More about its signs of spoilage will be discussed in the next section of this article.
For packaged hummus that is store-bought, you have to check the label. The manufacturer will include an expiration or best before date. Past this date, avoid consuming the hummus. It may not instantly cause food poisoning, but the flavor will surely be no longer the same.
More often than not, packaged hummus will last for two to four weeks, provided that it is unopened and that it is stored properly. On the other hand, if it is already opened, even when it is kept in the fridge, you can consume it within two weeks.
Homemade hummus, meanwhile, usually goes bad quicker compared to their store-bought counterparts. It will be best to eat it within a week, even if it is refrigerated. Also, pay attention to the ingredients that are used as some of them can speed up spoilage of the dip, especially peppers and spinach.
If you want your homemade hummus to last longer, on the other hand, you might want to consider using more lemon juice. The higher acidity will make it less susceptible to spoilage. Adding more garlic can also help to prevent it from getting bad quicker.
What are the Signs Hummus has Gone Bad?
Before eating hummus, it is important to have a quick inspection so that you will know if it is still in its best condition. The acid and salt from the main ingredients, including garlic and lemon juice, will deter microbial growth. Nonetheless, hummus is still not completely resistant to spoilage.
Among others, pay attention to the color of the hummus. If it seems to be darker or lighter than the usual, this can be an indication that it has gone off. Also, another visual clue is the presence of molds. When the latter starts to appear, immediately ditch the hummus.
The hummus can also turn harder than the usual if it has already spoiled. You might also notice that the oil will start to separate from the rest of the hummus. In extreme scenarios, there will be bubbles appearing on the top of the spread.
The taste and smell of hummus will be foul once it has gone off. Smell it first or have a quick taste test. If you believe that it has spoiled, discard it immediately.
How To Store Hummus
If you want hummus to last longer, proper storage is a must. In the case of packaged hummus, avoid opening until you are ready to use or eat it.
For homemade hummus, on the other hand, keep it in a container with an airtight seal. The latter will prevent the penetration of external elements that could possibly speed up its spoilage. Keep it refrigerated, but make sure to choose its right position. Keep it as far from the door as possible so that consistency of temperature can be achieved.
Sunlight, air, and moisture are some of the mortal enemies of hummus. Keep it away from any source of heat. Do not leave it sitting in the pantry or at room temperature. Also, cover it all the time to prevent oxidation.Once it has oxidized, the flavor will be weaker.
When scooping hummus from a container, be sure to use a clean and dry spoon. If it is dirty, there is a possibility of cross-contamination. Also, double-dipping must be avoided. Always take out only a portion that you will need.
So, does hummus go bad? By now, we hope that you already know the answer to this question. In a nutshell, here is a rundown of some of the most important things that we have discussed above:
- Hummus is a Middle Eastern dip that is made primarily from chickpeas, garlic, lemon juice, and tahini. It is aromatic and flavorful. It is also good for the health as it is an excellent source of iron, Vitamin K, and fiber, among others.
- Yes, hummus can go bad. For packaged hummus, pay attention to the expiration date on the label. It will last for up to four weeks when unopened. Once opened, eat it within two weeks. For homemade hummus, on the other hand, be sure to consume it within a week.
- To know if hummus has already gone bad, perform a quick visual inspection. Any change in color, appearance of mold, and presence of bubbles would mean that you have to throw it away. The smell and taste will also be rancid.