Chickpeas: A Healthy Bean To Incorporate In Your Recipes

Chickpeas, O chickpeas what a sweet name for a legume. Since I am vegetarian, I cannot stop eating them. They are nutrient-dense, have this nutty taste and are really easy to use in cuisine.  I think I am starting to develop a chickpeas obsession. Ready to follow me in my Pois-chiches (chickpeas in French) crazyness ?

History

Chickpeas or Garbanzo beans are from the legumes family, but have the same nutritional value as beans. They were first cultivated in Middle East around the 7th century. Chickpeas, lentils, and grains were the staple food for the population. Nowadays, India is the first producer and consumer of garbanzo beans.

Lately, many Northern cultures have readopted it. WhyThe 2015–2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans advocate for increasing vegetable intake and replacing energy-dense foods with those that are nutrient-dense. Traditional hummus is a popular dip that is nutrient-dense, both here in the USA and Europe. Try to have a look at your supermarket shelves and count how many different humus boxes are displayed: 5, 10, 20 or more? You know why? Because this small grain is full of healthy nutrients.

Cicer_arietinum_HabitusFruits_BotGardBln0906a

Chickpeas are issued from this plant Cicer arietinum. Image from BotGardBLn0906a

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Chickpeas in their shells. Image by Eitan F.

Nutrition value

100 g Chickpeas boiled

 Serving portion (125 g):   1/2 cup cooked chickpeas

100 g (1/2 cup) raw Chickpeas

Energy

164 Kcal

205 Kcal

378 Kcal

Water

60g

75 g

7.7

Protein

8.8 g

11g

20.5 g

Fat

2.6 g

3.25 g

6 g

Carbs

27.5 g

34.3 g

63 g

         -Fibers

7.6 g

9.5 g

12 g

         -Sugar

4.8 g

6 g

10 g

Calcium

50 mg

62.5 mg

105 mg

Iron

2.8 mg

3.5 mg

4.3 mg

Serving size  1/2 cup of cooked chickpeas  (according to the American heart association) so around 3/4 cup of raw chickpeas.

Glycemic index: 10                   Glycemic load per serving: 3.

35% of the RDA (recommended daily intake)  for fibers in one portion of garbanzo beans.

Benefits

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Excellent energy source: 100 g of cooked chickpeas contains half the calories of 100 g of bread. Don’t forget that their nutrient density is remarkable, they contain various vitamins and minerals needed by our body.

Stabilizes blood sugar levels: Their low glycemic index of 10 is ideal for diabetics to reduce their sugar pikes.

Minimizes metabolization of sugar into fat in our body.

Excellent source of vegetal protein and iron: Ideal for vegetarians and vegans.

Decreases chances of heart disease by lowering LDL cholesterol.

Their high content in Choline helps decrease inflammation and facilitate sleeps.

Their high fiber content facilitates digestion and decreases constipation. 

Increases satiety and reduces appetite: A real plus if you want to manage your weight.

1635-200 Their high fiber content makes them harder to digest. Increase your fiber intake gradually.

Recipe Ideas

Humous: Dip made of chickpeas mashed with oil, garlic, lemon juice, tahini, and spices.

Falafel: Small croquette made with ground fava-beans or ground chickpeas, seasoned with toasted sesame seeds and spices.

Chickpeas Salad: Be imaginative!  Combine with any vegetables, grains, and an amazing salsa–they will become your best friends.

Couscous: North African dish consisting of steamed semolina, served with vegetables and garbanzo beans. This is one of my favorite dishes cooked by my mum.22792328693_1bbbdf0f2e_o

Chana Dhal: East Indian dish made with Garbanzo beans, pureed tomatoes, sauté ginger onions with curry spices.

Sprouted Garbanzo Beans: Use the natural process of germination to create a healthy snack.

how_to_sprout_chickpeas_3

Image by the roastedroot

Sources:

http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Support/What-is-a-Serving_UCM_301838_Article.jsp#.WM9AcRLyuRs

“International tables of glycemic index and glycemic load values: 2008” by Fiona S. Atkinson, Kaye Foster-Powell, and Jennie C. Brand-Miller in the December 2008 issue of Diabetes Care, Vol. 31, number 12, pages 2281-2283.

The Nutritional Value and Health Benefits of Chickpeas and Hummus.  by Taylor C. Wallace 1,*, Robert Murray 2 and Kathleen M. Zelman 3.

http://www.dictionary.com

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