Hummus is one of the most popular Middle Estern appetizers or side dishes. It is widely used as a paste, spread or dip with pita bread, falafel, gyros, meat skewers and so on. Given that hummus is made of tahini and mashed chickpeas, it is very healthy unlike other dips. You can buy it at almost any store or even make it at home (very easy). What hummus has in common with other dips and sauces is that it cannot be stored long without turning bad. If you are not sure how to store it or whether it has gone bad, check the answers below to all FAQ about this healthy Middle Eastern appetizer.
If you use homemade hummus, you should store it in an airtight container, possibly not made of plastic. Every time you want to eat it, use a clean spoon and don’t serve it directly from the container. And no double-dipping unless you would eat everything from that serving bowl. If you use store bought one, you can keep it in the same container and cover it with aluminum foil, but if it’s a can of hummus, you should better move it to another container, that is made of glass or ceramic.
Hummus can go bad if you leave it at room temperature for more than 4 hours. You should put it in the fridge as soon as you finish your meal. It can go bad when you leave it in the fridge for more than 5 days, especially if it is homemade hummus. If you cannot eat hummus in 3 to 5 days, it is better to freeze it. Also, if you make it with veggies or mushrooms, it will go bad sooner than a regular one because it will be moist. Tahini, garlic and lemon preserve its freshness so that’s a reason you shouldn’t skimp on these hummus ingredients.
Store bought hummus may last up to 7 days in the fridge, but that depends on the brand (check the expiration date on the package).
The smell and look of hummus are the best indicators. If hummus is becoming dark, it has gone bad. Also, if you see that the oil from hummus has started to show on the top, it means the oil has turned rancid. Another visual look that is a sign of spoiled hummus is mold. As for the smell, if hummus has an unpleasant, sour and different smell, it is possible that it’s gone bad.
Hummus is used as a spread for pita bread, especially with falafel or gyros-like meat. You cannot cook it but you can put it in almost any meal prior to serving. For instance, you can put it on hot baked potatoes, or other similar wedges, or stir it in a salad.
If you like warm hummus, don’t heat it. Just put in on warm food, such as falafel and pita bread, chicken skewers, gyros etc. As long as the food is warm, hummus will be naturally heated.
When you make hummus at home, it is advised to leave the chickpeas overnight. But that is not the case with hummus, it can go bad if you leave it out of the fridge overnight. It can be left out no more than 4 hours.
It can stay unrefrigerated only for a short time, during the meal. Don’t leave it at room temperature for more than 30 minutes or 1 hour, especially if the temperature is high. It won’t turn bad in 4 hours, but it can lose the texture if it stays long out of the fridge. Hummus can stay out of the fridge when you want to unfreeze it, but only for a few hours.
Yes, both store bought and homemade hummus can be frozen up to 6 months. Once you want to use it, just leave it at room temperature the night before. Don’t defrost it in the microwave. Once you unfreeze it, don’t freeze it again. It is better to eat it in 3 days once it’s thawed.
Yes, if you don’t like or you don’t have tahini you can put peanut butter instead or any similar butter made of nuts.