One of the feared consequences of threatened tariffs on imports from Mexico is that avocados may soon become scarce or at least very expensive.

Which, in turn, would mean that the very trendy dish of avocado toast might well be ... well, toast.

Perhaps that explains the recent uptick in people recommending a simple alternative to avocado toast — hummus toast.

One such person is Bonnie Taub-Dix, a registered nutritionist and cookbook author.

A recent post on her “Better Than Dieting” blog (found on her website, bonnietaubdix.com) highlights some of the reasons why hummus might be a better choice for topping one’s toast.

“Plant-based proteins are on fire these days and hummus is proud to be a member of this category,” Taub-Dix writes. “A 3.5-ounce serving provides almost 8 grams of protein — equivalent in protein to about an ounce of chicken or one egg.”

Also, Taub-Dix writes, “Most of us don’t get enough fiber and this amount supplies a whopping 6 grams of fiber. And a diet rich in legumes, like the chickpeas in hummus, has been shown to reduce cholesterol levels and lower risks of heart disease.”

And while it’s easy to grab a container of pre-made hummus at the local supermarket, hummus is something that is remarkably easy to make at home.

The basis of hummus is traditionally garbanzo beans, also known as chickpeas, tahini (a peanut butter-like paste made of ground sesame seeds), garlic, olive oil and lemon juice that is pureed to a smooth consistency.

This recipe has been a staple of Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisines for centuries, but hummus is also a dish that lends itself to all sorts of experimentation. Swap out the garbanzos for different legumes or vegetables, replace the tahini with a nut butter or leave it out altogether, get creative with herbs and spices, and you can elevate hummus to new levels.

Here are a few recipes to get you started.

ALMOND BUTTER HUMMUS

1 (16-ounce) can chickpeas

½ cup almond butter

3 tablespoons lemon juice

½ teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons olive oil

2-3 tablespoons honey

1. Drain chickpeas, reserving liquid. Rinse chickpeas thoroughly.

2. Place all ingredients into a food processor or blender and blend to a smooth, creamy consistency. Add small amounts of the chickpea liquid if mixture seems too thick.

Hummus toast idea: Spread over multigrain bread and top with sliced banana. Drizzle honey over bananas and add a light sprinkle of cinnamon.

EDAMAME HUMMUS

1 cup frozen, shelled edamame

¼ cup water

3 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1 teaspoon kosher salt

½ teaspoon garlic, minced (about 1-2 cloves)

⅛ teaspoon hot sauce (or more to taste)

2 tablespoons flat-leaf parsley, chopped

1. Place edamame in a microwave-safe dish with a very small amount of water. Cover loosely and microwave on high for three minutes (some frozen edamame comes packaged in a steamable bag; follow package directions).

2. Combine all ingredients except parsley into a blender or food processor and process until smooth. Add parsley and blend until combined.

Hummus toast idea: The lemony earthiness of this hummus goes well with a bright pico de gallo or spicy salsa.

BLACK BEAN CHILI-LIME HUMMUS

3 cups cooked black beans, or 2 (15-ounce) cans, drained and rinsed (lower sodium recommended)

¼ cup canola oil

¼ cup freshly squeezed lime juice

2 cloves garlic

½ cup chopped red onion

1 teaspoon Mexican oregano

1 teaspoon ancho chili powder

½ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon ground cumin

1. Combine all ingredients into a food processor or blender and process until smooth.

Hummus toast idea: Spread hummus on rustic bread and top with a scrambled or fried egg.

ROASTED CARROT AND ZA’ATAR HUMMUS

2 pounds carrots, peeled and cut into large chunks

2 teaspoons za’atar (a Middle Eastern spice blend available at most markets), divided

¼ cup olive oil, plus more for roasting

¼ cup water

2 tablespoons tahini

2 cloves garlic

Juice of one lemon

½ teaspoon ground cumin

½ teaspoon red pepper flakes

Salt and pepper

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

2. Place carrots onto a rimmed baking sheet and drizzle with oil. Sprinkle 1 teaspoon of the za’atar over carrots, along with a generous amount of salt and freshly ground black pepper. Stir to make sure carrots are coated with oil and spices.

3. Place in oven and roast for 20-30 minutes, until carrots are tender and beginning to caramelize (roasting time may depend upon individual ovens).

4. Remove carrots from oven and allow to cool.

5. Combine carrots and all other ingredients into a food processor and blend until smooth, scraping down the sides of the processor bowl as needed.

Hummus toast idea: Roasting brings out the natural sweetness of carrots, which means this hummus pairs well with the slight bitterness of walnuts and the sharpness of dried fruits such as cranberries.

James D. Watts Jr.

918-581-8478

james.watts@tulsaworld.com

Twitter: watzworld

Scene Writer

James writes primarily about the visual, performing and literary arts. Phone: 918-581-8478