Let’s give three cheers to the tasty little legume with a long history, enjoys world wide popularity, and is packed with protein, fiber and vitamins. Today is International Hummus Day! This holiday was created to “celebrate the love of hummus”. According to this holiday’s creator, International Hummus Day is about “connecting people all over the world around hummus. It’s a special opportunity”. To have a conversation about Hummus, one must talk about the main ingredient, which is chickpeas, also called “garbanzo beans”. Chickpeas are a legume, a vegetable related to garden sweet peas. They are neither dairy nor a nut, so there are only a few people who may be allergic to them. Chickpeas have been around for thousands of years, dating back to an estimated 6,700 B.C. At that time, they were found in the wild, as man had not yet begin to cultivate crops. The first historical written record goes back to 1,200 B.C. Chickpeas are native to the Middle East. Egypt, Israel and Lebanon each claim to be where they originated. There is definitely a lot to love about Chickpeas. They taste good and are eaten by both humans and animals. Chickpeas are healthy and nutritious. They are high in protein and fiber, Vitamin C, B6, foliates and potassium. In addition to it’s nutritional value, garbanzo beans have health benefits, including reducing hunger pangs, lowers cholesterol levels, and reduces the risk of cancer. Making hummus is simple. There are many recipes. Hummus goes well with a wide variety of foods, and are good on crackers. Try hummus as a dip, with a stick of celery or carrots. In addition to Chickpeas as the main ingredient, other items that may be included are: olive oil, sesame paste (called “tahini”), garlic, and a variety of vegetables. In recent years, manufacturers have become creative, with al sorts of flavors, including avocado, lemon artichoke, red pepper, smoky bacon and taco to name a few. Make this a day to celebrate hummus and the garbanzo bean. We certainly will!!!