Hummus, Fermented legumes- anything sound?

by (3428) Updated January 22, 2011 at 6:10 PM Created January 22, 2011 at 6:10 PM

I know that legumes are full of antinutrients. But I have also heard that legumes when cooked and fermented might be cleansed of most or all antinutrients. I love hummus that comes from chickpeas (though I think the chickpeas are not fermented to make hummus) but have stayed away from it since I became paleo. My question is whether you know of any good recipes based on mashed legumes (chickpeas, lentils, etc) that could make it acceptable in terms of paleo nutrition, based on boiling and/or fermentation?

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2 Replies

8848 · January 22, 2011 at 6:59 PM

If the stuff agrees with you, eat it.

I don't think there's anything intrinsically wrong with a food that humans haven't been eating since x number of years ago (as long as it's not some genetically recombinant food created in labs in recent decades). It means there's less time for an adaptive response, but it doesn't guarantee that the stuff is poison.

I think fermented plant food products are more likely to be detoxified and, therefore, safe. I know that pickled and fermented plant foods agree with me (and they are pretty much the only plant foods that do...except for lettuce). Kim chi sits just fine in my belly. Cabbage damn near kills me. (And roasted potatoes...tomatoes...eggplants...even yams or onions in significant quantities.)

I know there will be a "lectins are the greatest evil EVER" post to follow shortly. And I'll be downvoted for not bowing to the lectin gods. But the fact of the matter is that every food has its upsides and downsides. When I was trying to find out which foods I could eat, split red lentils were one of the few foods I could eat without serious repercussions. (Note that at the time I was under the spell of the "all meats are bad, chicken is slightly ok, fish will kill you because it has mercury" you can see how fucked up I was. And how few the options were.)

As for chickpeas? Honestly, I don't know. I wouldn't touch them these days. But I do recall a dinner party, back in the dark times, when all food was "the enemy," and there was nothing for me to eat. Except hummus and rice crackers. And I felt great afterwards, which was very rare for me back then. Especially after eating "normal people food." So for me, anecdotally, hummus and certain lentils are the least offensive of the legumes. And it's not the lectins I have a problem with (soaking tends to destroy them...proper soaking will guarantee that fermentation is taking place). No, my problem is with the starch content. And that is a story for another day.

My one caution is against comfort foods that are addictive and self-defeating that get rationalized into our diets. I was that way about rice. At first, I simply couldn't give up a starch with my meals. "Must dump curry onto rice," was my mindset, rather than find a way to prepare soups, stews, and side dishes to go with meats. Any food that holds you in its grasp probably has ulterior motives that are, frankly, not good for you. Plants are extremely manipulative that way! Damn coevolution!

429 · September 07, 2013 at 12:44 AM

If you are okay with legumes, really okay, like you eliminated them for thirty days and after adding them back had no problems, then eat hummus. That is my personal rule for "non-orthodox paleo" foods. If you want an alternative, is pretty good. Watch the amount of salt that he calls for though.

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