Lacto-fermented Hummus (Garbanzo Bean Dip)

Traditional hummus makes a great healthy snack when served with some fresh veggies along side.

THIS hummus is even more “nutritious” due to the lacto-fermentation process, which creates beneficial probiotics and numerous enzymes that are so important for good health. So, go ahead and serve this version at your next get together…you will get rave reviews on the dip, and no one will even know just how “healthy” it is.

  • 3 cups cooked, drained, garbanzo beans (see *note* below)
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 2 teaspoons unrefined sea salt
  • 1/4 cup whey (see how to obtain whey)
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon ground cumin, to taste
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cayenne, or to taste
  • 2 to 4 Tablespoons filtered water, or more as needed

You Will Also Need:

1-quart sized wide-mouth jar (preferably with air-lock lid)

*NOTE* For best nutrition – soak dried garbanzo beans 12 hours (or more) in filtered water to cover, along with a few Tablespoons of whey. View more research on the importance of soaking beans from Amanda Rose Ph.D. @ Rebuild from Depression.

After soaking, drain the beans and cook as you would normally. (I like to cover the “soaked” beans with filtered water and cook in the crock pot on low all day – about 6 to 8 hours.)

In the bowl of a food processor, add the garlic and pulse to mince. Add in the beans, lemon juice, sea salt, whey, cumin, and cayenne. Process until a paste forms.

Add in filtered water, a little at a time, until desired consistency is reached.

Transfer bean mixture to a 1-quart wide mouth jar. Place lid (preferably air-lock lid) on the jar tightly. If using air-lock fill with water according to instructions. Allow to ferment at room temperature for 3 days.

Remove air-lock lid, if using, and replace with storage lid — transfer to cold storage.

Serve at room temperature. For a nice presentation, drizzle dip in serving bowl with olive oil and/or sesame oil. (A light dusting of paprika on top also makes a lovely addition.) Serve with fresh veggies and/or pita chips

Makes 1-Quart.

Please Note: This post may contain sponsor, affiliate, and/or referral links.

Disclaimer: The information in this post is meant for educational purposes only. It is not intended as a substitute for professional medical advice. None of the opinions are meant to diagnose or treat any disease or illness. You should always consult your healthcare provider.


  1. I would appreciate some clarification regarding the whey. The recipe calls for whey added to
    soak water, which is then discarded after approximately 12 hrs. Then 1/4 c. is added to the processed recipe. Is this correct? What is the purpose of adding to the soak water?

    I’m looking forward to trying this recipe to see if fermenting reduces the carbs enough so I don’t
    have blood sugar spikes. Would give much wanted flexibility to my low carb diet.

    Thank you!

    • Susan, thanks for writing. Whey is used in the soaking water for the beans to help with the neutralization of phytic acid. Then whey is also added during fermentation as a culture, without it fermentation would not occur since the beans are not “alive”. I hope this makes sense 🙂

  2. Would it be OK to use paper filter discs? These are the same filter discs used by mushroom growers for their spawn jars. Reportedly, they will allow oxygen exchange but not allow mold or bacteria to enter. Thanks for the excellent post!

    • William, I would say NO to the paper filter discs used by mushroom growers as the process of lacto-fermentation requires an anaerobic environment (without air). Since the paper filters you are speaking of allow an “exchange” of oxygen this would not be ideal at all for fermentation. Plus the filters would have to be replaced often as they cannot be used forever. On the other hand, an air-lock system such as our Original Veggie Fermenter Kits can be purchased once and used again and again for many, many years.

  3. Hello, thanks so much for the post! I have a few questions about lacto fermenting. I am making hummus and selling it at markets in Zambia since it’s not really available for sale. I use dried chickpeas and make my own tahini and I am trying out lacto fermenting to increase the shelf life. On my first batch I put it in jars and closed the lid tightly and then I found that the jars are quite pressurized! How can I avoid that in the future? Can I let it ferment in Tupperware overnight and then put it in jars? Will pressure still build up in the jars? Also, can I let it ferment just overnight? Half the sites say 8-12 hrs and the other half say 3 days? My main purpose is to make the hummus last longer. I would really appreciate your advice!

