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Taste test: roasted garlic hummus

Eating on the run can be challenging, especially for individuals looking for more healthy options and trimmer waistlines. Hummus is a great choice for both. The Middle Eastern spread of chickpeas and tahini, a paste made of sesame seeds, is nutritious, filling and can be dressed up with all kinds of seasonings. We tried six brands of roasted garlic hummus with pita chips and found three that would make good snacks or meals.

Kathy Saunders, Times correspondent

Product/serving Sabra Two tablespoons Archer Farms Two tablespoons Cedar's Garlic Lover's Two tablespoons
Calories/ Fat/Fiber Sugars/Sodium Carbohydrates/Protein 70 / 6g / 1g 1g / 120mg 4g / 2g 70 / 4g / 2g 1g / 90mg 7g / 2g 40 / 1.5g / 1g 1g / 100mg 5g / 2g
Judges' comments Big chunks of garlic made this hummus stand out among the others. Judges liked the hearty texture and smooth spreadability. "It's delicious and definitely garlicky," said one panelist. "I would serve this at my next party and keep it around to snack on." Another judge detected a smoky flavor in the mixture. All of the panelists said it tasted especially fresh. The herbs and garlic were at the top of this container. Panelists liked the colorful presentation as well as the strong, but not overbearing, garlic flavor. The presentation of Target's store brand of hummus made this one the judges' favorite pick for party platters. Cedar's was the smoothest of the samples. One panelist described the texture as "frosting-like." Judges said it was the most plain, but had enough flavor to make it a garlicky treat. They liked the creamy texture and the light, beige color. "It's mild and understated," said one. "I like that about it."
Shopping information $3.49 for a 10-ounce container from Sweetbay. $3.99 for a 10-ounce container from Target. $3.69 for an 8-ounce container from Sweetbay.
Product/serving Sabra Two tablespoons Archer Farms Two tablespoons Cedar's Garlic Lover's Two tablespoons
Calories/ Fat/Fiber Sugars/Sodium Carbohydrates/Protein 70 / 6g / 1g 1g / 120mg 4g / 2g 70 / 4g / 2g 1g / 90mg 7g / 2g 40 / 1.5g / 1g 1g / 100mg 5g / 2g
Judges' comments Big chunks of garlic made this hummus stand out among the others. Judges liked the hearty texture and smooth spreadability. "It's delicious and definitely garlicky," said one panelist. "I would serve this at my next party and keep it around to snack on." Another judge detected a smoky flavor in the mixture. All of the panelists said it tasted especially fresh. The herbs and garlic were at the top of this container. Panelists liked the colorful presentation as well as the strong, but not overbearing, garlic flavor. The presentation of Target's store brand of hummus made this one the judges' favorite pick for party platters. Cedar's was the smoothest of the samples. One panelist described the texture as "frosting-like." Judges said it was the most plain, but had enough flavor to make it a garlicky treat. They liked the creamy texture and the light, beige color. "It's mild and understated," said one. "I like that about it."
Shopping information $3.49 for a 10-ounce container from Sweetbay. $3.99 for a 10-ounce container from Target. $3.69 for an 8-ounce container from Sweetbay.

ALSO SAMPLED: Sonny & Joe's ($3.99 for a 10-ounce container from Target); Tribe ($2.48 for an 8-ounce container from Walmart); and Athenos ($3.29 for a 7-ounce container from Winn-Dixie).

Panelists: Nan Jensen, registered dietitian; Jim Yockey, aesthetician at Anu You Institute; Julie Overton, consumer, mother of four; and Amanda Bachman, dietetic intern. All foods were tasted blind.

Taste test: roasted garlic hummus 10/22/10 [Last modified: Friday, October 22, 2010 5:30am]
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