Chickpeas: Nutrition, Storage & Cooking Tips

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Chickpeas are one of the most versatile legumes. They’re also known as garbanzo beans and are part of the Fabaceae family. They’re grown worldwide and are used in both savory and sweet dishes.

Let’s take a look at everything you need to know about this legume.

What are Chickpeas

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Chickpeas: A Nutritious and Versatile Legume

What are chickpeas?


Chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans, are a type of legume that come from the plant Cicer arietinum. They are an annual crop that belongs to the subfamily Faboideae, which also includes kidney beans, lentils, and peanuts. Chickpeas are classified into different types, including the larger and creamier kabuli and the smaller and nuttier desi. They are also known by various names such as gram, Bengal gram, and Egyptian pea.

History and cultivation


Chickpeas have a long history and have been cultivated for thousands of years. They are believed to have originated in the Middle East and were considered a staple food in ancient civilizations such as Greece, Rome, and Egypt. Today, India produces the most chickpeas of any country in the world.

Nutritional information


Chickpeas are considered a vegetable and are an excellent source of protein, fiber, and various essential vitamins and minerals. According to the Department of FoodData Central, one serving of chickpeas (1/2 cup cooked) provides the following nutrients:

  • Calories: 100
  • Fat: 2 grams
  • Carbohydrates: 17 grams
  • Fiber: 6 grams
  • Calcium: 32 milligrams
  • Iron: 2.5 milligrams
  • Magnesium: 48 milligrams
  • Sodium: 6 milligrams

Chickpeas are also a complete protein, meaning they contain all of the essential amino acids our bodies need to function and build muscle. They are an excellent source of nutrients for vegetarians and vegans.

Health benefits


Chickpeas are brimming with health benefits, including:

  • Promoting satiety: Chickpeas are high in fiber and protein, which means they can help you feel full and satisfied after a meal. This can be helpful if you’re trying to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight.
  • Supporting brain and nervous system function: Chickpeas are a good source of vitamin E, which is important for brain and nervous system health.
  • Decreasing gastrointestinal trouble: The high fiber content in chickpeas can help regulate digestion and decrease gastrointestinal trouble.
  • Providing multiple benefits in one serving: One serving of chickpeas represents half of the recommended daily intake of fiber and provides a good amount of protein, iron, and other essential nutrients.

How to incorporate chickpeas into your diet


Chickpeas are incredibly versatile and can be used in a variety of dishes. Here are some ideas:

  • Roast them for a crunchy snack.
  • Make hummus or other dips.
  • Add them to salads for extra protein and fiber.
  • Use them in soups and stews.
  • Make falafel or veggie burgers.
  • Use chickpea flour in baking.

Advertising policy and bonus tips


When buying canned chickpeas, look for low-sodium options and rinse them before using to decrease sodium content. To reap the most benefits, try to incorporate chickpeas into your diet at least a few times a week. And don’t be fooled by their tiny size – chickpeas are packed with nutrients that can provide a ton of health benefits.

What Makes Chickpeas So Healthy?

1. Soluble Fiber for Gut Health


Chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans, contain soluble fiber that helps promote healthy bacteria in the gut. This fiber breaks down in the colon, making it easier to digest and promoting regular bowel movements. Studies have found that eating chickpeas can lower the risk of developing bowel problems and make bowel movements easier.

2. Complete Protein for Building Blocks


Chickpeas contain essential amino acids, which are the building blocks our bodies need to function properly. They are an excellent source of protein, especially for vegetarians who may struggle to get enough protein in their diet. Chickpeas are brimming with protein and provide multiple benefits, making them an excellent addition to your daily intake.

3. Promotes Satiety for Weight Loss


Chickpeas are packed with benefits that provide a ton of nutrition in a little, tiny package. They represent a complete food that promotes satiety, making you feel full and helping you lose weight if you’re trying to maintain or lose weight.

4. Good for Brain and Nervous System Function


Chickpeas are an excellent source of vitamin E, which is essential for brain and nervous system function. They also contain magnesium, which is important for nerve function and helps regulate blood sugar levels.

5. Lowers Risk of Developing Heart Disease


Chickpeas have a low glycemic index, which means they don’t cause a rapid spike in blood sugar levels. This makes them an excellent choice for people who have trouble regulating their blood sugar levels. Chickpeas also serve as a great source of fiber, which helps keep the gastrointestinal and cardiovascular systems healthy. They are low in sodium, fats, and cholesterol levels, which decreases the risk of developing heart disease.