    • Valentina, thanks for stopping by. It is normal for “pressure” to build up during lacto-fermentation. It’s all part of the process, so the only way to let it bleed of safely is to have some sort of venting system such as an air-lock on the jars. I do not recommend letting it sit in the Tupperware for extended periods of time as it will leach chemicals into the food. Since you are adding tahini to the hummus I would suggest shortening the fermenting time to 1 to 2 days and see how you like it. Fermentation will happen faster in warmer climates/temperatures. And yes the fermentation will make the hummus last longer, but only by a little bit. It will never last as long as commercially available hummus that has preservatives added to it. The fermented hummus will also keep fermenting, even when in cold storage (the refrigerator), just at a slower rate.

      We do ship internationally, if you’d like to purchase any of our fermenting kits, just contact us for a quote.

      If you have any other questions Valentina, please let me know. Glad to be of help!

  4. Steven smallwood says

    Hello. I am using a mason jar that is a bit large for the amount of this recipe that I made. I made. There is some of the mixture (all ingredients, food processed) on the sides of the jar toward the top. Little bits of the hummus. Do the walls of the jar need to be free of hummus, so it is all isolated to the bottom of the jar? I’m worried the small pieces will go bad or something stuck to the wall of the jar. Thank you for your response.

    • Steven, I agree with you that food left on the sides of the jar will dry out. These dried bits may fall into the main mixture making for hard chunks, no yummy. Also, the dried food on the side might go bad as they might not have gotten fermented with the rest of the batch. Just take a spoon and push them back down into the main mixture.

  5. Hello, this sound delicious 🙂 I do not have air-lock but will try to add a bit of olive oil on the mixture. What do you think, will it protect the hummus from mold? Best wishes, Dita

    • Dita, I have never tried putting oil on the top. I’ve heard of other doing so, but since I’ve never attempted it I cannot speculate on if it would work or not.

  6. Doesn’t cooking the beans after the soaking kill any beneficial bacteria and enzymes? I’ve never seen a fermenting recipe that used cooked food, it’s usually raw.

    • Brenda, yes some of the beneficial bacteria is killed off in the cooking of the beans. That is why the recipe calls for the use of whey that is obtained from “live” yogurt or kefir. Whey with live and active cultures will add the needed good bacteria to ferment these cooked foods.

  7. I am a bit of a kitchen sientist to which I have made this recipe with and without tahini on the same day and conclude that the addition of tahini before the ferment is not recomended due to white fuzzy mould that grows on the surface. On the other hand the Hummus made as instructed has lasted for 3 months in the jar refigerated and not only that, as it what I call “Matured” it has taken on a much stronger palatable taste to my liking .My recomendation to those that like Tahini in their hummus is to just scoop out what you need out of the fermented hummus and add your tahini prior to serving. I dont usually spruke to much on peoples recipes but when something with so much nutrition and flavor comes my way I certainly like to than those for sharing .

  8. I made the hummus on monday morning, without airlock, in a glass jar with the lid not closed too tight, so gas would be able to escape. I cooked the bio garbanzobeens with a small piece of kuzu, nothing else. I used whey from bio yoghurt, sea salt and fresh lemon juice. All as mentioned in the recipe. Room temp = 23 – 24°C. After 2 days, no change. After 3 day ,( as instructed in the recipe )there was mold on top of it 🙁 What went wrong?? Rose

    • The one thing I can say is without an airlock system you stand a much higher chance of mold issues. You cracked the lid to let the pressure escape, but this will allow the air to come in bringing mold spores as the pressure is letting off. The room temp was ok. I would suggest getting an airlock system, we do ship to Europe. Just let me know if you are interested and I can give you a quote. Thanks – Jeff

  9. Shannon, do you still eat this food at your home?
    Did it ever make you sick?


    • Carbo, Yes we still eat these great foods at our house. My family has eaten every recipe on the web site, these are the foods we eat on a daily basis. Fermented foods are very safe. Here is a quote by, USDA research service microbiologist Fred Breidt says -“properly fermented vegetables are actually safer than raw vegetables, which might have been exposed to pathogens like E. coli on the farm…With fermented products there is no safety concern. I can flat-out say that. The reason is the lactic acid bacteria that carry out the fermentation are the world’s best killers of other bacterica,” – San Francisco Gate, June 2009.

