In case you missed it, "sprouted" is the new "whole grain." We've found tortillas, breads, and crackers at our neighborhood health food store, each with its own pseudo-scientific claims about the nutritional benefits of allowing edible seeds to germinate. When we came across Majestic Garlic's sprouted hummus, we were, as always, a bit skeptical -- but when we tried it, we were sold.
We can't say for certain that this spread's delicious flavor has any correlation to its sprouted-ness, but we can say that it's a damn good hummus.
We like garlic. We like it a lot. It's tasty and it wards off vampires. We probably wouldn't call it majestic, but to each their own. In any case, Majestic Garlic has built a brand around garlic's apparent magnificence. Its logo is a bulb of garlic, sporting a fez sitting on what we can only assume is a magic carpet and looking incredibly stoned. Apparently, fezes are the ultimate symbol of majesty.
Majestic Garlic specializes in all things garlic and is quick to tout the many benefits of the food. And apparently it's got the whole garlic thing down, because it's won something called the "America's Best Food Award" six times. Majestic's products include 14 flavored garlic dips, nine varieties of sprouted hummus, and three types of pickled garlic. According to the company's website, "Studies suggest that regularly eating garlic helps lower blood pressure, controls blood sugar and blood cholesterol, and boosts the immune system. It also has been found to reduce the risk of esophageal, stomach, and colon cancer." We just thought it made our breath smell awesome.
Let's talk more about the hummus. According to Shawna Giefer, a local representative for Majestic Garlic, sprouting hummus makes the food more nutritious. "The beans are not cooked -- they are sprouted, making it a raw food product. Our bodies don't naturally break down the phytic acid and enzyme inhibitors that all beans, nuts and seeds are naturally coated with, so when beans are sprouted those enzymes break down." The result? The chickpeas used to make the hummus are easier to digest and retain nutrients that would normally be lost during cooking.
We're not nutritionists, so we can't comment on the relative healthiness of Majestic Garlic's sprouted hummus. But we're pretty good at eating food, and also, we've eaten a lot of hummus in our day. Generally, we stay away from the packaged kinds -- as a rule, they just don't taste as good as the fresh-made kind. Majestic Garlic's hummus is a pleasant exception to the rule.
We tried two of Majestic Garlic's sprouted hummus varieties: Cilantro-jalapeño and traditional. Each contained atypical ingredients -- ground flaxseed, cumin. And neither contained tahini. We didn't miss it. The traditional hummus was perfectly spiced, and nicely balanced saltiness, savoriness, and tartness. The cilantro-jalapeño was blander than we'd expected but tasty nonetheless. The cilantro was subdued, and the jalapeño was more vegetal than spicy. Each variety contained just a whisper of garlic -- just enough to make us wonder if it was really there -- so maybe, in a sense, it was majestic.
Majestic Garlic's sprouted hummus is available at Whole Foods and AJ's Fine Foods Valley-wide, and at Luci's Healthy Marketplace.