Diet and recipes
Chickpeas are available all year and are often found in grocery stores either dried and packaged or canned. They have a nutty flavor and buttery texture that allows them to be easily incorporated into any meal.
When preparing dried chickpeas:
Sort them: It is important to pick out any small rocks or other debris that may have wound up in the package.
Wash and soak them: Soak chickpeas in water for 8 to 10 hours before cooking in order to achieve optimum flavor and texture. It's possible to tell they are finished soaking when they can be split easily between the fingers. Soaking dried legumes reduces the amount of time needed to cook them, and also helps remove some of the oligosaccharides that cause gastrointestinal distress as well as harmful substances found in raw legumes.
Cook: Once they are finished soaking, chickpeas are best cooked by simmering for a few hours until tender.
Quick tips on incorporating chickpeas into a diet:
Hummus is a quick and tasty dip that is made using chickpeas.
- Toss chickpeas and a variety of other legumes with any vinaigrette for an easy protein-packed bean salad. Add some rice to make it a complete protein.
- Sprinkle some canned or packaged roasted chickpeas over a salad to add a nutty flavor and to broaden the variety of textures.
- Chickpea flour can add fiber, protein, and an assortment of vitamins and minerals to gluten-free baking.
- Purée chickpeas with olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, and tahini to make a quick and tasty hummus, which can be used as a dip or spread.
- Add chickpeas to vegetable soup to increase its nutritional content.
- Mix chickpeas with any favorite spices for a delicious side or snack.
- Mash chickpeas with cumin, garlic, chili, and coriander, then separate the mixture into several small balls. Fry the balls until they are crisp and then serve them inside pita bread to create a traditional Middle Eastern falafel.