Chickpeas (aka garbanzo beans), originally cultivated in the middle east and Mediterranean, have made their culinary influence all around the world. Chickpeas are perversely occurring in Italian, Greek, Indian, Middle Eastern, and Mediterranean diets. While the most common type of chickpea is a beige color and round, there are other varieties that include colors such as green, red, and black. Chickpeas are recognized for their high protein and fiber content, and contain many key vitamins and minerals that are known to benefit human health. Due to their high contents of fiber, protein, and vitamins and minerals, chickpeas have been associated with a number of possible health benefits for medical conditions such as diabetes, bone health, blood pressure, cancer, and more.
Benefits of Chickpeas (Aka Garbanzo beans)
- Helps control blood sugar levels:
Chickpeas are a form of complex carbohydrates that are slowly digested by the body and then used for energy.
- Increases satiety and helps with weight loss:
Chickpeas are high in both fiber and protein, which helps keep you feeling fuller longer.
- Improves digestion thanks to a high fiber content:
There are roughly 6-7 grams of fiber per half cup serving. Fiber helps to balance pH levels and bacteria in the gut, decreasing bad bacteria and increasing good bacteria.
- Helps Protect against heart disease and Cancer:
It has been shown that chickpeas help balance unhealthy cholesterol levels, to reduce hypertension, and to protect against heart disease in multiple ways.
- Provides Essential Vitamins and Minerals:
Chickpeas have high levels of iron, zinc, folate, phosphorus, and B vitamins, which are all very important for vegetarians and vegans who may be lacking in these essential nutrients.
- Great source of plant-based protein:
Protein plays an important role in nearly every function in our body and consuming enough healthy protein helps you naturally slow aging.
In addition to the many health benefits that chickpeas have, I think they are one of the most versatile beans you can use in your diet. Chickpeas are used in hummus, burgers, salads, soups, cookies, and many more. Canned chickpeas are easy to find in the store, and your option are endless as to how you can cook them and season them. One of my favorite ways to eat chickpeas is to roast them. Roasted chickpeas are a great crunchy snack that gives you protein, fiber, and vitamins, all in one. I also like to throw them on salads to give me a crunch, instead of using croutons. They are very quick and easy to make, and the best part is you can season them however you want. I like to cook a big batch and then just snack on them until they are gone. Here is how I like to prepare mine.
- 1 (15 oz) can of chickpeas ( garbanzo beans)
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- Cumin (optional)
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit
- Rinse and drain the canned chick peas. Use paper towels to dry the chickpeas. It is optional but not necessary to pull off the film on the chick peas.
- Place chickpeas on cooking sheet, and pour 2 tablespoons of olive oil on chickpeas and mix around.
- Put the chickpeas in the oven on 450 degrees Fahrenheit and cook for about 40 mins. Once they are done season to taste ( I like to use cumin).
- Enjoy as a snack, or on a salad!
This recipe above is just one of many ways to eat chickpeas. Here is a link to 32 chickpea recipes: https://greatist.com/eat/creative-chickpea-recipes
This post is by Nourish intern, Victoria Carroll, who is a recent Roland Park Country School graduate. She is going on to study nutrition and food science at the University of Maryland.