Chickpeas are a powerhouse of protein and fibre, as well as many vital vitamins and minerals. These little beans are delicious and super versatile, making them a great ingredient to always have in stock in your kitchen.
What are chickpeas?
Chickpeas belong to the legume family alongside ingredients like beans, lentils and peas. They are an important part of Mediterranean and Indian cuisines, and can be bought either dried or tinned.
Tinned vs. dried
Tinned chickpeas can be either in water or in brine. The benefit of tinned chickpeas is that they are ready to eat, super convenient and easy to add to any dish for additional protein and fibre. Another great aspect of tinned chickpeas is aquafaba, which is the liquid from the can and is used as a vegan substitute for eggs and as an emulsifier.
Dried chickpeas, on the other hand, take significantly longer to prepare and therefore require a bit more forethought than tinned chickpeas. A benefit to dried chickpeas is that you have full control over the texture, as you can cook them for as long or little as you like. Mediterranean snacks like falafel and hummus also often call for dried chickpeas as the firmness or softness of the beans can influence how well they turn out.
What are the benefits?
Chickpeas are high in fibre, meaning that they will satisfy you and fill you up and are therefore great for bulking up dishes. On top of this, the fibre in chickpeas is important for digestion and can help to improve cholesterol levels. Chickpeas are also extremely protein dense, making them one of the best sources of plant-based protein and an important addition to any diet. They contain essential nutrients such as calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc, vitamin E, folate and phosphorous, and they contain saponins which have anti-inflammatory properties and can help boost your immune system.
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Give some of these chickpea recipes a try:
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