Do you feel like you’re not getting enough protein or enough veggies in your diet? Well, here’s a solution – more chickpeas! Since they are a legume, chickpeas are considered both a vegetable and protein, giving you twice the bang for your buck!
Today’s Ingredient: Chickpeas (or Garbanzo Beans)
What are they?
Chickpeas are also known as garbanzo beans. They are a legume that features heavily in the Mediterranean diet and in Middle Eastern foods.
Why are they good for me?
Chickpeas are great for you! 1 Cup of boiled chickpeas has 270 calories, 45 grams of carbs, 4 grams of fat, 15 grams of protein (that’s the same as 2 eggs) and 13 grams of fiber (50% of your daily recommended amount). A cup of chickpeas also contains tons of folate and iron, and a number of vitamins and minerals including manganese, magnesium, zinc and copper, thiamine Vitamins C and B-6. The choline in garbanzo beans also helps you sleep better, learn better and reduces chronic inflammation.
Chickpeas aren’t a “complete” protein – they don’t contain all the essential amino acids. But if you eat other proteins (like animal proteins) or pair them with brown rice or whole grains, you’ll be good to go. Also, pairing chickpeas with a high Vitamin-C food like tomatoes or red peppers helps you to absorb the iron they contain better.
How do I prepare chickpeas?
You can buy them pre-canned or dry. The canned ones can be used right away. The dried ones can be stored for up to 12 months, but need a bit of prep before use. To prepare dried chickpeas, you’ll need to:
- Sort them: make sure that any debris or bad beans are removed.
- Wash and soak them: soak them for a minimum of 4 hours, or overnight for 8-10 hours before cooking. They’re finished soaking when you can easily split them between your fingers.
- Cook them: Simmer them until tender. They’ll keep in the refrigerator for about 3 days in Tupperware
What can I make with them?
The most basic thing to do with chickpeas is make hummus. It’s tasty and easy, and you can use it for a variety of dips and spreads.
Ingredients: 400g can of chickpeas (save some of the liquid), 2 tsp tahini, 1 garlic clove, crushed, dash crushed sea salt, 3 tbsp. quality extra virgin olive oil (plus extra for drizzling), 1 1/2 tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice, paprika (optional), coriander or parsley (optional)
Instructions: Rinse chickpeas, process. Add tahini, garlic, salt, lemon juice and 5-7 tablespoons of the saved chickpea liquid. When the mixture is smooth, top with a bit of oil, paprika, coriander or parsley.
Next, chickpeas are an awesome addition to any salad.
CHOPPED CHICKPEA GREEK SALAD (4-6 servings)
Salad: 1 15oz can of chickpeas – rinsed and drained, 1 chopped red pepper, 1 chopped yellow pepper, 1 chopped green pepper, 1/2 small red onion chopped, 1 C halved cherry tomatoes, 1 medium sliced cucumber, 1/3 C pitted Kalamata olives (optional), 4oz crumbled feta cheese (optional), handfuls of spinach (optional)
Dressing: 1 tbsp. EVOO, 2 tbsp. lemon juice, 2 minced cloves garlic, pinch dried oregano, salt, and pepper to taste
Instructions: Place all salad ingredients together in a big bowl and toss them together. Whisk the dressing ingredients together in a small bowl and then pour onto the salad. Refrigerate or serve immediately. Lasts 2-3 days.
Chickpeas can be great on their own too. Roasted chickpeas are an easy snack!
SPICY ROASTED CHICKPEAS
Ingredients: 2 C cooked chickpeas (or 15oz can), 1 1/2 tsp EVOO, dash salt, dash pepper, 3/4 tsp chili powder, dash paprika, dash garlic powder, dash cayenne pepper
Instructions: Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Dry the chickpeas with paper towels and remove any loose skins. Spread the chickpeas out on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Whisk the spices together and sprinkle over the chickpeas. Toss them to coat with spices. Bake for 25 minutes and toss at around 15 minutes.
Not only can chickpeas be a good savoury snack, they can also be used for tasty desserts! You can modify the above recipe to use coconut sugar and cinnamon, or you can go all out and make brownies!
CHICKPEA BROWNIES (from the Roasted Root)
Ingredients: 2 C cooked chickpeas (or 15oz can – rinsed and drained), 2 eggs, 1/3 C cacao powder, 2/3 C coconut sugar, 2 tbsp. canned coconut milk, 2 tsp baking powder, 1/2 C dark chocolate chips, 1 tsp instant coffee (optional)
Instructions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees, and line a 9×9 pan with parchment paper or oil it lightly. Blend all the brownie ingredients together in a blender until smooth. Pour the batter into the brownie pan and bake for 25ish minutes until a toothpick/fork comes out clean. Allow the brownies to cool before serving.
What else can you do with chickpeas?
Want even more yummy ways to use garbanzo beans? Here you go:
- Add chickpeas to soups
- Mix chickpeas with any favorite spices for snacking
- Make falafel – mash chickpeas with cumin, garlic, chili, and coriander, then roll into balls, fry until crisp
- Sprinkle garbanzo beans with your favorite spices and herbs and eat as a snack.
- Add to any of your green salads
- Add EVOO, feta cheese, black pepper and chickpeas to pasta for a Mediterranean flair
How do you like to enjoy your garbanzo beans? we’d love to know!