It’s a reasonable question to ask is hummus vegan? Whilst it may feel like the answer is obvious, that’s not true. Especially for store-bought hummus that’s now available in numerous varieties. Some hummus is vegan whereas other hummus is only suitable for a die-hard vegetarian. Read on to learn what you need to be looking out for.
What Are The Ingredients In Hummus?
The base ingredient for hummus is usually chickpeas as the main staple.
After chickpeas, the following ingredients can be found in ‘classic’ hummus;
- Lemon juice
- Lemon oil
- Olive oil
…are all added to taste. There are no hard and vast quantities as to which each of these ingredients needs to be added.
But then there are variations.
Classic Hummus Variations
There are a number of different takes on the classic hummus.
Some hummus is varied up by replacing chickpeas with lentils or black beans, or edamame, or white beans.
Roasting is also popular where the beans are either toasted or roasted, and other ingredients may be sun-dried or toasted, or spices or herbs added to change the flavor profile.
Do NOT assume that all hummus is vegan
This allows vegans to enjoy hummus even if they’re not partial to chickpeas or other flavors commonly associated with it.
What is more is that chickpeas are full of great plant-based protein, as well as healthy fats in the oils, and the fiber from the beans.
For more informetiaon on protein check out our article, Protein and The Vegan Diet [Everything You Need to Know]. As the title suggests, it will take you through everything you need to know to ensure that you get enough protein in your diet as a vegan.
Hummus can be a nutritional powerhouse for vegans, who often do not get enough of the right vitamins and minerals they need. This can often lead vegans to looking sick.
Are The Ingredients In Hummus Vegan?
It should not be assumed that the ingredients in hummus will always be vegan.
While the likelihood is pretty good, so are the different hummus on the market too.
If you believe the marketers, no one hummus tastes like another… and it’s the variations, subtractions, and additions to the base ingredients that can get a vegan into deep water.
As well as sometimes being marketed as vegan, hummus may also be proudly promoted as organic too.
The vegetables might also be from non-GMO sources.
Alternatively, it could be a gluten-free product and sold in the aisle with other food items that fit neatly into this category.
Looking for a vegan hummus that’s also organic is a good idea.
If you have a particular view on GMO versus non-GMO food sources, then you may seek out and find non-GMO hummus too.
However, gluten-free is connected to allergies rather than taste preferences. Needing to be gluten-free and eating vegan adds to the difficulties in eating right.
Also, there is the issue of palm oil.
Some companies will add palm oil instead of olive or lemon oil. Palm oil can be a gray area in the vegan community. Check out our guide to palm oil for more on this.
So, Is Hummus Vegan?
Looking at the ingredients in classic, or event twists on classic hummus, the answer to the question, is hummus vegan, seems a simple one, YES. It is made with good quality, plant-based, vegan-friendly ingredients.
Some producers will add non-vegan ingredients into hummus.
More, likely than not, your hummus will be vegan. However, as with all products, manufacturers try and find shortcuts in order to produce foodstuffs cheaply, and in volume.
This may mean that they will add ingredients that are not vegan-friendly.
Non-Vegan Ingredients To look Out For In Hummus
You will need to look out for companies that add dairy products into their hummus, such as Greek yogurt, milk, or cheese, this can be to help with the texture or taste.
We wanted to compile a list of all of the brands that are NOT vegan-friendly for you here, however, they are constantly changing.
The best thing to do is always read the label, and if unsure, there will be plenty of vegan brands there on the shelf!
If you are eating homemade hummus at a friend’s house – just ask the question about the ingredients first. It can even be discrete, as you are just making conversation about how they make their hummus.
Is Store Bought Hummus Vegan?
Store-bought hummus is not necessarily vegan. It depends on the brand and their hummus (one brand’s hummus product range may include vegan and non-vegan varieties).
For example, Lantana Foods sells their Lantana Roasted Garlic Hummus in Publix, Lowe’s Foods, and Kroger, to name a few.
The product’s ingredients include white beans, tahini, peppers, roasted garlic (of course), olive oil, and various herbs and spices. It’s marketed as both Kosher and Vegan.
Roots Hummus also sells many varieties in various stores. Their hummus range all seems to be vegan and gluten-free. Non-GMO is also a feature of their hummus too.
Store-bought hummus can be excellent. It is necessary to look carefully at what is being offered. The majority (if not all) hummus sold will be vegetarian unless it’s truly exotic, but only some will be vegan too.
Some brands will have sub-brands or even their main brand that only sells vegan products; other brands may mix and match by marketing non-vegan and vegan food items under the same moniker.
This requires consumers to be on their toes.
When Is Hummus Not Vegan? [What To Look Out For?]
The non-vegan hummus is where producers have either gone in a certain direction, such as flavors from another country or region, or they’ve added other ingredients to expand their range which might be a step too far for vegans.
For example, there is hummus that’s “taco” or “Greek” inspired.
Alternatively, a Guacamole version might have been introduced to add a little Mexican flavor.
To create an appealing new version of hummus, other ingredients are added that would prevent that version from being marketed as being vegan.
Also, other additions might get you into trouble even if the base ingredient is fine. Caramelized onions spring to mind, these have likely been caramalized in butter.
In many of these situations, they’re most likely vegetarian for sure, but not necessarily vegan-friendly.
For this reason, even with a vegetable-based food item like hummus, vegans must check the ingredients and product labels to be certain of what they’re buying.
Is Hummus Raw Vegan?
Unfortunately, hummus is not raw vegan. This is due to the chickpeas (aka garbanzo beans) being cooked before being blended to make the hummus. Also, depending on the ingredients, some will have been heat pasteurized, making them unsuitable for those living a raw vegan diet.
Wrapping Up: Is Hummus Vegan?
90% of the time it is likely that hummus will be vegan, however, some manufacturers are known to add dairy products to their hummus in order to enhance the flavor or texture. Checking the label is always advised, as products are constantly changing their ingredients.