Benefits of Chickpeas

Benefits of Chickpeas

Chickpeas have exploded in popularity, and it’s easy to see why. They’re the essential ingredient in beloved foods like hummus, falafel, roasted chickpeas and vegetarian curries.

Meanwhile, global demand for plant-based foods is on the rise. And as people try to find ways to eat less meat, they’re seeking out plant-based proteins that are all natural, nutrient-dense and gluten-free. The mighty chickpea checks all three of those boxes.

We know you probably have some pressing questions (Is hummus good for me, and will chickpeas give me gas?). Since I wrote a book about pulses, the umbrella term for beans, lentils, dry peas and chickpeas, I know what’s good when it comes to garbanzos. Read on to find out everything there is to know about chickpeas and ways to add some simple, healthy chickpea recipes to your arsenal.

What are chickpeas?

Chickpeas are a type of pulse, a unique category within the legume family that are low in fat and high in protein and fiber. Chickpeas are actually the most widely consumed pulse in the world. They’re now grown in more than 50 countries, but were originally cultivated in the Middle East and Mediterranean (which is why many people associate them with hummus).

There are so many delicious ways to enjoy chickpeas. Chickpea flour can be used in baking or blended into smoothies. Whole chickpeas can be oven-roasted and enjoyed as a snack or added to salads, and they’re the base for Indian chana masala. Pureed chickpeas can be used to thicken soups or sauces. Meanwhile, mashed chickpeas can serve as an egg replacement in a veggie breakfast scramble, or form the base of plant-based chickpea patties.

Chickpea patties along with roasted chickpeas form the base of this hearty Mediterranean bowl.

These days, you can find a wide variety of chickpea-based desserts and treats, from chocolate-covered chickpeas and chickpea-powered protein bars to chickpea cookies, brownies and cupcakes. Mousse and meringue can also be made from aquafaba, the fluid found in canned chickpeas or the liquid left over when the dry seeds are soaked and boiled.

Is there protein in chickpeas?

One cup of canned, drained, rinsed chickpeas provides 10 grams of protein. That’s a decent amount, but it’s worth noting that this portion also supplies 34 grams of carbohydrate, with about 10 grams from dietary fiber.

When relying on chickpeas as a protein source, keep the carbs in mind. If you’re pairing them with another carb-rich food, such as quinoa, sweet potato or fruit, watch the portions to prevent carb overload.

What is the nutritional value of chickpeas?

In addition to their protein, carb and fiber content, a cup of chickpeas provides 210 caloriesand less than four grams of fat. But when it comes to chickpeas’ nutrition, they’re a true powerhouse food.

According to a study published in the journal Nutrients, people who regularly consume chickpeas and/or hummus have higher intakes of several key nutrients. These include fiber, vitamins A, E and C, folate, magnesium, potassium and iron.

Chickpeas are also chock-full of antioxidants. While the most common type consumed in the U.S., known as kabuli, are cream-colored, there are multiple types and hues of chickpeas. Smaller and darker desi chickpeas pack a greater antioxidant punch. You’ll find them in Indian markets or specialty-food stores.

Aquafaba, the fluid found in canned chickpeas, is a perfect substitute for eggs and egg whites in cooking and baking.

Are chickpeas good for weight loss?

Yes! Eating more chickpeas is a simple and effective weight-loss strategy. According to government data, chickpea/hummus consumers were 53 percent less likely to be obese. They also had lower BMIs and waist measurements compared to those who did not consume chickpeas or hummus.

One Australian study, published in Appetite, asked 42 volunteers to consume their usual diets, plus about three-and-a-half ounces of chickpeas daily for 12 weeks, and then return to their typical diets for a month.

The participants’ food diaries revealed that they ate less from every food group, particularly grains, during the three-month chickpea intervention. They also reported feeling more satisfied during the chickpea experiment. And in the four weeks after the study ended, their intake of processed snacks spiked.

Are chickpeas good for my health?

In addition to their ability to support weight loss, chickpeas improve gut health and help protect against heart disease, Type 2 diabetes and certain cancers.

In one study, blood sugar levels were significantly lower 45 minutes after volunteers ate hummus with white bread, as compared to white bread alone. This suggests that hummus may be able to partially offset glucose spikes triggered by eating high glycemic index foods.

