Chickpeas (aka) Garbanzo Beans
Chickpeas are a delicious high protein food for vegetarians and non-vegetarians alike. They’re high in insoluble fiber, which binds to cholesterol and removes it from the body; it also helps prevent digestive disorders such as IBS and diverticulosis. Its soluble fiber helps control cholesterol, and helps prevent strokes and heart disease.
Chickpeas may help prevent elevated blood sugar levels, making them a good choice for diabetics or if you have insulin-resistance or hypoglycemia.
Chickpeas are very high in folate, magnesium and potassium which help balance body fluids, protect against fluid retention and heart disease. They are also a good source of minerals including iron, zinc and calcium.
Chickpeas come canned or dried in the dried beans section of your store. If you used canned, be sure to rinse them thoroughly as they usually contain a high amount of sodium. If using dried, soak them for several hours or overnight then simmer for at least 1 ½ hours.
They’re very versatile as they can be used in any dish, salads, roasted for a crunchy snack and to make hummus. You can even sprout them!
Simple Hearty Chickpea Soup
2 ¼ cups chickpeas soaked in water overnight (or 2-15 oz cans rinsed and drained)
2Tbsp. Olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 lb. Swiss chard, washed, trimmed and finely sliced
2 fresh rosemary sprigs
14 oz. canned chopped tomatoes
pink sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
If using dried chickpeas, drain them and add fresh water to cover. Bring to a boil and simmer uncovered for 1 ½ hours skimming foam off the top and adding water if needed. Drain peas reserving the cooking water. (You can use a cooking spider or a colander). Season chickpeas with salt and pepper and Place 2/3 of them into a food processor or blender with some of the cooking water and pulse until smooth adding water if necessary to achieve a soup consistency, set aside.
Add onion and garlic to the saucepan, cook over medium heat until soft. Add Swiss chard and rosemary, cook for 5 minutes and add tomatoes and remaining chickpeas. Cook about 10 minutes until the tomatoes have broken down to an almost smooth sauce. Remove the rosemary sprigs. Return the chickpea puree to the saucepan and heat through 3-5 minutes. Serve.
1 (12 ounce) can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained
2 tablespoons olive oil
garlic salt (optional)
cayenne pepper (optional)
You can use any combination of your favorite herbs or spices
Preheat oven to 450° (or roast on the grill in a grill pan)
Blot chickpeas with a paper towel to dry them. In a bowl, toss chickpeas with olive oil, and season to taste with salt, garlic salt, and cayenne pepper, if using. Spread on a baking sheet, and bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until browned and crunchy. Watch carefully the last few minutes to avoid burning.
Get creative! Add chickpeas to any combination of salads, stews, soups and whole grain dishes. The possibilities are endless.