  10. I’m wondering what the carb content is in this once it’s fermented? I noticed some where the sugar content in fruits are less or gone once fermented so I am wondering about the carbs in this?

  11. I wonder what the alternative to whey is if we have a dairy allergy??!!! Looks very delicious!

    • Whey is really needed in this recipe for it to culture properly. One thing you may look into is a dairy-free vegetable culture at Cultures for Health. This may work for you and your family in-place of the whey. If you try that let us, and others here, know how it works for you 🙂

    • Marguerite Trudeau says

      If you make coconut Kefir you can still get the whey from that or even use the coconut kefir.

      • Marguerite, Coconut Kefir does not contain “whey”. Only cow’s or goats milk contains whey. So it is not possible to get “whey” out of the coconut kefir. And I really could not suggest using the coconut kefir as a culture for fermentation, since I’ve not tried it. 🙂

  12. I made this and my family and I think it is the best humus we’ve ever had. I dont have an airlock and I had no problem with mold at all. Some got lost in the back of the fridge for a long time and was still great. I havent bought humus since i found this recipe.

  13. I just made this and packed it down in the jar and in addition to having added they whey, I added a layer on top because I was a little afraid after reading that someone saw some fuzzy stuff on top. Once it has fermented, when I take out some to use would be to add a little tahini and olive oil

  14. I cannot wait to make this!!

  15. Okay, to all who are interested…I tried adding Tahini to the hummus before fermenting (about 4 Tablespoons and didn’t need the extra water).

    The dip did turn out a little smoother and more creamy. But after the 3 days of fermenting it had grown fuzzy mold covering the top. This is not normal as I use the air-lock system which helps to avoid mold.

    I scraped the mold off and tasted the hummus. It did not taste right to me so I had to toss it out.

    If anyone else wants to try it please let me know how yours turns out.

    • Same thing happened to my fermented hummus while it sat in the fridge. You answered my question in that you scraped the mold off and tasted it saying it didn’t taste right to you. So that I what I’m going to do too. What a shame. Personally, I think vegetables covered by 1 inch liquid is what works best.

  16. Shannon,

    I usually use tahini (sesame butter) in my hummus recipe. Will that be okay with lacto-fermenting? I really want to try it! Thanks!


    • You could definitely go ahead and give it a try. If it doesn’t work you’ll know it, because it won’t taste right.

      • Have been interested to see that you can lacto ferment hummus.
        Did you ever find out if it’s ok to add Tahini? I noticed someone else asked this too.
        When making hummus I find adding the Tahini makes it very creamy and tasty. I also add 1 1/2 tsp. cumin and 1 1/2 tsp.coriander seed, both of which I freshly grind before adding.

        • I have not tried adding tahini as of yet, but I am almost certain it would be okay. As long as you use a Tahini that is pure and free from any additives or preservatives.

          I think I will see if I can find some good Tahini this week and try it out for myself. Will let everyone know…


  1. […] The problem is most hummus isn’t that good. It’s made with industrial oils, which are full of rancid omega-6 fats. It’s made with canned garbanzos, which are likely rich in BPA and full of phytic acid. It’s got stabilizers and preservatives and that, while perhaps not all “that bad,” make for a subpar, processed food. And if you’re going to cheat, I implore you to use the good stuff. If you’re willing to make your own hummus, soak your own garbanzos, preserve your own lemons, etc., then hummus won’t be too bad. It’ll be free of BPA, low in phytic acid, full of healthy, Primal ingredients like olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, and tahini, and it will taste pretty darn good. Extra points for fermented hummus. […]

Speak Your Mind



Let’s Be Friends!

We appreciate and care about all of our readers and feel as if we were long lost friends. So, let’s stay in touch!

Newsletter Signup

Be the first to hear about special sales, offers, and giveaways along with notification of newly posted articles and recipes.

Get our “Fermented Foods Fact Sheet” FREE just for signing up!

Cooking God's Way -