An introduction to Chickpeas, including what they are, nutrition information, recommended recipes, and frequently asked questions.
How adorable are chickpeas? These little round spheres, also known as Garbanzo beans or Chana, are a type of legume. Legumes are any plant which bears its fruit inside a pod. Chickpeas are packed with nutrients and are a protein powerhouse. In fact, 1 cup of chickpeas has more protein than 2 eggs! Chickpeas are also high in fiber, so you will feel full and satiated for a longer period of time. This means less snack cravings…bonus! They are also a significant source of iron, providing 25-50% of our daily needs. Additional health benefits include improved blood sugar, bone strength maintenance, low blood pressure and lower cholesterol.
See more about their nutritional content below, along with a few interesting facts and 3 recipes that are a go-to in our house. Chickpeas are extremely versatile so adding them onto your regular shopping list may be a good idea!
*1/2 cup, La Preferida brand
Frequently Asked Questions
What is aquafaba and why is it associated with chickpeas?
Aquafaba is actually the name of the cooking liquid or brine from beans and other legumes like chickpeas. Even the water from tofu and peas is considered aquafaba. It is referenced a lot because it is commonly used in plant-based cooking as an egg replacement.
Where did chickpeas originate?
They originated in the Middle East and Mediterranean, and are now featured in Greek, Indian and Spanish dishes.
Where can I find chickpeas?
Although chickpeas can come in colors such as green, black and brown, the most common type of chickpea is ‘Kabuli-style’. These are the type you will find in the grocery store and are little beige spheres, found near the canned beans and vegetables, labeled ‘Chickpea’ or ‘Garbanzo’.
How do I use chickpeas in recipes?
Chickpeas are extremely versatile. You are probably most familiar with hummus, which is found in several styles and flavors in grocery stores. I make the oil-free hummus you see to the right on a regular basis. Hummus can be eaten with pita bread, vegetables as a dip, or on sandwiches and wraps. However, beyond hummus there are so many possibilities for chickpeas. See below for a few ideas!
Now to the Good Stuff: Recipes
These are awesome for a healthy snack!
Smashed Chickpea Avocado Salad for Sandwiches
This chickpea salad recipe from Two Peas and Their Pod is so quick, simple and delicious. Perfect for a quick lunch! It made 3 sandwiches for Andrew and I over the weekend and it took about 10 minutes to whip up.
We put it on sourdough bread but any type of bread or even over lettuce would work. Definiltey a staple in our house!
Easy Chana Masala
If you’re looking to get a little more crazy with the chickpea recipes, this Chana Masala is a not-to-difficult but a good stretch meal to make from the wonderful Minimalist Baker. If you love Indian food like us, I say put this on your list for a hearty dinner or lunch and it will knock your socks off. After a trip to the new express location from one of the best Indian restaurants in Denver, Zaika, we wanted to try our own verion of their Masala and this will be a great at-home fix. Ours was really spicy using 3 serrano peppers, so check the heat factor and definitely add the sugar she recommends if it gets to be too much. As always, we omitted the oil. See our oil-free post for tips.