If you’ve just found a half-finished tub of hummus at the back of your fridge, and you’ve discarded the packaging that tells you the expiration date, you’ve come to the right place.
Today, we’re going through everything you need to know about hummus: what exactly it is, how to store it, how to tell if it’s gone bad, and how long you can expect it to last.
What Is Hummus?
Hummus is a dip or spread extremely popular in the Middle East although it can be found in most supermarkets. It is typically made by blending chickpeas (garbanzo beans), tahini (ground sesame seeds), olive oil, lemon juice, and garlic.
Full of plant-based protein, proven to fight inflammation, high in fiber, and may even reduce the risk of heart disease, hummus seems like the perfect snack in your balanced diet!
The current ‘hipster’ trends have made it possible to have hummus made out of basically anything: avocados, peppers, pumpkins, chocolate, and the list goes on!
Can Hummus Go Bad?
The short answer to this question is yes, hummus can go bad.
Pretty much everything that goes in hummus can go bad by itself, so it’s only fair that the final product follows those rules.
How Long Does Hummus Last?
Even though some hummus lovers out there might be able to eat a whole container in one sitting, the rest of us might want to pace ourselves and have a bit at a time.
In which case you might be wondering: how long can I have it in the fridge before it’s no good anymore?
The shelf life of hummus will vary depending on a number of things: the best before date, how the hummus was prepared, and how it’s being kept stored.
As with many other proteins, hummus usually has a best before date rather than an expiration date, meaning you can usually consume it sometime afterward and still be safe, even though the quality of the product might go down. How long afterward, you ask?
- Unopened refrigerated hummus stored in the fridge can be consumed between 3 to 10 days after the printed date. You could also choose to freeze it which will give you another 6 to 8 months of shelf-life.
- Sometimes, you can also find unrefrigerated hummus, which unopened could last between 1 to 3 months! Once you open it, same rules apply.
- Opened hummus stored in the fridge should last between 4 days to a week (stick to the first one if your hummus doesn’t contain any preservatives).
- Homemade hummus should last 3 to 5 days in total from the day it was made.
These dates, however, are estimates and you should always check for signs that your hummus has gone bad.
How, you wonder? Keep reading!
How Do I Spot If My Hummus Has Gone Bad?
You open the fridge looking for a snack and find some opened hummus that has been there for a week.
Not sure what to do? Here’s what you should check before eating!
- Smell – Not necessarily precise machinery, but your smell is a good reliable source to indicate if your hummus has gone bad. Spoiled hummus has a sour smell compared to the neutral scent of hummus (or garlicky if you love garlic hummus).
- Mold – After the smell begins developing, mold will appear. If your hummus looks moldy, it’s definitely gone bad!
- Taste – Although a last resort, what smells sour tastes sour. If you think it smells weird but aren’t too sure, chances are it tastes weird too.
How Do I Properly Store Hummus?
Hummus can be very versatile in its storage, especially because there is more than one type. You can find the usual refrigerated hummus anywhere, but there is also unrefrigerated hummus available on the market!
If your hummus is unrefrigerated, you can keep it that way until you are ready to open it. Store it in a cool dry place such as kitchen cupboards away from light and make sure you move it to the fridge once the container is open! (You might need to move it to a different container).
With refrigerated hummus, as the name pretty much states, you should keep in the fridge at all times. Make sure the container can be closed again once opened or pour it into a resealable one.
Homemade hummus should always be stored in the fridge as well.
You can also choose to store your hummus in the freezer to extend its shelf-life but be aware of the possible change in texture. Once you defrost it, it should go back to its normal consistency with some stirring!
What Can I Use Leftover Hummus For?
Finally, you might have a tiny bit of hummus left but not enough for a whole recipe or snack! Here are a few ideas that you can do with a spoonful of hummus.
- Salad dressing – mix your leftover hummus with some oil, dill, and a splash of lemon juice for a creamy but refreshing salad dressing!
- Pasta sauce – you can thin the hummus with oil and water and add it to your pasta bowl for a healthy and tasty sauce.
- Sandwich spread – in many ways, hummus is a great replacement for mayo. If you want to mix things up with your sandwiches, add a bit of hummus to your bread!