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Hummus rated by Consumer Reports to find best

September 5, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
When it comes to dips, hummus is a lot healthier than most. Unlike other creamy dips, it has protein and fiber and is relatively low in fat and calories.

"Hummus is great because it's very light. It's actually very refreshing in warm weather. It's a perfect food. It's actually very nutritious," said Chef Peter Giannakas.

If you don't have a Mediterranean restaurant nearby, you can find lots of choices at your supermarket.

Consumer Reports tested nine different ones from names like Cedar's and Sabra. It also tested hummus from Trader Joe's and Archer Farms, which is sold at Target.

Sensory panelists tasted the hummus by itself to size up the flavors and texture.

"A great-tasting hummus should taste freshly prepared, with a nice combination of chick peas, tahini, and fresh lemon and garlic," said Amy Keating of Consumer Reports.

Unfortunately, none of the hummus rated excellent. The lowest rated was Trader Joe's Smooth and Creamy Classic Hummus. It tasted whipped and had a sour dairy flavor.

"Many of the store-bought ones lacked that fresh lemon and garlic flavor, which gives you that just-prepared impression," said Keating.

But there were a few that rated very good, including two from Cedar's - the Naturally Delicious All Natural hummus and the Simply Delicious Original hummus.

They're thick, creamy, and balanced, with moderate tahini flavors, and both can keep you satisfied until you can get your hands on some homemade hummus.

If you're serving a crowd, Consumer Reports recommends Costco's Hannah Classic Hummus. It comes in a 32-ounce container, so it's great for parties. It rated very good and, per serving, was also the least expensive hummus tested.

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