How many calories are in a cup of red pepper hummus?

Hummus is a popular Mediterranean spread or dip made primarily from chickpeas, tahini, olive oil, lemon juice and salt. It’s commonly eaten with pita bread, chips, crackers or fresh vegetables. Hummus makes a nutritious addition to a balanced diet, providing protein, healthy fats and fiber. However, the calories in hummus can vary greatly depending on the ingredients used.

Red pepper hummus is a variation made with roasted red bell peppers, giving it a sweet, smoky flavor. When determining the calories in red pepper hummus, there are several factors to consider, including the specific ingredients and portion size.

This article provides a detailed overview of how many calories are in a cup of red pepper hummus. We’ll examine the calorie content of the main ingredients, how many calories typical recipes contain per serving, and how to enjoy red pepper hummus as part of a healthy diet.

Calories in Red Peppers

The main ingredient that sets red pepper hummus apart is red bell peppers. This brightly colored vegetable adds flavor, texture and nutrients.

One medium red bell pepper (about 1 cup chopped) provides the following nutrients (1):

– Calories: 37
– Protein: 1 gram
– Carbs: 9 grams
– Fiber: 3 grams
– Vitamin A: 127% DV
– Vitamin C: 317% DV

So a cup of chopped, raw red bell pepper contains only 37 calories. When red bell peppers are roasted, they become sweeter and more concentrated as some of the water cooks off.

During roasting, the calorie count remains similar, but you may use less than a cup when making hummus since the volume decreases. Overall, the number of calories in red peppers is minimal regardless of whether they are raw or roasted.

Calories in Chickpeas

Like most bean varieties, chickpeas are high in protein and fiber. They are the main ingredient in traditional hummus.

One cup (164 grams) of canned, drained chickpeas contains (2):

– Calories: 269
– Protein: 14.5 grams
– Carbs: 45 grams
– Fiber: 12.5 grams

The majority of calories in chickpeas come from carbs. However, chickpeas provide a nutritious source of plant-based protein and satiating fiber.

When making hummus, chickpeas are pureed, so the fiber content is retained. Though chickpeas are higher in calories and carbs than other hummus ingredients, they make the dip filling and nutritious.

Calories in Tahini

Tahini is a paste made from ground sesame seeds used to provide creaminess and nutty flavor in hummus.

One tablespoon (15 grams) of tahini contains (3):

– Calories: 89
– Fat: 8 grams
– Carbs: 3 grams
– Protein: 3 grams

Sesame seeds are over 50% fat by weight, mostly in the form of healthy unsaturated fats like oleic acid (4).

Therefore, even a small amount of tahini adds a significant number of calories from fat. However, the fat content makes it a great complement to the chickpeas in hummus, providing richness and balanced nutrition.

Calories in Olive Oil

Olive oil is another source of healthy fats in hummus. The type used can range from light extra virgin to regular olive oil.

One tablespoon (15ml) of olive oil contains (5):

– Calories: 119
– Fat: 13.5 grams
– Vitamin E: 12% DV

So olive oil packs even more calories per tablespoon than tahini. The major difference is that olive oil provides purely fat calories, while tahini also contributes some protein and carbs.

The amount of olive oil in hummus recipes can vary widely. More is often used in creamier versions to enrich the texture.

Calories in Lemon Juice

Lemon juice provides bright, citrusy flavor to hummus. It’s usually added in small amounts.

One fluid ounce (30 ml) of lemon juice contains (6):

– Calories: 8
– Carbs: 2 grams
– Vitamin C: 31% DV

Lemon juice is very low in calories, with minimal carbs and no fat or protein. The acidic tang balances out the richness from the other hummus ingredients.

Calories in Spices and Herbs

Spices like garlic, paprika, cumin and herbs like parsley are often included in hummus recipes.

These add tons of flavor for virtually no calories. One teaspoon of spices or herbs contains less than 5 calories (7).

So spices and herbs provide negligible calories but upgrade the taste of hummus exponentially.

Summary of Calorie Sources in Hummus

– Chickpeas: carbohydrate and protein
– Tahini: fat and protein
– Olive oil: fat
– Red peppers: minimal
– Lemon juice: minimal
– Spices and herbs: minimal

In a nutshell, chickpeas, tahini and olive oil provide the vast majority of calories in hummus, while the other ingredients add plenty of flavor with little effect on total calories.

Calories in Different Types of Hummus

There are countless hummus recipes out there, but certain ingredients and preparation methods can substantially affect the calorie content.

