If hummus is one of your favorite dips or spread, then it is good to know about its shelf life and proper storage conditions.
How long does hummus last? Unopened hummus that requires refrigeration, will keep well for a few days past its expiration date. An opened container of hummus as well as homemade hummus will last up to a week in the fridge. If you want to extend the shelf life of hummus, store it in the freezer where it will keep well for 6 to 12 months.
Continue reading to learn how to store hummus properly and how to maintain its best flavor qualities with just a few tricks.
Also read: Edamame Hummus
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Does Hummus Go bad?
Hummus can go bad. But its shelf life depends on a number of factors. First, the storage conditions. Second, whether it is store-bought or homemade.
Homemade hummus doesn’t contain any preservatives or additives that you can find in most commercially manufactured dips. Thus, its shelf life can be shorter compared to hummus you buy ready-made from your local shops.
How long your hummus will last also depends on the ingredients it contains.
Lemon and garlic, for example, are staple hummus ingredients that are also natural preservatives. However, if you have made or bought hummus with such added ingredients as spinach and bell peppers, expect it to go bad quicker. Vegetables added to hummus add up the water content, making the dip more perishable.
How to Store Hummus?
There two types of hummus you can buy – refrigerated and unrefrigerated. While unrefrigerated hummus is not as popular, it does exist. You can also find canned hummus in supermarkets that don’t require refrigeration. Hummus that is sold unrefrigerated can be kept in the pantry before it is opened.
In other cases, hummus should always be stored in the fridge. Made of chickpea puree and tahini, this dip is highly perishable and sensitive to higher temperatures.
Unopened hummus can be stored in the fridge as is, so long as the packaging is not damaged.
Once you open it and use some of it, put the hummus back into the fridge. Make sure to close the container tightly. This will not only prevent oxidation as a result of contact with air but also prevent the hummus from absorbing other odors. If you leave the hummus open, the top layer will also dry out and affect the overall texture and taste of the dip.
If you can’t close the original container tightly or it is not resealable, transfer the hummus into an airtight container.
Homemade hummus should also be refrigerated at all times.
Can You Freeze Hummus?
Freezing is one of the best long-term storage methods. Luckily, it works for hummus too.
The texture of the hummus will slightly change. However, it can be fixed with a little effort. Mixing defrosted hummus will bring it back to its original consistency.
To successfully freeze hummus you need to store it in the freezer in an airtight container. Make sure to leave some space between the hummus and the lid of the container. As hummus has some water content, it expands when it freezes.
If there is a lot of hummus you need to store, don’t freeze it in one big container. You can either use smaller containers or freeze hummus in an ice cube tray with larger divisions for perfectly portioned hummus.
Every time you want to spread some hummus on bread for a sandwich or use it as a healthy snack with some veggies, thaw a cube or two of hummus and enjoy it. Freezing hummus in smaller portions will also cut down the thawing time.
Thaw hummus in the refrigerator. It is best to transfer the hummus from the freezer into the fridge and let it defrost there overnight.
How Long Does Hummus Last?
If you store hummus properly, this is how long it will last.
An unopened jar or container of hummus sold unrefrigerated will keep a month or two longer past its ‘Best by’ date. Once opened and stored in the fridge, it will keep fresh for around a week.
As for unopened hummus sold refrigerated, its shelf life is only about a few days past the expiration date indicated on the container. Once opened, it will last around 5 days in the fridge.
The shelf life of homemade hummus is also 4 to 5 days in the fridge.
Hummus stored in the freezer will retain its best flavor qualities for around 6 months. But it will be safe to eat for up to 12 months.
The flavor of frozen hummus will gradually get blander. Thus, we recommend eating it as soon as possible. But if you have remembered about the hummus you have in the freezer when it has been sitting there for months already, there is a way to make it taste better. Just add some fresh ingredients – chopped herbs, peppers, garlic, minced onion, etc.
Frozen and defrosted hummus should be stored in the fridge and eaten within 5 to 7 days.
How to Extend the Shelf Life of Hummus?
Aside from freezing, which will significantly extend the shelf life of your hummus, there are other things you can do.
One solution is to add some extra lemon juice to your hummus. Doing this will reduce the pH of the dip and keep your hummus longer. As lemon is acidic, it slows down the process of hummus getting contaminated with bacteria.
Adding more lemon juice to your hummus will certainly alter its flavor. However, you can add other ingredients to bring it to the perfect balance again.
Something many people do that causes the hummus to go bad quickly is dipping their chips or vegetables directly into the container they will be further storing the hummus in.
Dipping various foods into the hummus introduces different bacteria to it. These, ultimately, cause the dip to do bad much sooner.
When using hummus as a dipping sauce, transfer a small amount into a separate bowl. If you have any leftover hummus in the bowl you have been dipping your veggies or crackers in, don’t add it back to the hummus in the fridge.
Also, always use clean utensils for hummus to avoid adding any other food to it that can cause bacterial contamination.
Some people discard hummus when they see that the top layer has dried out. This can happen even if you keep the hummus in airtight containers.
To avoid this problem and to keep the hummus fresh for as long as you can, put a layer of food wrap over the hummus. This will protect it from drying out.
Signs That Hummus Has Gone Bad
Detecting bad hummus is easy. You need to look for the regular signs of spoilage,
If there is mold in your container with hummus, discard it right away. If the hummus looks good, smell it. Bad hummus smells off-putting and sour.
If the smell and the look of your hummus don’t indicate anything bad, then give it a try. If it still tastes good, then go ahead and use it.
It is common to see some liquid accumulated on top of the hummus, especially if it has just been defrosted. This doesn’t mean that your hummus is bad, especially if it looks and smells good. Just give it a good stir to restore the original texture.
In rare cases, you will notice extreme separation of oil and water. If the texture changes are significant and not something you can fix with stirring, discard the hummus to avoid any risks.