6. Gluten-Free and Celiac Disease Friendly


Chickpeas are a great choice for people living with celiac disease or gluten intolerance. They are naturally gluten-free, making them a safe choice for those who need to avoid gluten. However, it’s important to read the ingredient list on prepackaged chickpea products, as they may contain gluten or other ingredients that aren’t natural. As a rule of thumb, if you can’t pronounce it, it’s probably not simple or natural.

7. Versatile and Delicious


Chickpeas are incredibly versatile and can be used in a variety of dishes. They can be mashed and made into hummus, added to salads, soups, and stews, or roasted and eaten as a snack. There are even different kinds of flavored chickpeas available to introduce additional ingredients and reduce the amount of unhealthy fats and sodium in your diet.

Bonus: Advertising Policy


Chickpeas are a healthy and delicious addition to any diet. They are packed with nutrients and provide multiple health benefits. Incorporating chickpeas into your diet can help promote satiety, keep your gastrointestinal and cardiovascular systems healthy, and reduce the risk of developing heart disease.

Nutritional Benefits of Chickpeas

Overview of Chickpeas


Chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans, are an annual legume belonging to the subfamily Faboideae of the family Fabaceae. They come in various types, including the Bengal gram and the Egyptian pea, and are known variously as chickpeas, garbanzo beans, or simply “chick peas.” Chickpeas are a power player among legumes, with a high concentration of key nutrients.

Nutrient Content of Chickpeas


The following table shows the nutrient content of boiled chickpeas, sourced from the USDA. The amount of each nutrient is shown alongside the daily requirements for an average adult, but requirements may vary according to age and other factors.

| Nutrient | Amount per 100g | Daily Requirement |
| — | — | — |
| Energy | 686 kJ (164 kcal) | — |
| Fat | 2.6 g | 44-77 g |
| Carbohydrates | 27.4 g | 130 g |
| Fiber | 7.6 g | 25-38 g |
| Protein | 8.9 g | 46-56 g |
| Vitamin C | 4.0 mg | 90 mg |
| Vitamin E | 0.4 mg | 15 mg |
| Vitamin K | 4.8 µg | 120 µg |
| Calcium | 49 mg | 1000-1300 mg |
| Iron | 2.9 mg | 8-18 mg |
| Magnesium | 48 mg | 310-420 mg |
| Phosphorus | 168 mg | 700 mg |
| Potassium | 291 mg | 4700 mg |
| Zinc | 1.5 mg | 8-11 mg |
| Folate | 172 µg | 400 µg |
| Pantothenic Acid | 0.6 mg | 5 mg |

Vitamins in Chickpeas


Chickpeas are a good source of several important vitamins, including:

  • Vitamin C: About 4.0mg per 100g, which is important for immune system function and skin health.
  • Vitamin E: About 0.4mg per 100g, which is important for maintaining healthy skin and eyes.
  • Vitamin K: About 4.8µg per 100g, which is important for blood clotting and bone health.
  • Folate: About 172µg per 100g, which is important for pregnant women and helps support healthy brain function.
  • Pantothenic Acid: About 0.6mg per 100g, which is important for converting food into energy.

Carbohydrates in Chickpeas


Chickpeas are a good source of carbohydrates, with about 27.4g per 100g. They are also high in fiber, with about 7.6g per 100g. The carbohydrates in chickpeas are naturally occurring sugars, which have a low glycemic load. This means that they are digested slowly, providing a steady source of energy throughout the day.

Chickpeas: A Hearty Snack That May Keep You Feeling Full

How Chickpeas Work to Promote Fullness


Chickpeas are experienced in the art of keeping you feeling full. Packed with fiber and protein, they work to slow down digestion and suppress overactive hunger signals. The starch in chickpeas is digested slowly, which helps you feel fuller for longer periods of time. Chickpeas also promote the release of hormones that regulate appetite and promote feelings of fullness. In fact, a study of women found that those who regularly ate legumes, including chickpeas, had a lower body mass index (BMI) and waist circumference compared to those who limited their intake.

The Impressive Effects of Chickpeas on Hunger Management


The findings of a review of human studies show that chickpeas have a relatively low glycemic index (GI), which means they help maintain healthy blood sugar levels. This is great news for hunger management because when blood sugar levels remain stable, you’re less likely to feel hungry. Chickpeas are also a great source of choline, a vital nutrient required for the production of specific chemical messengers in the nerve system that plays an important role in mental health.

