How Long Is Hummus Good For and How to Store it Properly
How long is hummus good for, this is a question I ask myself pretty much every time I buy a bigger load of hummus than I thought I could handle. I need to keep it in the fridge and I don't want it to go bad.
So this articles is basically for me, but if you ask yourself often how long can hummus last, it might help you too.
It's nutty, it's garlicky, and it has the oh-so-delicious Middle-Eastern goodness of olive oil. We are talking about one of the most popular dips in the world - hummus!
It's made of chickpeas, sesame seeds, and olive oil, with a dash of lemon and garlic, which together pack a punch that can brighten up any bread or toast. We all like to stock up on hummus, just in case. But, how long is hummus good for?
We can never really have enough of hummus. Like all other dips, hummus, too, seems to disappear when you need it the most.
But what happens when you stock up on too many of the bottles from the store, or make too much of it at home?
Hummus can last as long as 3-6 months if stored properly, but it can also go bad in just about 4 hours if you don't take care of the condiment and leave it out of the fridge.
How long is hummus good for - Does Hummus Go Bad?
Hummus is one of the most popular culinary gifts to the world from the Middle East. It presents many layers of flavors with a yummy, creamy texture.
Hummus is so popular across the world that it is available in bottles at local stores. People also love to make hummus at home, since it is easy to make.
But is it unsafe to keep large batches of hummus at home for too long? Is it possible that the condiment into which you have put all the effort will go bad soon?
The answer to both the questions is "yes". Store-bought hummus can go bad after a while, even when kept in the refrigerator, unopened.
Commercially manufactured hummus comes with a "best by" date that's mentioned on the package. Usually, hummus lasts for 7-10 days past the "best by" inside the fridge when you refrigerate an unopened package. If it's homemade, then the time will be even shorter.
How Long Does Hummus Last?
How long will it take before the time to throw hummus away arrives at your refrigerator's doorstep and claims your favorite dip?
The answer depends on a number of things, like its manufacturing or processing method, whether it's store-bought or homemade, and if it's refrigerated, frozen, or kept out at room temperature. The shelf life of hummus can vary widely. It's a good idea to know about it in detail.
Hummus Stored In The Refrigerator
Let's start with store-bought hummus that's unopened and refrigerated at 40 F or less. Most brands have an expiration period of 1 month.
Some brands that can use high-end processing can double this period to 2 months. But some hummus variants have a "use by" date that's only 4-7 days from the manufacturing date. Usually, hummus lasts beyond these dates, and these are not indicative of its safety.
The date mentioned on the package depends on the manufacturing or packaging, as well as the use of preservatives. Hummus generally lasts for 7-10 days past this date.
For some brands, this period is just about 3-4 days, while in some cases, hummus can last as long as a month past the "best by" date.
It can be said that if properly packed, hummus with preservatives will last for a little over a month from its manufacturing in the refrigerator when the package is still unopened.
However, hummus made more naturally, without preservatives, will be in good condition for a maximum of 10 days.
Once opened, store-bought hummus will stay in the refrigerator in an edible condition for 4-7 days. Once again, the preservative content of the product will indicate whether this time will be 7 days or if you should discard it after 4 days, only. But you must refrigerate it properly to extend its life.
Homemade hummus is always going to have a fresher, better taste. Unfortunately, it will have a shorter life span, even in the refrigerator.
That's because it does not contain preservatives and not made in a contaminant-free environment. You can expect it to last for 4-5 days. Remember to keep it in a tightly sealed container that neither allows bacteria in nor lets moisture out.
Hummus Stored In the Freezer
Hummus will last for at least 3-4 months in the freezer, irrespective of whether the hummus is homemade or commercially manufactured, or the package is sealed or opened.
In fact, frozen hummus is safe for up to 6 months. But remember that in order to keep the hummus in its best condition for the longest time, it must be kept in a tightly sealed container.
Hummus freezes well and thaws overnight in the refrigerator. Freezing may change the color and texture of hummus slightly, but once thawed and stirred, these will be restored.
You must consume unopened but thawed hummus within 3 days. Neither sealed nor unpacked hummus should be refrozen.
Hummus Stored At Room Temperature
Hummus stored at room temperature can go bad in no time. There might be contaminants, bacteria, and microbes in the air, and when they come in contact with the hummus, they start to spoil the condiment.
An unopened pack of hummus can sit in the pantry at room temperature for 1-3 days only.
Once opened and left unrefrigerated, you should consume store-bought hummus within the next 4 hours. The same goes for homemade hummus that contains no preservatives and is made in a less sanitized environment. If it sits out of the fridge for more than 4 hours, it's time to discard it.
How Do You Know If Hummus Has Gone Bad
Like most condiments, hummus, whether store-bought or homemade, will go bad eventually and cause health problems. So, you must make sure that the hummus you're consuming is in good condition.
If you see that the hummus has gone past the expiry date or "best by" date, you should check for other signs.
Your nose is the most reliable tool in detecting if hummus - or any food, as such - has gone bad. When hummus gets spoilt, it will give off a distinctly acidic odor.
On the other hand, fresh hummus has the delicious aroma of garlic, olive oil, and sesame. Besides rancid smells, a visible sign of spoilage is mold.
