Chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans, are part of the legume family.
One ounce (28 grams) provides 46 calories, 2 grams of fiber, and 3 grams of protein. The protein and fiber in chickpeas work together to promote a feeling of fullness and slow down digestion.
Chickpeas are an excellent source of plant-based protein. Some studies have suggested that the quality of the protein in chickpeas is better than that of other types of legumes. That’s because chickpeas contain almost all the essential amino acids, except for methionine. Combine with another source of protein like a whole grain to make up for the deficit.
Chickpeas contain a moderate amount of calories and several vitamins and minerals.They score low on the glycemic index. The fiber and protein in chickpeas can help prevent your blood sugar levels from rising too quickly after eating, which is an important factor in diabetes management.
Chickpeas are a great source of magnesium and potassium, both of which prevent high blood pressure. Additionally, the soluble fiber in chickpeas has been shown to help reduce triglyceride and “bad” LDL cholesterol levels, which may increase heart disease risk when elevated.
Including chickpeas in your diet might help reduce your risk of certain types of cancer. Eating chickpeas may promote the body’s production of butyrate, a fatty acid that has been studied for its potential to reduce inflammation in colon cells, possibly decreasing the risk of colon cancer. They are also a source of saponins, which are plant compounds that may help prevent the development of certain cancers. Saponins have also been studied for their role in inhibiting tumor growth. Chickpeas also contain several vitamins and minerals that may lower your risk of cancer, including B vitamins, which may be responsible for reducing the risk of breast and lung cancer.
How to Buy
Chickpeas are easy to add to your diet. They are available canned and ready to serve. Or, you can make a more nutritious version from dried bulk food. Like always, check that the co-op has a high turn-over rate. Although they are a dried food, they can go stale within a few months in bulk containers.
When you get home, pick through them to remove chickpeas that have gone bad. Any legumes that are dark or smaller should be discarded.
How to Store
Store dried chickpeas in an air-tight container, in a cool dry cabinet. Canned chickpeas should last a year.
How to Cook
Chickpeas are versatile and can be used in a variety of dishes. Add them to salads, soups or sandwiches.
They’re also a main ingredient in hummus, which is a dip made with mashed chickpeas, tahini, olive oil, lemon juice, salt and garlic. You can buy hummus from the store or make it on your own.
Another way to enjoy chickpeas is to roast them, which makes for a delicious and crunchy snack. You can also incorporate them into veggie burgers or tacos.
To prepare dried garbanzo beans: Cover the beans with at least 4 inches of cold water. They will need to absorb the extra water overnight. Discard any beans that float to the top of the bowl. Let them soak for 12 hours. Rinse them in a colander. Place the chickpeas in a large stockpot and cover the beans with three inches of cold water. Bring the water to a boil and them cover and reduce to a simmer. Let simmer for an hour to an hour and a half. Add spices during the last fifteen minutes. (Rosemary, thyme, oregano) The beans are done when they are firm, not mushy. If they are too firm, let them cook another 15-30 minutes. Drain. Use immediately or freeze for later.