In animal research, scientists found a 65 percent reduction in precancerous lesions in rats whose diets contained 10 percent chickpea flour. Another concluded that after eight months, rats fed a high-fat diet plus chickpeas had less belly fat and improved lipid profiles as compared to rodents that ate a high-fat diet alone.

Chickpeas help promote weight loss, improve gut health and protect against heart disease and Type 2 diabetes.

Will chickpeas give me gas?

You may experience more gas when you first up your chickpea intake, but your body will adapt. One study from Arizona State University actually measured this using beans. Over eight weeks, 40 volunteers added either a half-cup of canned carrots daily or a half cup of beans. Within the first week, about 35 percent of the bean eaters reported an increase in flatulence. (Note: 65 percent did not!) By week two, only 19 percent reported excess gas. And the number continued to drop weekly — down to 3 percent by week eight, the same response as the carrot eaters pegged as the control group. Because chickpeas are in the same family as beans, you can expect a similar GI adjustment. If you purchase canned chickpeas, rinsing them thoroughly can also help curb bloating.

How do you cook chickpeas?

Buying canned chickpeas is A-OK, but if you want to buy them dried and cook them yourself, it’s easy. For a quick soak use three cups of cold water for each cup of chickpeas, boil for two minutes, remove from heat, cover and let stand for one hour, then drain. After soaking, combine three cups water for every cup of chickpeas, bring to a quick boil, and then simmer for one-and-a-half to two hours.

Is hummus good for you?

The ingredients in premade hummus can vary widely. Some are simply made with chickpeas combined with olive oil, tahini and seasonings like garlic, salt, pepper and lemon juice. Others, however, can be made with lower-quality oils (like soybean oil) and artificial preservatives.

When shopping for hummus, read the ingredient list first. It should read like a recipe you could have made in your own kitchen. One of my favorite brands is Hope. Its original version is made with chickpeas, water, tahini, extra-virgin olive oil, sea salt, lemon juice, spices, citric acid (to preserve freshness), garlic powder and cayenne.

clean-ingredient hummus is a healthy snack when paired with raw veggies. It can also be used as a creamy salad dressing, a thickener for soup, a mayo alternative or topping for cooked potatoes or spaghetti squash.

Chickpea pasta is gluten-free and most often higher in protein, fiber and nutrients than wheat- or semolina-based pasta.

What’s the deal with chickpea pasta?

Chickpea pasta is made with chickpea flour instead of semolina, or wheat-based flour. The formulations vary, however, so be sure to check the ingredients. Some brands bolster the protein content by adding pea protein derived from yellow split peas (another type of pulse), and others add white rice flour.

The main benefits of chickpea pasta are that it’s gluten-free and generally higher in protein, fiber and nutrients as compared to its traditional counterpart.

Are garbanzo beans chickpeas?

The terms garbanzo beans and chickpeas are used interchangeably. Garbanzo, the Spanish word for chickpea, is thought to originally come from the Basque word for chickpea, “garbantzu,” meaning dry seed.

Try some of our best chickpea recipes!

In addition to being affordable and readily available, chickpeas are also extremely versatile to cook with. If you’re new to chickpeas, try this easy recipe for oven-roasting them. As you get more experienced, test out different types of seasonings to vary the flavors. You can make savory versions or sweet, such as cinnamon or cocoa-ginger chickpeas.

For breakfast or a snack, give your avocado toast a nutritional boost by adding homemade hummus. For a filling and energizing lunch you can pack for work, toss together this chickpea salad. And if you like it spicy, check out this warm, hearty and healthy chickpea curry.

For DIY hummus that’s as beautiful as it is delicious, whip up this beet-based hummus recipe. Or if you’re more into a smoky hummus with a sizzling kick, try this chipotle version.

Did we answer every question you had about garbanzo beans, chickpeas or whatever you like to call them?

20 Delicious Ways to Eat Black Beans

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

You’ll almost never find our kitchens without a can or two of black beans stocked in the pantry. This versatile ingredient can be used in so many different ways. From soups and chilis to enchiladas and salads, the possibilities are seemingly endless. We chose our 20 favorite black bean recipes to get you started with something new.

