Hummus’s popularity has grown considerably over time, and it can lend a Mediterranean flavor to just about any kind of dish. From use as a simple dip with crackers to a way to significantly improve a sandwich or even a funky pizza topping, hummus can be a great addition to many kinds of meals. When you find a great deal on it, the temptation is definitely there to stock up. However, hummus will only keep for so long before it begins to go bad and taste off. You could even get sick if you ate hummus that had aged too poorly.
Image used under Creative Commons from Gloria Cabada-Leman
Hummus is delicious and highly nutritious, which makes having some on hand a great idea. Unfortunately, hummus will only keep so long if you keep it at room temperature. Keeping your hummus in the fridge can keep it good for longer, but sometimes even this is not enough. Many people who either make their own hummus or who tend to find a great deal on it find that freezing hummus is a good idea to help it stay useful for a longer period of time.
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Does Freezing Hummus Make Sense?
Freezing hummus can make sense in several contexts. Firstly, keeping your hummus in the freezer works well if you make it yourself. You can take advantage of what is called an economy of scale, and all you need to do for this is buy large amounts of the materials that are needed to make the hummus and keep them on hand. Once you have the time necessary, you can mix up a large amount of hummus into a large container and then have plenty on hand for whatever purpose you have in mind. As a general rule, hummus will last for roughly a week if left to its own devices. For some people, especially those with busy schedules, this is not long enough to enjoy a large amount of it.
Another time when you may find that you have too much hummus is if you can find a tremendous deal on it. With some stores having sales on their hummus as its “best by” date comes near, you may be able to stock up on massive quantities for a very reasonable price. Of course, there is still the matter of being able to use your new hummus before it goes bad. You can do this through freezing your hummus for later use, particularly if you know you will want to have plenty for a particular occasion later on.
How Freezing Affects Hummus?
Freezing hummus has special requirements that not every kind of food item has. One issue that some novice hummus freezers have is that their hummus expands like most liquids do. This can cause breakages which will leave a residue that smells of garlic, and not everyone wants that in their freezer. Using an appropriate container can help to keep this mess under control. Since there are no dairy or meat products in the hummus, there is no problem with the type of spoilage that these types of products can have when frozen and thawed.
Some people report that freezing hummus affects its consistency. There is a tendency for anything that involves water to separate somewhat during the freezing and thawing process, but this can be dealt with by mixing and using proper thawing methods in order to ensure proper consistency after your hummus is thawed. Under normal circumstances, freezing your hummus will not have any impact on its taste or how healthy it is for you.
Image used under Creative Commons from Eli Duke
How Do You Freeze Hummus?
Firstly, make sure that your hummus is in a freezer safe container. This is generally either a freezer bag that can expand or a very large covered bowl. You want your container to be extra large so that when your hummus expands, it will not cause damage to the container and end up with a garlic smelling mess that you will have to clean up. You should also leave some space at the top of any container you use just to be on the safe side.
You can also use some olive oil on top of your hummus to keep its moisture inside. This can help to stave off freezer burn, as it will seal in the moisture. This will not affect the taste.
The process can last up to four months. The hummus will not go bad after this time, but its taste and consistency may be unpalatable after a four month period. When this process is done with, you should transfer your hummus container into the refrigerator for 24 hours and let it slowly thaw. Afterward, you want to heat your hummus in the microwave to restore any of its original consistency that freezing may have taken away from it.