The Healthiest, Gluten-Free Quinoa Hummus with Lemon and Oregano Oils

Hummus has always been a snack time favorite because of its versatility. This tasty appetizer can be seasoned to match whatever flavor you desire. Our Quinoa Hummus with Rosemary and Lemon Essential Oils recipe is super delicious and very healthy, plus is gluten-free!

So why is this hummus so good for you?
Well, let’s start with the quinoa...

QUINOA is indigenous to Bolivia and Peru. The seeds of this plant were considered a gift from the Gods by the Incas thousands of years ago and were referred to as “the mother grain.” (1) thanks to its variety of health benefits. Quinoa is packed with antioxidants, protein, fiber, and is also gluten-free.

Quinoa can help with cell growth regulation because it contains betaine, which studies show that it assists mammals in this process.(1)
In addition, quinoa has been proven to help control type 2 diabetes (1) which is why we chose to use this superfood in our hummus recipe along with walnuts. Make sure you soak quinoa in cold water for 1-2 days and change it often before you cook it, preferably in a pressure cooker.

WALNUTS are a well-known superfood. They are packed with antioxidants and have even been linked to improving brain function due to their high content of omega-3 fatty acids. On a study conducted on nine different types of nuts, walnuts proved to have the highest amount of antioxidants present. (2) In another study, researchers found that walnuts can aid against memory impairment (3).

Satisfying our cravings while keeping our brain health is the goal of all our recipes and nothing adds more flavor and health benefits than just a few drops of essential oil. For this hummus recipe, we used Lemon and Oregano Oils.

LEMON OIL is loved for its light, citrusy flavors and its ability to boost the immune and circulatory systems but it can also act as an anticancer agent. This oil contains flavonoids which act as antioxidants and boost enzymatic activities which aid the digestion; it also has anti-diabetic properties. (4)

OREGANO OIL is a wintry herb with a slightly spicy flavor and many health benefits which are not very well known yet, unfortunately. Multiple studies tested the effects of Oregano oil on inflammation, fighting viruses and bacteria and supporting a healthy heart among other health benefits. A study conducted on mice found that Oregano reduced inflammation. Also, the exposure to this oil exhibits anti-proliferative activity in stomach cancer. (5)

THE ESSENTIAL OILS’ TRUE POWER

And here’s a secret that very few know: in the process of drying herbs, many molecules of oils found in plants evaporate, which means dry herbs have less therapeutic benefits than essential oils, which are the most concentrated essence of the plants since the oils from plants are extracted and steamed distilled, which conserves their nutrient powers. This is why essential oils are a lot more potent than fresh or dry herbs, and spices.

You get a lot more health benefits from using 1-2 drops of essential oils versus using the fresh or dry herbs which would require to consume 5-10 times more the quantity you’d normally use in recipes to get the same results, plus the oils could last anywhere between 1-5 years, depending on their chemical composition. For example, 1 drop of oil is the equivalent of 1 full tablespoon of dry herb, or the equivalent of 2 oz of dry herbs in the case of more spicier oils such as cinnamon, clove, basil, etc. You could easily save a LOT of money in the long run as fresh herbs are expensive and perishable, and dry herbs and spices either expire or lose their flavor within 6 months or so after opening them.

On the contrary, essential oils’ flavor and scent are more intense, and in some oils, they intensify even more with time. What a lot of people don’t know is that certain essential oils, when stored properly, can be aged just like red wine, and with time they become more exquisite and their therapeutic/health benefits become even more effective, and thus more expensive.

This is why using essential oils even in your recipes can make you healthier and help you enjoy even the most boring or simple dishes and salads in a completely new and exciting way. Not to mention that you’ll be saving a lot of money while saving our planet’s resources by reducing the waste caused by perishable herbs and spices when you switch to essential oils, which have a much longer shelf life and take very little shelf space and packaging due to their much higher flavor concentration.

They’re truly nature’s greatest gifts to us in small bottles, which can be carried and used in all aspects of our lives: in our kitchens, in our cosmetics, as first aids medicines and many other health benefits, while traveling, in our gardens, and even to clean our homes in a natural and sustainable way. The saying, “Great things come in small packages.” cannot be truer when it comes to essential oils!

TIP: We also recommend adding the essential oils towards the end of cooking in any recipe that involves heating as heat and light are the two enemies of essential oils, which destroy their therapeutic effectiveness.

NOTE: Lemon and Rosemary oils have been recognized by the FDA as safe for ingestion, but this is only the case if you purchase USDA organic oils. Therefore we ONLY recommend using USDA Certified Organic Essential Oils when cooking because it’s the only way to ensure that they are free from pesticides, GMOs, and artificial fertilizers!

Quinoa Hummus with Oregano and Lemon Oils (gluten-free)

Time: 30 minutes (20 minutes or less for cooking the quinoa, 10 minutes for preparing)
Makes: 1 ½ cup

1 cup cooked quinoa
½ cup walnuts (can substitute with blanched almonds or pistachios)
2-3 drops of Lemon oil
2 drops of  Oregano oil
2 garlic cloves
½ tsp sea salt
½ tsp cumin
¼ cup water
1 tbs olive oil (ideally extra virgin)
1 tbs of fresh Basil or Parsley, to garnish
A dash of paprika, to garnish

Instructions: Mix all ingredients (except the olive oil, the fresh herbs, and the paprika) in a blender until smooth. Don’t over blend, otherwise, it will become gummy. Transfer to a serving bowl and garnish with Basil, paprika and the olive oil on top. You can store it in a fridge up to one week in an airtight container. This recipe is great with carrots, celery, fresh cucumber sticks, or your favorite chips. Happy snacking!

In the end, in addition to the many health benefits, our recipe for quinoa hummus allows you to enjoy lots of flavor which will leave a lasting impression with every bite, which means you don’t have to sacrifice taste for health. Try it for yourself, share it with your friends and let us know how much you love it in the comments below. For more recipes with essential oils, check out our RECIPES section on our blog.

This recipe was adapted from Perfect for Pesach... by Naomi Nachman (Mesorah Publications 2017).

Check other recipes with Oregano and Lemon oils:

The Tastiest Baked Potatoes with Oregano and Lemon Oils

Healthiest Vegan and Gluten, Soy, and Dairy-free GRAVY with Rosemary, Thyme, and Oregano Oils

References: 
1. Quinoa: Gordillo-Bastidas, E., et al. "Quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa Willd), from nutritional value to potential health benefits: an integrative review." J. Nutr. Food Sci 6.497 (2016): 10-4172.
2. Walnuts (antioxidants): Vinson, Joe A., and Yuxing Cai. "Nuts, especially walnuts, have both antioxidant quantity and efficacy and exhibit significant potential health benefits." Food & function 3.2 (2012): 134-140. https://pubs.rsc.org/en/content/articlehtml/2012/fo/c2fo10152a
3. Walnuts (memory): Harandi, Shaahin et al. “Antiamnesic Effects of Walnuts Consumption on Scopolamine-Induced Memory Impairments in Rats” Basic and clinical neuroscience vol. 6,2 (2015): 91-9. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4636883/
4. Lemon Oil: Mohanapriya, M., Lalitha Ramaswamy, and R. Rajendran. "Health and medicinal properties of lemon (Citrus limonum)." J Ayu Her Med 3.1 (2013): 1095-100.
5. Oregano Oil (anticancer): Elsevier. "Anti-proliferative activity of Origanum vulgare inhibited lipogenesis and induced mitochondrial mediated apoptosis in human stomach cancer cell lines. "https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0753332218354933

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