1. Spicy Salmon Black Bean Salad

Hot smoked salmon is a salty, meaty counterpart to earthy black beans. This is a salad that can be tossed together in minutes and is equally satisfying for dinner as it is for lunch.

(Image credit: Maria Siriano)

2. Easy Roasted Vegetable Enchiladas

These lightened-up enchiladas are ones you can feel good about serving your family. They’re filled with black beans and roasted veggies and topped with a creamy cilantro-lime yogurt sauce.

(Image credit: Lauren Volo)

3. 10-Minute Black Bean Tacos

Dinner in 10 minutes sounds like just the kind of thing we can get behind on a busy weeknight. These rely on canned beans and a few store-bought condiments to come together fast.

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

4. Cuban Black Bean Soup

To make this soup the right way, use dried black beans and let them soak overnight. You’ll also want to give it ample time to cook on the stove so, really, it makes a better weekend recipe. Finally, don’t skimp on the vinegar — it’s what gives the soup that little extra kick.

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

5. Roasted Squash, Corn, and Black Bean Enchiladas

Start with pre-cut butternut squash to make these veggie-filled enchiladas much faster and easier to bring to the dinner table. You can also swap in store-bought enchilada sauce if you’d rather not bother with making your own.

(Image credit: Lauren Volo)

6. Loaded Black Bean Nachos

A couple of cans of black beans add protein to this sheet pan full of ooey, gooey nachos. Top everything with a couple dollops of Greek yogurt and you can feel good about eating chips for dinner.

(Image credit: Michaela Cisney)

7. Chilled Black Bean, Feta & Cucumber Salad

This is one of those salads that actually gets better with more time spent in the fridge to let the dressing work its magic. We recommend making a big batch over the weekend and enjoying it for lunches all week.

(Image credit: Nick Evans)

8. Crunchy Black Bean Tacos

These pan-fried tacos are made with soft tortillas and are somewhere between a taco and a quesadilla. You can fill them with anything you want; they are a great way to use up a small amount of leftovers.

(Image credit: Megan Gordon)

9. Black Bean, Sweet Potato, and Quinoa Chili

While the options for vegetarian chili recipes are nearly endless, we’re partial to this one with sweet potatoes (or you could substitute butternut squash) and quinoa. Just remember — you might have to add a bit more water at the end since the quinoa will soak it up.

(Image credit: Emma Christensen)

10. Slow Cooker Black Bean Enchiladas

Slow cooker enchiladas are a bit magical. They might not be the prettiest meal on the block, but they are one of the tastiest. Plus, they are easily adaptable, so you can basically clean out your fridge and end up with a mouth-watering meal.

(Image credit: Kimberley Hasselbrink)

11. Black Bean Burgers with Chipotle Ketchup

What really makes these veggie burgers stand out is the jazzed-up ketchup, which is sweet and smoky and dangerously addictive.

(Image credit: Emily Han)

12. Kale and Black Bean Tacos with Chimichurri

No, chimichurri wasn’t originally intended for vegan tacos, but the garlicky sauce adds a whole new dimension to these tasty tacos. Of course, the big chunks of avocado and sautéed kale don’t hurt either.

(Image credit: Kimberley Hasselbrink)

13. Baked Black Bean and Avocado Burritos

Somewhere between a burrito and an enchilada, these avocado and black bean delights reside. You can play around with additional fillings, like sautéed peppers or greens; make sure you taste-test the filling to get the spices to your liking.

(Image credit: Joanna Miller)

14. Vegetarian Black Bean Espresso Chili

It can be hard to get that rich, meaty taste in a vegetarian chili, but the addition of instant espresso powder adds a depth that most vegetarian chilis lack. Try making this version, or adding a little espresso powder to your own favorite chili recipe, to get the full effect.

(Image credit: Emma Christensen)

15. Southwestern Pizza with Black Beans and Corn

One of our favorite unexpected black bean recipes is this Southwestern pizza. In place of traditional red sauce is a black bean mash. The whole pizza gets topped with corn, peppers, and a healthy dollop of avocado cream.

(Image credit: Maria Siriano)

16. Smoky Sweet Potato & Black Bean Casserole

Smoked paprika, fire-roasted diced tomatoes, and smoked mozzarella all join forces here to create a comforting casserole that has serious depth of flavor.

