It’s possible to eat chickpeas for breakfast, lunch and dinner in homes and restaurants across the globe. Easy to grow and packed with vitamins and protein, chickpeas deliver delicious nutrition for practically pennies.
A Nutritional Profile to Brag About
To put it in technical terms, chickpeas rock! One half cup of cooked chickpeas clock in at about 160 calories and 9 grams of almost fat-free protein. While it has about 30 grams of carbs equal to two slices of bread, chickpeas contains enzymes that limit blood sugar spikes associated with other carbs.
That same 1/2 cup of chickpeas also includes zinc, folates and 8 grams of fiber– about 20% of recommended daily intake. But wait there’s more. That little serving of chickpeas has 50 grams of calcium. Nice. Since studies have shown that a high protein/ low fat diet is associated with fewer wrinkles, I think that chickpeas have earned the right to be called a beauty food.
These days its hard to pick up a cookbook or menu and not find a dish that uses chickpeas. In an Indian restaurant chick peas are ground into flour called besan and is used for crepe like pancakes dosa or fried into balls called pakora. In fact throughout Southeast Asia, chickpeas in stews, snacks and batters are the major source of protein in the meal. In Spain they are added to stews and salads while in the Middle East they are ground up into hummus, fried as falafel and added to couscous platters.
There is certainly no shortage of great chickpea recipes, but there is a lack of good tasting nutrition packed snacks. Here is my new favorite adapted from SteamyKitchen.com.
Ingredients: one 15 ounce can chickpeas ( aka garbanzo beans), 1 1/2 tablespoons of olive oil, sea salt and onion powder to taste
Directions: Preheat oven to 400F. Drain the can of chickpea,s rinse in a strainer under running water and shake well to remove excess moisture. Place two layers of paper towels on a baking sheet, spread out beans to a single layer and top with more paper towels. Roll the beans around with the paper towels to both dry them and remove the thin skins of the beans. Remove the paper towels and loose skins, but keep the chickpeas on the baking sheet. Sprinkle olive oil over beans and massage them with your hands to coat them evenly with oil. Roast for 35 minutes until beans are deep golden brown and crunchy. Remove tray from oven and sprinkle with sea salt and onion powder to taste. Serve warm.