The ordinary hummus has a lot going for it. It’s easy to make and goes well as a starter, a side dish, or a meal in itself. However, there’s not a lot of cooking involved when it comes to this delicious, creamy dish.
This gives rise to the question of hummus spoilage. That box, jar, or homemade batch may be too large to finish in one go. In the fridge, as we all know, things tend to sit for some days before they are used.
So, the question that now arises is, just how long can you expect hummus to last?
Table of Contents
What Is Hummus Anyway?
There’s just something about hummus that makes it the darling of so many cultures and countries. In fact, hummus has been the subject of many a social media war and heated debates.
This simple dish is the pride of many Middle Eastern countries, but what exactly is it?
Hummus is a creamy, fluffy paste that comes from blending boiled chickpeas in a blender, food processer, or a more heavy-duty machine. The chickpeas are first soaked in a water and baking soda solution and then boiled or steamed until they are very soft. Some people prefer using a pressure cooker for this.
The boiled chickpeas are then processed into a paste. Seasonings are also put in before or during the blending process. The magic ingredient in hummus, however, is that versatile substance we call tahini. Before your head starts to spin with all these fancy culinary terms, we’ll sidetrack a bit here.
Tahini is a roasted sesame paste made by roasting hulled sesame seeds and grinding them. They would release their own oil, and some more oil may also join in the fun to turn it into a paste or sauce. Tahini is what gives hummus that fluffiness and unique taste.
Without tahini, hummus would be just a blend of chickpeas. All the seasoning in the world would not be able to mask the bland taste of these boiled grams. It’s crazy but true. No hummus connoisseur would accept this dish without tahini or a close alternative.
In addition to the tahini, hummus also includes a few squeezes of lemon juice. Add in a dash of freshly crushed garlic and top the whole thing off with a sprinkle of paprika.
A drizzle of olive oil, and you’re all set to enjoy this mouth-watering concoction with hot pita bread. Hungry yet?
Does Hummus Go Bad? How Long Does Hummus Last?
The people at Hope Foods see how much people love hummus. In order to allay their fears about the shelf life of hummus in the fridge, they’ve provided some pretty detailed information.
The fact is that hummus going bad depends on a number of factors. One has to look at how long the hummus has been left out, what its packaging is, and whether it was made at home or bought at the supermarket.
The expiry date on hummus can also change according to the brand you buy. Then, of course, there is the matter of whether you have opened the box or not. Once you open the packaging, whether it’s a box, tub, or can, the life of the hummus itself would obviously shorten.
We’re not done yet! Freezing anything is a surefire way to maintaining the freshness and shelf life of any food. However, hummus may still not keep for too long even if it’s in the freezer for most of its life.
If you make or buy hummus and leave it on the kitchen counter for four hours, the party’s over according to FDA standards. Hence, it’s best to pop it in the fridge or freezer as soon as it reaches room temperature.
Making your own hummus may give you that fresh taste, but it won’t remain for too long. The good part is that it would probably be so delicious that there’d be none left!
Check the table below for the expiration date for your hummus as if it pasts the printed date.
However, the canned and packaged kind would last a bit longer. This is because they’re prepared at controlled temperatures and sterile surroundings.
How Long Does Hummus Last in the Fridge?
As a rule of thumb, Hope Foods suggests not keeping homemade hummus beyond three or four days in the fridge. For store-bought hummus, a health inspector on Quora recommends not keeping it more than a week.
However, this is assuming that it is chilled for that time. Again, you should pop that hummus in the fridge ASAP.
Be sure that you use your fridge as a fridge when it comes to hummus, though! It’s not something you leave for days on end unless you want to waste that precious creaminess. In which case, send it over to us or a friend with good culinary taste.
There is always the good ol’ freezer, but be careful! Putting that delicious chickpea dip in the freezer could make it suitable for consumption even after four months, but the extreme temperature makes the poor little hummus bland and dry. Hummus doesn’t deserve such treatment, and neither do you.
Again, Hope Foods has given us a blog on how to properly freeze hummus. The technique it suggests consists of using freezer-safe boxes, putting some extra oil on top of the hummus, and making sure to thaw it a day before needed. Simple and ingenious!
How to Tell If the Hummus Has Gone Bad?
Humans have several ways to tell if the food is spoiled or otherwise potentially dangerous. You can look for fungus or mold growing on unsuitable food.
You would probably run away at the smell of rotten food, so detecting bad hummus is not really a problem.
EatbyDate’s experts have given a simple guideline about possibly spoilt hummus. Simply speaking, if there is a sour smell, no need to taste the hummus. It’s lost to you now. Don’t put your digestive system at risk by putting that concoction in your mouth, no matter how little the amount.
The sour smell would be apparent even in store-bought hummus that has preservatives in it. The expiry date may be far away, but hummus is a natural product when all is said and done. Hence, it would probably begin to smell too much like yeast, garlic, or onion.
Other than putting trust in your nose, you may also see some mold growing. This is a definite sign that the hummus is not good anymore. There’s no choice but to dispose of it. Even a packaged hummus would not be of use after opening for more than a week at best.
If you can’t fully trust your nose and can’t see any mold, you can make the taste check as a last resort. Scoop up a little hummus with a spoon or even your finger. Don’t risk wasting a piece of pita bread on a possibly spoilt hummus! Lick the hummus and keep a tiny bit in your mouth to check for a sour taste.
The expiry date alone is probably not a good indication of whether hummus is safe for you. Even if the date has gone by, the hummus may be safe to eat even if it won’t be of the best quality.
How to Store Hummus Properly?
Hummus is a highly nutritious food according to WebMD if at the price of a few more calories. Hence, you would want to keep it around for as long as possible. Proper storage is the key to getting the most out of your hummus.
As mentioned above, there is a certain way to store hummus in the freezer. We won’t bore you with the details again. In the fridge and when in the process of consuming hummus, there are a few precautions to take to ensure its long life and good fortune.
Anyone who knows their hummus would also know how it needs proper storage. Since it is chock-full of protein, it is usually labeled with a best-by date instead of a use-by one. This means that the date on the can is really just a suggestion.
This fact, in turn, means that you have a bit of flexibility when it comes to storing hummus. A little carelessness, like double-dipping a chip, piece of bread, or spoon into hummus, can cause it to spoil more quickly. Avoiding contamination is a precaution to take before storing hummus.
Here, eatbydate.com again comes to the rescue by advising to keep the refrigerator under 40 degrees Fahrenheit. This helps keep the hummus fresh for a longer period. The container should also be airtight and have no way for water or germs to get inside.
The idea about adding a bit of oil before freezing the hummus may also apply when you are storing it in the fridge. After all, a refrigerator can dry out even the juiciest of fruits and vegetables.
It only makes sense that it would dry out a chickpea paste as well. A little olive oil could save the day when it’s time to eat your leftover hummus.
So, there you have it. All that a complete hummus novice needs to know is now at your fingertips. You may now have managed to get your hands on some of that yummy delight. Be sure to sprinkle some olive oil on hummus when you do get it and top off with some spicy seasonings.
Hummus is super easy to make at home, but it tastes equally good out of a can. If you’re done drooling, go and look up some recipes for whipping up your very own creamy, smooth, delectable dish. Here’s wishing you a very happy culinary experience.