Chickpeas are a type of legume, the most widely consumed legume in the world. Also known as garbanzo beans (called such in the Spanish-speaking countries), the most common type has a round shape and a beige color, but other varieties are black, green, or red.
They can be used in salads and stews, cooked and ground into paste to make a dish called hummus. Roasted and properly seasoned, chickpeas can be a crunchy addition to any meal. The green plant can be eaten as a vegetable. Dried chickpeas need a long, slow cooking time and are ready when they are soft. Soaking chickpeas overnight first can significantly reduce the cooking time.
Research has shown that there is a direct connection between consumption of legumes and lower LDL cholesterol, lower incidences of certain cancers and improved health in diabetics, menopause relief, and weight loss. The fiber content also keeps the digestive tract healthy, and promotes regularity. Chickpeas reduce the appetite by helping you feel full longer after eating. Choline contained in chickpeas helps brain and nervous system function. It plays a role in mood, muscle control, learning, and memory, as well as the body’s metabolism.
Chickpeas are a great source of protein, iron, and other nutrients for those following a vegan or vegetarian diet.
Sources: Medical New Today and cals.arizona.edu
Recipe – Hummus Tahini
2 cups cooked garbanzo beans
½ cup lemon juice
½ cup Sesame Tahini
3 cloves of garlic or ½ tsp. garlic powder
½ to 1 cup liquid from garbanzo beans
Salt to taste
Blend all ingredients well in a blender, adding liquid until desired consistency and smoothness is achieved. Best if blended to consistency of a thick paste, and not runny.