You may have heard of the mighty chickpea lately. The super legume seems to be popping up everywhere. But are chickpeas a truly healthy food you should be adding into your diet?
The short answer is yes! Chickpeas hold many unique benefits for your health and can be a great and easy way to increase your fiber and protein intake.
In this article, we will take an in-depth look at what chickpeas are, their benefits, and how to add them into your diet by exploring various chickpea dishes and fantastic products. Let’s jump right in!
What Are Chickpeas?
Chickpeas are legumes and, botanically, are neither beans nor peas. Instead, it is a type of pulse, with one seed pod containing two or three peas.
In fact, the chickpea is a tender annual legume. The bushy plant grows high and has small, feathery leaves on either side of the stem. While India produces the most chickpeas, they are grown in more than 50 countries worldwide.
Chickpeas are versatile and an excellent source of carbohydrates, protein, fiber, B vitamins, and minerals.
How To cook chickpeas
Dried chickpeas need a long cooking time, around 1-2 hours. Be mindful, if you cook them longer, they can start falling apart.
It is recommended to soak your chickpeas before cooking for at least 12-24 hours. This will not only shorten the cooking time by about 30 minutes but is also great for increased nutrient absorption and easier to digest. After soaking, drain the chickpeas into a pot, and add cold water until you have twice the volume of the chickpeas.
Bring the water to a boil, turn the heat down and simmer the chickpeas for 45 mins or up to 1hour. Try them to see if they are tender enough.
Garbanzo Beans vs chickpeas
People often mistake garbanzo beans and chickpeas as different foods. However, they are in fact the same.
A chickpea or garbanzo bean both refer to one plant in the legume category. “Chickpea” comes from the Latin word cicer, referring to the plant family of legumes, Fabaceae. And the garbanzo bean is known for its popular Spanish-derived name.
Other names for chickpeas are gram, Bengal gram, garbanzo, garbanzo bean, and Egyptianpea.
6 Benefits Of Chickpeas
1. Chickpeas Are Packed With Nutrients
Chickpeas are packed with nutrients and are a plant-based source of a complete protein - they contain all nine essential amino acids, which are building blocks that help our bodies function correctly.
Chickpeas provide a decent amount of fiber and protein - 1 cup (164-gram) of cooked chickpeas offers 269 calories, 14.5g of protein, and 12.5g of fiber.
Chickpeas also provide a variety of vitamins and minerals, including:
● Manganese: 74% of the Daily Value (DV)
● Vitamin B9: 71% of the DV
● Copper: 64% of the DV
● Iron: 26% of the DV
● Zinc: 23% of the DV
● Phosphorus: 22% of the DV
● Magnesium: 19% of the DV
● Thiamine: 16% of the DV
● Vitamin B6: 13% of the DV
● Selenium: 11% of the DV
● Potassium: 10% of the DV
2. Chickpeas Help Control Blood Sugar
Because chickpeas have a low glycemic index and contain a specific starch called amylose, the body absorbs and digests them slowly.
Chickpeas are incredibly easy to add to your diet and are a fantastic, cheap, plant-based way to increase your protein intake.
They are widely available in both canned and dry varieties, and there are many delicious ways to cook them and add them to meals.
Common questions about chickpeas
What Do Chickpeas Taste Like?
While they may be similar to the taste of other legumes (such as cannellini beans), chickpeas have a unique flavor.
They are starchy and chewy, with an earthy taste with nutty undertones. Sometimes, depending on the cooking method and seasoning, chickpeas can have a different flavor, too.
How Do Chickpeas Grow?
Chickpea is a cool season annual crop that performs best in 70° to 80°F daytime temperatures and 64° to 70°F night temperatures.
Chickpea plants are bushy, grow above ground, and top at about 18 inches. These seeds grow inside green pods that grow on the plant.
Each chickpeas plant produces a minimum of 3 pods, each containing 1-2 seeds. Therefore, chickpeas will be ready for picking about 100 days after you plant them.
Are Chickpeas Keto?
Chickpeas aren’t keto-friendly. They are packed with protein and fiber and are a fantastic nutritious choice for people on most diets. However, chickpeas are high in carbohydrates, so you should avoid them or eat them in moderation on a low-carb diet.
Are Chickpeas Healthy?
Chickpeas are exceptionally healthy. They are a fantastic source of protein for vegans and those following a plant-based diet, packed with fiber and many different minerals and vitamins. So eating chickpeas regularly can genuinely benefit your health.
Chickpeas are unique, healthy legumes that you can add to your diet to get more nutrients, fiber, and flavor. It is versatile and can enhance many meals with its nutty, earthy, delicious flavor.
If you are interested in exploring more healthy snacks made of chickpeas and other unique ingredients make sure to check out DeliciousDoor where all snacks are strictly vetted to ensure they are premium-quality and better-for-you alternatives to supermarket snacks.