Chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans, are one of the earliest cultivated legumes originating in the middle East and still today being one of the most enjoyed pulses on the market. They are perhaps most well-known as the main ingredient in hummus, a dip that has been around for thousands of years and is know enjoyed around the world.
Health Benefits of Chickpeas
Chickpeas are a rich source of digestive fibre and protein and they contain a range of micro-nutrients including manganese, iron, folate, phosphorous and zinc. The high fibre content helps to reduce high cholesterol in the body and can minimise the risk of diabetes by helping to stabilise blood sugar levels.
Cooking with Chickpeas
Chickpeas have a firm but buttery texture and a nutty flavour that works well when eaten cooked and whole or blended into a dip or veggie patties. They are a hearty and filling additive to soups, salads, tagines, vegetarian curries or casseroles, and are also delicious on their own with a little olive oil, herbs and salt. With all legumes, they are best soaked overnight in the fridge and then rinsed well. To cook add one cup of chickpeas to 3 cups of water, bring to the boil then reduce to a simmer for about 1.5 hours or until soft.
Chickpeas are high in both soluble and insoluble fibre and can assist with bowel regularity, help stabilise blood sugar levels and maintain healthy cholesterol levels. Containing a range of minerals such as manganese and iron for energy production as well as being high in protein, chickpeas are especially beneficial for vegetarians and vegans.
How to cook Chickpeas: Soak overnight, rinse and drain well. Discard any discoloured chickpeas then place in a saucepan and cover with plenty of cold water, bring to the boil then simmer for 1 – 1 1/2 hours or until tender and plump.
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