Slice of Hummus Appetizer

Fuel an active lifestyle and celebrate National Hummus Day, May 13,  with a  Slice of Hummus.
Disclosure: I received free samples of Sabra Hummus mentioned in this post. By posting this recipe, I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by Sabra and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time. Opinions are my own.

I am forever encouraging individuals to eat more vegetables. Conversations about vegetables often prompt this question to me,  “Are you a vegetarian?”  I am not. My eating   patterns closely align with the  Mediterranean diet.  However, I adapt it to meet my nutritional needs and goals by  consuming more yogurt and milk than the typical Mediterranean diet. There is one part of the plan I  do believe is non-negotiable:  physical activity and enjoying food. It’s why I focus on delicious foods to  fuel an active lifestyle, and today’s post is no exception!

Have you ever asked yourself  one or more of these questions:

• How can I  improve my  overall diet quality?

• How can I better my nutrient intakes?

• How can I lower my  body weight parameters including body mass index and waist circumference?

If so, perhaps you  should consume foods for which there is evidence of an  association with improved  overall diet quality,  better nutrient intakes (including fiber and potassium), and lower body weight parameters including body mass index (BMI ) and waist circumference. One such food happens to be hummus, and I’m going to show you how to bring  this plant based protein  to the table as a  delicious appetizer. Start with Sabra classic hummus spread on a  toasted ancient grain mini naan (cut into quarters). Top with  chopped pistachios and a dried apricot slice. Finish with a drizzle of  honey. Enjoy!

Here are  five reasons, Slice of Hummus Appetizer,  is now my  go to appetizer:

  1. I’m  active and have little time for food prep. This is done in 5 minutes.

2. I  prefer to consume nutrient rich foods, but don’t like to disappoint my friends and family by serving up  something short on taste. No one will ever guess this appetizer is good for you.

3. I  want to eat more veggies and plant based proteins. And if you are wondering, where’s the vegetable  in this? It’s hummus (hummus is made of  chickpeas and is in the vegetable subgroup legumes we all could benefit from eating more of.)

4. This appetizer can be made ahead of time and it’s also easily portable!

5. In the unlikely event there are any leftover  appetizers,   they won’t  be wasted. The Slice of Hummus appetizer  holds over well when refrigerated until the following day, and they work for me as breakfast(yes I did say breakfast)  or a post-exercise recovery snack providing the 3:1 ratio of carbohydrates to protein I follow after a bout of cardio.

Remember to eat your veggies, include physical activity daily, and enjoy nutritious and delicious foods in good company on National Hummus Day and everyday!

 

A Slice of Hummus

by Diane Boyd

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 1 minute

Ingredients (serves 16)

  • 4 mini ancient grain nann
  • 1 10 oz container Sabra Classic Hummus
  • 4 tablespoons chopped pistachios
  • 16 dried apricots
  • 1 teaspoon honey

Instructions

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Place naan bread on baking sheet and heat for one minute.

2. Cut each mini naan bread into quarters. Place on a serving plate.

3. Spread 1 tablespoon Sabra classic hummus on each piece of naan, sprinkle with crushed pistachios and top with dried apricot.

4. Drizzle with honey. Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate for up to 24 hours.

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Physical Activity: How Much Do You Need and Getting it Done in Less Time

Last month I attended a professional meeting , SCAN (Sports Cardiovascular and Wellness Nutrition dietetic practice group of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics). The  program planners gave me a gift: they made incorporating some physical activity into my day easy by scheduling an early morning yoga class on the first day, and  early morning group runs on all the other meeting days. Horray for an organization that practices what it preaches!

Let’s face it, somedays it’s easier to find time to exercise  than other days and most people consider not having enough time in the day their single biggest  barrier. I tend to agree, and although I  enjoy exercise, I’m not immune from thoughts of  skipping it altogether when  I get overwhelmed with work, or even when I have other things I want to do,  like planting flowers and working in my yard .
However,  I know that some activity is better than no activity, and I feel I can maintain my  fitness goals with the  solution of decreasing  my overall time spent exercising , but increasing the overall intensity of my activity.

The 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans conclude that most health benefits occur with a minimum of 150 minutes a week (2 hours 30 minutes) of moderate intensity physical activity, or  75 minutes  a week (one hour 15 minutes) of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity. In addition, muscle strengthening activities that are moderate to high intensity and involve all major muscle groups  should be incorporated twice a week.

When work piles up and deadlines loom,  or  when I just want more time to enjoy my favorite hobbies,  I exercise harder, but  spend less overall time exercising. For example,  if I’m doing  strengthening exercises, I  limit the time between sets.  I can accomplish a 30 minute workout in 20 minutes, and keep my heart rate elevated as well. This strategy not only increases my efficiency, it’s one of the ways I  believe I ‘ve been able to reduce my fit age. One final thought before I close,  remember to integrate nutrition and  training by properly fueling prior to  exercise. A high carbohydrate snack is usually just the burst of energy I need to power through a vigorous workout.  Coming soon, my  favorite pre-workout snacks.)

 

 

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