Recipes for Health: Hummus Tofu Dip
There has been a great deal of scepticism about the health benefits of soy in recent months. This skepticism has developed because much of the research on soy was done using whole soy foods, such as soy milk and tofu. Scientists in the field are concerned about the untested effects of isolated isoflavones* from soy (whether natural or synthetic) that are sold over the counter as supplements in pill and powder form. These type of supplements may be more harmful than helpful. Why? The average intake of soy isoflavones from food among Japanese women is 50 to 200 milligrams a day. Soy supplements can contain up to 500 milligrams and the effects of these high daily intakes are unknown as of yet.
Play it safe and delicious. Whip up a batch of Hummus Tofu Dip. It is perfect for a simple appetizer, a healthy late afternoon snack, or a light pita sandwich lunch. A quarter cup serving contains approximately 15 milligrams of isoflavones. It’s a great way to incorporate the benefits of soy into your diet without the worry. Makes 3 cups.
1 ½ tablespoons cumin seeds
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups canned chickpeas, drained and rinsed
12 ounces soft tofu, drained
¼ cup fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
¼ cup chopped fresh parsley, plus additional for garnish
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste Dash of cayenne pepper
- In a dry, small, heavy skillet, toast cumin seeds over moderate heat, shaking pan, until seeds are a shade darker and transfer to a plate to cool.
- In a food processor, puree garlic, chickpeas, tofu, cumin seeds, lemon juice, and 1 tablespoon of oil until smooth.
- Stir in parsley and salt and pepper to taste. Drizzle dip with remaining tablespoon oil and garnish with parsley.
- Serve dip with pita bread, crackers, or cut vegetables.
*Isoflavones are a class of phytochemicals which are natural bioactive compounds found in plant foods that work with nutrients and dietary fiber to protect against disease.