Apart from these clear indications that it's time to throw away your hummus, you must also keep an eye out for other changes that occur when the hummus starts to go stale.
A minor shift in texture, and slight separation of oil might be fixed with a stir of the spoon. But if the texture change or oil separation is too much, it will taste unpleasant, and eating it might be risky.
Food Poisoning From Bad Hummus
Needless to say, eating fresh hummus is the best and the only option. However, the possibility of hummus going bad is quite high, especially when it does not contain preservatives.
So, you need to be extra careful about the freshness of both commercially manufactured or homemade hummus variants.
Bad hummus might lead to food poisoning, with common symptoms like nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting.
Recently, hummus has been linked to salmonella and listeria, and two cases of botulism were associated with this condiment, though these are rare cases. Hummus can also cause bloating due to chickpeas.
Hummus Storage - Best Practices
Storage is the key to extended life of hummus. For that, you need to do the following:
- Store hummus in a tightly sealed container to prevent exposure to microbes or contaminants.
- Sealing the container with a plastic wrap before putting the lid on is a good idea.
- Refrigerate hummus, both opened and unopened, at 40 F or less.
- Keep the container away from the door of the fridge to keep it at a consistent temperature.
- Always use a fresh spoon to scoop the hummus out of the jar to prevent contamination.
- Don't touch the spoon with other food, and then dip it back into the hummus.
- Freezing the hummus in a tightly sealed container will extend its life.
- For best results, thaw the hummus in the refrigerator overnight.
- Keep hummus away from sunlight, heat, and humidity.
- If you keep an unopened pack of hummus in the pantry, keep it in the darkest section.
- It's best to make hummus in small batches, so it doesn't have to be stored for too long.
- Freezing hummus in covered ice cube molds can help portion the hummus.
Maintaining the best of food hygiene is indispensable when it comes to storing hummus and extending its shelf life so that it can be enjoyed for a longer time.
Benefits of Hummus
Hummus is traditionally served as a dip with pita bread, though it has now become a popular condiment that people have with veggies, chips, and more.
It is made of cooked chickpeas, roasted sesame seeds paste or tahini, olive oil, lemon, garlic, and salt. Sometimes, other ingredients are also added to it as flavoring agents. Consuming hummus in moderation can be quite healthy.
- Hummus is a high-calorie dip that's great for those who have an intensive exercise regime.
- It is a rich source of plant protein, fat, and carbs, along with vitamins and minerals.
- Olive oil, sesame, and chickpeas in hummus contain anti-inflammatory properties.
- Its dietary fiber boosts digestive health and promotes the development of healthy gut bacteria.
- With a low glycemic index, hummus helps to control the level of blood sugar.
- Olive oil and chickpeas are both good for the heart and prevent diseases.
- Because of high protein content, it maintains muscle mass while you try to lose weight.
Hummus is thus packed with nutritious goodies, and when eaten in moderation, it can offer many health benefits. The ingredients also make this dip incredibly flavorsome.
A spoonful of hummus is a quick and easy way to make any snack delicious. You can use it as a salad dressing or top off a soup with it to make the flavors interesting.
You can also serve it as a condiment with fires, and it will be gone in seconds!
Homemade Hummus Recipe
Hummus is readily available at all local stores. You can even pick flavored hummus variants that are made even more delicious with spices and aromatics.
But if you enjoy making dips at home, hummus is one of the easiest dip recipes to try. All you need is a food processor or blender and the ingredients.
For Tahini -
- White sesame seeds (hulled) - 2 cups
- Olive oil (extra virgin) - 1-2 tbsp
For Hummus -
- Chickpeas - 2 cups
- Tahini - ⅓ cup
- Lemon juice - ¼ cup
- Olive oil (extra virgin) - 1 tbsp + 1 tbsp for garnishing
- Garlic - 2 cloves
- Salt - to taste
- First, start by heating a dry cast-iron skillet on medium-high heat. Add the sesame seeds.
- Toss them in the skillet till they become golden brown. Remove from the heat before they burn.
- Let the dry-roasted sesame seeds cool down before putting them into the blender.
- Start pouring the olive oil slowly and blend the two ingredients for a smooth paste. Put it in a jar and set it aside. You'll use ⅓ cup of this tahini and can store the rest of it.
- In a fresh jar of the blender or food processor, add all the ingredients of hummus.
- Blend them to get a smooth paste with a creamy texture.
Your hummus is ready! Simple, isn't it? At the time of serving, put it on a flat plate and make a well in the center with the back of your spoon. Then add a little olive oil in it.
You can spoon hummus over wraps, sandwiches, or a batch of spicy kebabs. Hummus can add magic to any dish.
Don't forget to store the rest of the freshly made hummus in an air-tight container and refrigerate it immediately after making it.
A condiment that's considered as a delicacy all over the world because of its rich flavors, hummus is a pure delight for every gourmet.
It is a common item in everyone's refrigerator to be served with chips, sandwiches, salads, fries, bread, and more. Plus, it's quite a healthy addition to a meal.
You can either buy it at the local stores or make it at home in minutes. Either way, it is essential to store hummus properly in a sealed container in the fridge or freezer.
Also, remember to maintain basic food while handling hummus to prevent contamination of any kind and enjoy the dip for the longest time.