Chickpeas, also called garbanzo beans, are native to Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cuisine. These little yellowish beige-coloured beans are also part of the legume family. Chickpeas are available to buy canned or dried. Buying legumes dried in bulk is very cost-effective, however it is important that that beans are soaked, drained, and then cooked before they are consumed. Chickpeas work well in salads, curries, and other main dishes, or mashed into delicious hummus. A creative way to use chickpeas is to roast them in the oven with olive oil and your favourite savoury or sweet spice combinations for a crispy, protein-packed snack.
Benefits of Chickpeas:
- Chickpeas are an excellent source of fibre! Not only is fibre important for digestive and bowel health, but it also helps you feel full. As well, a type of fibre called “soluble fibre” (which is found in legumes like chickpeas) has been proven to lower cholesterol levels and protect against heart disease.
- A great plant protein source. One serving of chickpeas (outlined below) has approximately the same amount of protein as an egg!
- Chickpeas also contain important minerals such as phosphorus and potassium. Both play a role in keeping our body systems in balance, like our fluid levels and blood pressure.
- Chickpeas are fantastic source of manganese. Manganese is a lesser-known mineral, but it is still important! It can act as antioxidant and helps our immune system to function.
- A great source of folate! Folate is a B vitamin that has several uses, including helping make our blood cells. In pregnancy, folate is very important in preventing birth defects in the developing fetus.
Nutritional Value of ½ cup (82) of Boiled Chickpeas:
- 134 calories
- 5 g carbohydrate
- 7 g fibre
- 2 g protein
- 1 g fat
- Approximately 44% of your daily folate requirements
- About 42% of your daily manganese requirements
Did You Know?
Chickpea cooking liquid, i.e. liquid drained out of canned chickpeas, can be used to replace egg whites in plant based recipes. The unique mixture of proteins, starches and other plant components that seep out of the chickpea have emulsifying and thickening properties that can produce light and fluffy egg white texture and appearance when the liquid is whipped!