Some types of hummus with their calories per 2-tablespoon serving include:

Type of Hummus Calories
Classic 78
Red pepper 80
Roasted garlic 80
Spicy jalapeno 80
Pesto 96
Sun-dried tomato 79
Sweet potato 93
Edamame 95
Black bean 75

As you can see, most plain hummus preparations contain around 80 calories per serving. This equals about 160 calories per cup.

The biggest differences come with hummus varieties made with higher calorie ingredients like pesto or sweet potatoes, increasing the calorie count by around 20 calories per serving.

On the other hand, black bean hummus cuts about 5 calories per serving compared to the classics.

So the fastest way to cut calories in hummus is to avoid added oil and swap in low calorie vegetables like black beans for some of the chickpeas.

However, most traditional hummus recipes don’t have major differences in calories. The specific amounts of oil and tahini have a larger impact.

Typical Calorie Count for Homemade Red Pepper Hummus

When making red pepper hummus at home, there are some general nutrition stats to keep in mind per 2-tablespoon serving:

– Calories: around 80
– Total fat: around 5 grams
– Protein: around 2–3 grams
– Carbs: around 6 grams
– Fiber: around 2–3 grams

However, these numbers depend entirely on the specific recipe. For instance, here’s the nutrition data for two different homemade red pepper hummus recipes:

Recipe #1 (8) Recipe #2 (9)
Calories: 60

Fat: 3.5g

Carbs: 6g

Protein: 2g
Calories: 91

Fat: 6g

Carbs: 7g

Protein: 3g

The #1 recipe has around 30 fewer calories per serving. This is likely because it contains 2 tablespoons of olive oil compared to 3 tablespoons in the #2 recipe.

This demonstrates how extra olive oil can quickly increase the calories in homemade hummus. For the lowest calorie option, use the minimum amount needed for the texture you want.

Nutrition Comparison to Classic Hummus

In terms of nutrients, red pepper hummus has a similar nutritional profile to classic hummus.

The main differences are that the red pepper version contains slightly more vitamins A and C due to the added bell pepper:

Nutrient Classic Hummus (10) Red Pepper Hummus (11)
Calories 161 152
Fat 8g 8g
Carbs 17g 14g
Fiber 4g 3g
Protein 7g 5g
Vitamin A 2% DV 15% DV
Vitamin C 4% DV 39% DV

Aside from a few more vitamins, red pepper hummus is highly similar nutritionally to classic hummus when comparing equal serving sizes.

How Many Calories in Different Serving Sizes?

The number of calories in hummus depends on your serving size. Here’s how calorie count scales for different amounts of red pepper hummus:

Serving Size Calories
2 tablespoons 80
1/4 cup 160
1/2 cup 320
1 cup 640

A standard 2-tablespoon serving provides 80 calories. From there, the calories double for every added 1/4 cup serving. A whole cup contains around 640 calories.

Keep in mind your serving size if tracking your calorie intake. While hummus is nutritious, overdoing portion sizes can cause excess calorie intake.

Tips for Enjoying Red Pepper Hummus

Here are some tips for savoring red pepper hummus as part of a healthy lifestyle:

– Stick to a 2–4 tablespoon serving size. Pre-portion hummus into snack bags or small containers for grab-and-go options.

– Dip raw, cut veggies like carrots, celery and bell peppers into hummus instead of chips. You’ll save calories and increase nutrients.

– Spread hummus on whole grain toast or flatbread instead of higher calorie spreads.

– Use hummus as a creamy salad dressing base blended with lemon juice and herbs.

– Mix hummus into Greek yogurt for a high protein, nutritious dip for fruits or crackers.

– Add a dollop of hummus to wraps in place of typical dressings or sauces.

– Blend hummus into smoothies instead of higher calorie ingredients like nut butters.

– Use hummus as a sandwich spread instead of mayo or cream cheese.

The Bottom Line

Red pepper hummus contains about 80 calories in a standard 2-tablespoon serving. The specific calorie count can vary based on the amounts of olive oil and other high calorie ingredients used.

Compared to classic hummus, the red pepper version provides slightly higher amounts of vitamins A and C, but is otherwise nutritionally similar.

To lighten up hummus, use minimal added oil and incorporate low calorie vegetables like roasted red bell peppers.

Enjoy hummus in moderation alongside a balanced diet based on whole foods like vegetables, fruits, lean proteins and whole grains to manage your calorie intake and nutrition.

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