Just about every grocery store has a wide array of hummus brands to choose from. Pick up any container and you’ll usually find a “hummus-like” spread with questionable ingredients not found in the real stuff. Enter Zilks Foods (http://zilksfoods.com), based out of Austin, TX; their hummus is, as quoted from their website, “All Natural. All Good.” And I agree!
The wonderful people (I spoke with Ashley, but she embodied the care and passion Zilks has for their food and fans) sent me several of their hummus flavors to sample and review. I was pleased Zilks sent a fresh batch they had made the previous morning; just another sign of their high level of quality!
Full Disclosure: The samples were provided free of charge and I am not being compensated to say or do anything for Zilks. All thoughts, opinions, and actions are true and solely my own.
As a bona fide ingredient / label reader my packaged food choices are directly correlated to the quality of ingredients. Upon reading Zilks’ ingredients, I found only real, hummus ingredients listed; nothing like the soybean oil, lemon juice concentrate, sodium benzoate, and potassium sorbate found in popular brands like Athenos or Sabra.
For example, the ingredients in Zilks’ Roasted Red Pepper Hummus are: Garbanzo Beans, Filtered Water, Tahini, Real Lemon Juice, Fresh Pressed Olive Oil, Roasted Red Peppers, Hi-Grade Salt, and Spices. Nothing more, nothing less, everything good!
My mom tried the Jalapeno Cilantro Pesto Hummus with baby carrots and liked it so much she took the rest of the container home. Actually, she was the one who first told me about Zilks and how she really enjoyed it the first time. Since she knows how strict I am on packaged foods, I figured it was worth checking out. Thanks, Mom, great find!
I relished in the smooth and creamy Roasted Red Pepper Hummus the most, but really had no complaints for any of the flavors. They even have a Bacon Hummus, with real bacon, of course. The flavor isn’t too intense with bacon in your face, but it has just enough salty bacon goodness for every non-vegetarian/vegan foodie to revel in.
You can intensify almost any recipe with Zilks’ Hummus by mixing it in or spreading it on whatever you're creating. I used the red pepper to mix into mashed sweet potatoes; this was a hit with Kelley and a win in my book! I also mixed the jalapeno cilantro hummus into my tuna barley salad to add a healthy dose of heat to the cold dish. Kelley’s favorite, Balsamic Roasted Garlic and Red Onion, is delightful on its own, but is superb mixed into any salad!
With a hybrid of my Spicy Black Bean Patties and Baked Tuna Cakes, I created a delicious recipe with Zilks Hummus. I used balsamic garlic for my cakes, but any flavor would be splendid if you wanted to try something different. We ate the cakes too fast to take pictures, so I’ll have to make these again and will post later. I promise, this will not be a problem!
Mixing into the veggies for my Tuna Barley Salad
I haven’t tried it yet, but I have to try their Black Bean Hummus with Lime and local Hatch green chiles that are famous in Austin. Besides hummus, Zilks offers other healthy and delicious spreads and dips like Tzatziki, queso, and salsa. I used their salsa as salad dressing and posted about it a few days ago, and the others are on my “Must Try” list. Check out their site and let me know what you’d like to try or have tried already.
I'd like to thank Zilks for their kindness and care for real, healthy food. I am now a fan and will choose their hummus and salsa when looking for a quick and healthy spread or dip. Zilks is available in Whole Foods and some H-E-B stores in Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, Oklahoma, or Colorado right now, but you can contact them to see if/when they might be in your area.
Zilks Hummus Tuna Cake Bakes
by RC Liley
Cook Time: 25 Minutes
Ingredients (8 - 12 cakes or patties)
2 (5oz) cans light tuna in water, drained (substitute canned salmon or crab if desired)
1/2 cup rolled oats
1 tsp each of cumin, garlic powder, and onion powder
1/2 tsp cayenne
2 tsp Dijon mustard
1 egg or 2 egg whites
T balsamic vinegar
4 T Zilks Balsamic Roasted Garlic & Red Onion Hummus
2 T Zilks Salsa
1 T each dried basil and dill
Pepper to taste
Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees
Add all ingredients in a bowl and mix well to incorporate. You can also mix everything in a food processor if desired. If mixture seems too runny, add oats 1 tablespoon at a time until thick enough to hold together.
Scoop the mix into a lightly oiled 12 cup muffin pan (I used 9 of the 12 cups) and bake in pre-heated oven for 20 - 25 minutes*, depending how toasted you want the top. It should have a lightly toasted top.
Remove from oven and let cool in pan for 5 to 10 minutes.
Top each cake with Zilks Salsa or Tzatziki. Serve with steamed veggies of choice.
*Alternatively, you can form mixture into patties and cook on stove-top if desired.