It has long been established that chickpeas and garbanzo beans are interchangeable in the cooking community. Garbanzo is simply the Spanish word for "Chickpea." Now that you know this important and pertinent information, you can conquer these two things at the same time.

There are so many things that you can make with chickpeas that may be surprising to you, and we have a stockpile of recipes that can make these creations happen. Most importantly, eating chickpeas has a plethora of nutritional benefits.

Chickpeas/garbanzo beans can be very beneficial in your day to day life in flavor.

Chickpeas Are Healthy!

Interestingly enough, having chickpeas as a regular in your diet is very beneficial to your health. Chickpeas are chock full of nutrients, vitamins and minerals, as well as being a good source for fiber and protein. Since they are high in fiber, they help limit people's appetite and reduce calorie intake. Being an excellent source of protein, they assist with weight control and bone health.

Chickpeas also have a low glycemic index, which is a helpful factor in regulating blood sugar. Glycemic index is what determines how much your blood pressure raises after eating something. This can lead to reducing the threat of illnesses such as diabetes, cancer, and heart disease. The mineral selenium, which is not present in most fruits and vegetables, can be found in chickpeas. This mineral helps the liver function properly and can detoxify some cancer causing compounds. Selenium also prevents inflammation and decreases tumor growth rates.

Chickpeas Are Very Versatile

The amount of things that you can do with chickpeas is almost limitless.

If you want to keep things simple, roasting chickpeas is a quick and easy dish. It only takes a few ingredients and not a lot of prep. Another great chickpea concoction is falafel. This combination of ground up chickpeas that is baked or fried is a fan favorite in both street food and fine Mediterranean dining.

Chickpeas also make a good addition to any salad, but especially if it's a Mediterranean salad. All you have to do is drain and rinse them and they go perfectly with kalamata olives and feta cheese. Even pasta can be made from chickpeas. It's healthy, gluten-free, and you can find it at any regular grocery store, and it pretty much tastes like REAL pasta.

However, the most popular food people know chickpeas from is most likely hummus. This smooth and savory food accessory goes great with a wide variety of hummus transporters, like carrots, pita chips, peppers, naan, or so much more. It'd be impossible to attend a party nowadays without seeing some hummus lying around.

An Easy Hummus Trick

There are so many different kinds of hummus that there are too many to count, but a good way to get started is to just keep it simple. Here is a great traditional hummus for beginners to get started in the hummus game.

Ingredients:

  • 2 (15.5-ounce) cans of no-salt-added chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, to taste

Instructions:

  1. In a blender or food processor, mix chickpeas, garlic, lemon juice, and tahini. Puree until a chunky paste.
  2. Scrape the sides of the blender, then add olive oil and salt and pepper to taste. Blend until creamy.
  3. To serve, drizzle with olive oil and a dash of paprika for color.
  4. Prepare and refrigerate the hummus a day or two ahead and then serve at room temperature.

A nifty trick with hummus that has been trending lately is to peel the skin off of your chickpeas before you blend them. This makes the hummus you make even smoother, taste better, and generally make it look store or restaurant quality. This can be accomplished rather easily with canned chickpeas. After rinsing the chickpeas, dry them and place a paper towel over them on a flat surface. Start rolling the chickpeas around with your hand placed on the towel and the skins will essentially peel themselves, any skins that haven't been pulled off during this process can be removed easily by hand. This one extra step could be the key to taking your hummus to the next level.

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