High protein hemp hummus

A little while ago, I got the following comment on my sweet potato hummus post:

I don’t know if you’re still reading these comments, Gena, but this hummus is like divine intervention.  It is so good.  I made it without sesame oil (because I didn’t have any) and added a bit more salt than indicated (because I used dried beans instead of canned) and it is by far the best hummus I’ve ever had. Thank you for sharing.

Best hummus she’s ever had? Wow. That’s high praise, given how much excellent hummus is in the world. Thank you!

When I first made that sweet potato hummus, I ate it obsessively for weeks and weeks. I was certain that I’d never come up with a hummus recipe I liked more. I should have known better. Hummus is one of my favorite foods, and I’ll be making new versions that I love for a good long time: whenever I think I’ve identified a favorite, I quickly find another version I like even more. The hummus I’m about to share is my new favorite, but I’ll refrain from calling it my favorite for obvious reasons: a lifetime of hummus variation awaits me.

This hummus first sprung to mind as I was helping a client to add more high-protein foods into her routine without adding an excess of meat analogs. It’s often my job to help the newly vegan understand that, while imitation meat and processed soy can be helpful transition foods, and can certainly have a place in any healthy vegan diet if eaten with some moderation, we needn’t see them as our only possibly protein options. Plant based protein is all around us—in beans, legumes, nuts, seeds, high-quality vegan protein powders, nooch, and more. We’ve got options.

I’ll write more about the array of high protein plan foods later this week, when I share another high-protein recipe that I developed for my client (an entrée). Today, I’m offering you a higher protein hummus option that will allow you to easily add some amino acids to your sandwiches, salads, veggie snacks, or wraps. It’s thick, tasty, and easy to make. It’s hemp hummus, and I can’t believe I haven’t made it sooner.

In essence, this recipe is what happens when you replace the tahini (sesame paste) in traditional hummus with ground hemp seeds. The rest of the recipe is traditional: chickpeas, lemon, salt, garlic, and a dash of cumin. You can enjoy the recipe just as you would regular hummus, but with the satisfaction that you’re getting at least a little more protein and essential fatty acid action with each bite. Note that I did add 1 tbsp of tahini to help with creaminess and texture; if you want to keep it light, stick to the hemp alone.

High protein hemp hummus

High Protein Hemp Hummus
Recipe type: dip, spread
Cuisine: vegan, soy free, gluten free, nut free
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 1½ cups, or 6 servings

  • ¼ cup shelled hemp seeds
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1½ cups cooked chickpeas, or 1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 small clove garlic, crushed
  • 1 tablespoon tahini
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ⅓ cup water
  • Black pepper
  1. Place the hemp seeds and salt in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the S blade. Grind the hemp seeds for about 30 seconds, or until they've formed a fine meal.
  2. Add the chickpeas, lemon, garlic, tahini, cumin, and water to the food processor. Process all ingredients until smooth and creamy (about 1-2 minutes), stopping every now and then to scrape the bowl down. Season to taste with black pepper and serve.
Leftovers will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to five days.


You can of course do anything you like with this hummus. My favorite use of the week was to stuff it into some nori sheets—a la my poppyseed sushi from last week—and devour piece by piece. One serving of the recipe has ten grams of protein—half of those the complete proteins afforded by hemp seeds—and you can make that even higher by adding a few tablespoons of nooch to the recipe. Easy, right?

Before I go, I just wanted to mention that submissions for Green Recovery are pouring in, and that the brave writers behind these submissions are pouring their hearts out. I’ve been moved to tears as I read these honest accounts—many of which represent the very first time that the writers in question have spoken openly about their histories. I have former anorexics, bulimics, binge eaters, compulsive eaters, and a few women with EDNOS histories. If there is an ED in your past, and you feel that eating a vegan diet in the present has helped you to move forward and redefine your relationship with food in a healthy way, then I’d love to hear from you.

See you tomorrow!


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