Chickpeas are part of the legume family. The most common varieties are round and beige, other types can be black, green, and red. They are commonly used in Middle Eastern and Mediterranean dishes.
They are either sold dried or pre-cooked and sold in cans or jars. Dried chickpeas need to be soaked for at least 8 hours before cooking. They will triple in size when properly soaked. To cook cover with water and boil for about two hours or until they are soft.
Canned chickpeas need to be rinsed before using, using a sieve wash them under running water before using. As they are precooked, they can be used straight away!
When they are cooked you can add them to curry, salads, soups, stews and are a great addition to rice dishes. They are a good base for veggie burgers.
Arguably the most popular use for chickpeas is for making hummus. Hummus is a dip with a rich and creamy texture. Hummus is made by blending chickpeas, tahini, olive oil, lemon juice and garlic together. It’s great with pitta bread or raw vegetables cut julienne style.
Roasted chickpeas become crunchy and are a great snack when seasoned with spices like paprika and cayenne pepper.
Chickpeas are also used to make chickpea flour, which is used as a gluten-free alternative to plain flour.
Chickpea Nutritional Infomation
Chickpeas are super high in plant-based protein and they are a great source of iron and fibre. They also contain manganese, phosphorus, vitamin B1, potassium and magnesium. Potassium and magnesium. help prevent high blood pressure, lowering the risk of developing heart disease.
The high fibre content of chickpeas is shown to aid digestion and keep your appetite under control.
Chickpeas are high in carbohydrates but this may be a good thing. Not all carbs release energy at the same speed.
Fast-release carbs, cause a spike in blood sugar levels. Slow-release carbs provide a more gradual release of energy helping you to sustain energy levels for longer periods of time.
There are about 364 calories in 100g of cooked chickpeas
Recipe suggestion: Hummus