(Image credit: Chungah Rhee)

17. Sheet Pan Sweet Potato & Black Bean Hash

This hearty hash is perfect for feeding a weekend brunch crowd. Everything cooks on one sheet pan, which means you can spend time drinking mimosas with your guests instead of standing over the stove.

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

18. Slow Cooker Black Bean Chili

A bit of unsweetened cocoa power lends deep, rich flavor to this meatless chili. Let it cook slowly while you’re at work and you’ll be rewarded with a comforting meal as soon as you walk through the door.

(Image credit: Guy Ambrosino)

19. Black Beans and Plantains Breakfast Bowl

Make a big batch of these Cuban-style black beans ahead of time and when morning comes all you’ll need to do is fry up a plantain and some eggs while you reheat them.

(Image credit: Emma Christensen)

20. Freezer-Friendly Roasted Vegetable Burritos with Black Beans and Rice

These hearty burritos are a miracle meal when you discover them tucked away in the freezer for a quick lunch or dinner. They’ll keep well for up to 3 months, so it might be worth doubling the recipe if you have a large family.

Organic Rice, Grains & Beans is available to purchase at SFMart.com

This article is originally posted on The Kitchn

15 Wonderful Benefits Of Chickpeas (Garbanzo Beans)

Chickpeas or garbanzo beans are an excellent source of plant-based protein which helps prevent diabetes and aid in weight loss. The amazing benefits of chickpeas include the ability to improve digestion, prevent heart diseases, stabilize blood pressure levels, and lower the risk of genetic diseases and cancer. They also boost boneskin, and hair health.

What are Chickpeas (Garbanzo Beans)?

Chickpea or garbanzo bean is a famous legume also known as Ceci bean, Bengal gram or Egyptian pea, depending on where you’re eating them. These small, pale-brown beans have been cultivated for the better part of 7,000 years, making them the oldest and most popular legumes on the planet. [1]

Types of chickpeas: There are roughly 90 identified species of chickpea. Although the most common variants are pale-brown, black, green, and red chickpeas.

Chickpeas Nutrition Facts

Chickpeas or garbanzo beans are a powerhouse of nutrients, packed with plant-based protein, dietary fiber, and carbohydrates. [2] They are a rich source of antioxidants and minerals such as ironzincmagnesium, folate, and phosphorous. The nutty seeds also have a number of essential vitamins like thiamin, riboflavinniacinvitamin C, A, B6, B12, and vitamin K.

Health Benefits of Chickpeas

Let’s look at some of the health benefits of chickpeas:

Prevent Diabetes

Chickpeas have a high amount of soluble fiber which helps regulate blood sugar levels by optimizing digestion. [3] They can prevent the development of diabetes by ensuring normal levels of insulin and blood sugar and help people manage the condition.

Weight Loss

Garbanzo beans with their high density of nutrients, combined with the dietary fiber, are perfect for people trying to lose weight. [4] The fiber helps the body feel full for longer, by interacting with ghrelin, the hunger hormone, and inhibiting its release to some degree. The blend of nutrients and minerals also keeps the body energized and active, preventing fatigue and snacking between-meal. This makes chickpeas great for reducing overall caloric intake, because you simply don’t feel hungry, despite the 270 calories per cup of chickpeas.

Improve Digestion

The high levels of dietary fiber found in chickpeas can help to bulk up your stool. [5] This keeps your bowel movements regular while eliminating inflammation, cramping, bloating, and constipation. This can also improve absorption of nutrient digestion and ensure that you’re making the most of the nutritional value of your food.

Boost Heart Health

Our cardiovascular health gets a boost in two different ways from garbanzo beans. First, the high levels of soluble fiber help to balance cholesterol levels and aid in preventing atherosclerosis, heart attacks, and strokes. [6] Second, this legume can also reduce the amounts of LDL (bad) cholesterol in the blood. [7]Furthermore, the only fats that are found in garbanzo beans are omega-3 fatty acids, which are the beneficial polyunsaturated fats that help protect the heart and reduce inflammation throughout the body.

