Food Trends: Chickpeas
Do you remember a few years ago when cauliflower underwent a make-over from a simple vegetable to a real superstar, suddenly appearing as everything from rice, pizza crust, steaks, and more? Well, apparently, chickpeas are working to steal the spotlight, and their rise in popularity has them becoming a primary ingredient in many new products.
Want to be in-the-know about the chickpea trend? Learn what you need to know including their health benefits, trendy new ways they are appearing in food dishes, and some recipe ideas!
Health Benefits of Chickpeas
Chickpeas make an excellent addition to your diet. Here are some reasons why:
- They are high in nutrients, including protein, fiber, folate, iron, phosphorous, copper, and manganese
- Protein-rich content makes them a good meat substitute in vegetarian dishes
- They have a low glycemic index which can help support healthy blood sugar levels
- The high fiber and protein combo helps you feel full faster, which may keep you from overeating
See Chickpeas in a New Way
Chickpeas are being used in new products and different ways not only because of their powerful nutritional benefits, but because their neutral taste pairs well with other ingredients. They have the ability to take on the other flavors in the recipe and work well in any flavor profile from salty, to savory, to sweet. Here are some places you can find chickpeas:
- In Hummus – did you know that chickpeas are the main ingredient in hummus, making it a high-protein, low fat snack?
- Roasted – whether you make them yourself or buy them pre-made, roasting chickpeas and seasoning them with a variety of spices makes for a tasty snack or salad topping
- Pasta – companies like Banza use chickpeas as the base for gluten-free pastas
- Pizza crust – a chickpea pizza crust offers more protein than the popular cauliflower crust
- Flour – chickpea flour is a readily-available gluten-free flour you can easily find in most health food stores
- In desserts – aquafaba, the liquid at the top of a can of chickpeas, is often used in vegan baking in place of an egg. Check out this primer and video on how it’s done!
First, the answer to a commonly asked question: Are chickpeas and garbanzo beans the same thing? The answer is yes! The word “chickpea” is derived from Latin, while “Garbanzo” is the Spanish word for the same tasty legume. So if you can’t find one in your local grocery store, simply substitute the other! Here are a few chickpea recipes to help you embrace this food trend.
This tasty recipe uses only six ingredients, including aquafaba, and turns into a fancy dairy-free macaroon in less than 45 minutes.
If you are looking to impress a guest, this recipe from Joy the Baker should do the trick. Chickpeas are cooked with olive oil, onion, capers, and herbs to create a savory snack that is best served scooped on a slice of crusty bread.
Sure, you can buy hummus at the store and it’s always good, but if you’ve never made your own, you might be surprised at how easy it is. This recipe shows you how it’s done.
As we mentioned earlier, roasted chickpeas are an excellent high-protein snack. This recipe gives you tips for making them at home to enjoy as a cheap, easy, and healthy treat!