Good Source of Protein

Chickpeas are an important source of the proteins needed for growth and development, as well as proper healing and repair throughout the body. They are an ideal option for vegetarians who want to ensure they have the proper nutrient intake. However, one should not rely on chickpeas as a sole source of proteins. [8] A balanced protein intake is advised.

Rich Source of Antioxidants

The antioxidant compounds found in chickpeas include polyphenols, phytonutrients, beta-carotene, and key vitamins. These reduce oxidative stress in the body and prevent chronic diseases. Antioxidants seek out free radicals, the dangerous byproducts of cellular metabolism, which can cause healthy cells to mutate. [9] These antioxidants can help protect the body from cancer, coronary heart diseases, macular degeneration, and even cognitive disorders such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.

Strengthen Bones

Garbanzo beans being rich in iron, phosphorus, magnesium, copper, and zinc are exceptionally good for bone health. [10] Many of those minerals are essential to improve bone mineral density and prevent age-related conditions like osteoporosis.

Prevent Genetic Defects

Folate is an important B-vitamin for many different reasons, especially for women. [11] Low folate levels are closely associated with neural tube defects and other complications with the birth of children. Adding folate-rich chickpeas in the diet during pregnancy is a delicious way to ensure baby’s healthy delivery.

Maintain Blood Pressure

One of the key ways to maintain low blood pressure is to go for a low-sodium (low-salt) diet. Garbanzo beans being naturally low in sodium help in lowering high blood pressure. [12]

Lower Inflammation

Choline in chickpeas is a macronutrient that plays a vital role in the body’s ability to fight chronic inflammation. [13] It also regulates your sleep cycle, increases the range of movement in the muscles, as well as boosts learning and memory.

Prevent Hair Loss

Owing to their high protein and iron content, chickpeas can act as a wonderful natural supplement for those experiencing hair loss. These beans are also rich in vitamin A, B, and E, along with omega 6 fatty acids, all of which improve scalp health and boost blood circulation. [14]

Boost Eye Health

Intake of chickpeas on a regular basis can boost your eyesight. They are a good source of zinc and vitamins such as vitamin A, C, and E, all of which help protect vision.

Skin Care

The presence of manganese in chickpeas enhances skin health and keeps the formation of wrinkles and fine lines at bay. Essentially, manganese prevents wrinkles by reversing the damaging effect of free radicals. This legume also contains the element molybdenum, which eliminates sulfites, providing a detox effect on the skin. Other vital nutrients like folate, zinc, and vitamins repair UV damage and toxin overload while keeping the skin supple and glowing.

Balance Hormones

Consuming garbanzo beans can be a safe and natural way to counter menopausal and postmenopausal symptoms like night sweats, mood swings, and hot flashes. Chickpeas contain plant hormones known as phytoestrogens, which mimic the body’s natural female hormone estrogen. They also guard against diseases that commonly affect women such as breast cancer and osteoporosis.

Other Uses

  • For dandruff, make a paste with chickpea flour and some water. Massage this on your scalp and leave it for half an hour before washing off.
  • Chickpea flour is also good for oily, spotty skin. Simply combine some flour with milk and rose water to make a face mask.

How to Cook Chickpeas?

Chickpeas are available easily throughout the year in dried or canned form. The canned version contains salt and preservatives but offers convenience. Here’s how you cook dried chickpeas:

  • Washing and soaking: Wash and soak chickpeas in water for 8 to 10 hours. Soaking the legumes not only brings down cooking time but also removes some of the harmful compounds and oligosaccharides that can cause problems in the gastrointestinal tract.
  • Cooking: The best way to cook soaked chickpeas is to simmer them for a couple of hours until tender.

Quick Serving Tips

Some quick ways of adding garbanzo beans to your diet include:

  • Chickpea is used as the main ingredient in hummus. [15]
  • Chickpea sprouts or steamed chickpeas can be added to any salad. They can be used to prepare soups, salads, dips, and dishes.
  • Chickpeas are ground to make chickpea flour, also known as Bengal gram flour. It can be used as a substitute for wheat flour as a vegan and gluten-free flour, or in combination with others to enhance taste and nutrition.
  • Flatbread can be made with equal quantities of chickpea and barley flour. This is a beneficial recipe for diabetics.