Chickpeas: A Key Mineral for Mental Health


Chickpeas contain a hearty dose of the key mineral magnesium, which shows promising results in protecting against depression and anxiety. A study compared the intake of magnesium-rich foods, including chickpeas, to the mental health of adults and found that those who consumed higher amounts of magnesium had a lower risk of depression and anxiety.

How to Store Chickpeas: Tips and Tricks

Storage Options


When it comes to storing chickpeas, there are a lot of ways to go about it. Here are some common options:

  • Cupboard: Canned or soaked chickpeas can be kept in a cool, dry place like a cupboard for up to a year.
  • Fridge: Cooked chickpeas can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week.
  • Freezer: Chickpeas can be frozen for up to six months, either cooked or uncooked.

Freezing Chickpeas


Freezing chickpeas is a super convenient way to have them on hand for future meals. Here’s how to do it:

  • Cooked Chickpeas: Portion cooked chickpeas into small freezer bags or airtight containers. For even more convenience, freeze them in ice cube trays. One cube is approximately equal to one tablespoon.
  • Aquafaba: The liquid from canned chickpeas, also known as aquafaba, freezes well too. Pour it into ice cube trays and freeze for future use as an egg substitute in recipes.
  • Uncooked Chickpeas: To freeze uncooked chickpeas, start by spreading them out on a tray lined with foil or plastic wrap. Freeze until solid, then transfer to a freezer bag or airtight container.

Storing Chickpeas at Room Temperature


If you’ve bought fancy chickpea products ranging from plain or salted ones to coated or roasted ones, you may wonder how to store them. Here are some tips:

  • Opened bags: Transfer chickpeas to an airtight container or jar and store at room temperature.
  • Sealed bags: If the bag is unopened, it can be stored at ambient temperatures.
  • Glass jars: If you’ve bought chickpeas in a glass jar, it’s advisable to keep them in the fridge once opened to reduce the risk of spoilage.
  • Snacks: If you’ve made crispy chickpea snacks at home, store them in an airtight container or jar at room temperature.

Effects of Storage on Chickpeas


How you store chickpeas can affect their texture and shelf life. Here are some things to keep in mind:

  • Stale chickpeas: Chickpeas that have been stored for a long time at room temperature may become stale and affect the texture of the dish you’re making.
  • Absorbing odors: Chickpeas can absorb odors from other foods, so it’s best to store them in an airtight container or jar.
  • Lower shelf life: Chickpeas stored at room temperature have a lower shelf life than those stored in the fridge or freezer.
  • Skin remains: If you’re storing cooked chickpeas in the fridge, the skin may remain tough and affect the texture of the dish.

How to Cook Chickpeas: Tips and Tricks

Preparing Chickpeas for Cooking


– Rinse the chickpeas thoroughly under running water to remove any dirt or debris.

  • Soak the chickpeas overnight in a large bowl of water to reduce cooking time and improve texture.
  • If you’re short on time, you can use the quick soak method: cover the chickpeas with water in a pot, bring to a boil, and let sit for an hour before draining and rinsing.
  • If you’re using canned chickpeas, skip the soaking step and rinse them well before using.

– Use them as a substitute for meat in your favorite recipes.
– Experiment with different spices and flavorings to find a taste you like.
– Mix chickpeas with other beans, such as black beans or lentils, for a more varied texture and taste.
– Don’t skimp on salt – chickpeas need a fair amount of seasoning to taste their best.
– Try different cooking methods, such as pressure cooking or slow cooking, to see what works best for you.
– Remember that chickpeas are ridiculously cheap and efficient – a pound of dried chickpeas can yield several batches of cooked beans at a fraction of the cost of canned ones.

  • If you find that chickpeas are too starchy or grainy for your taste, consider removing their skins before cooking. This can be a bit taxing but results in a creamier, silkier texture.
  • Don’t forget that chickpeas are also an excellent source of plant-based protein, fiber, and other nutrients. Adding them to your diet can have many health benefits, plus they’re a sustainable and eco-friendly food choice.

Differences

Chickpeas Vs Garbanzo

Now, you may be wondering if these are even the same thing. Well, technically they are, but it’s all just a matter of semantics. The word “chickpea” comes from the Latin word “cicer arietinum” while “garbanzo” comes from Spanish. So, it’s really just a matter of what language you prefer.

But, let’s get down to the nitty-gritty. Chickpeas have been a staple ingredient in Middle Eastern cuisine for centuries. They’re used in dishes like hummus and falafel, and let’s be real, who doesn’t love a good hummus? On the other hand, garbanzo beans have been popular in the Mediterranean region for just as long. They’re packed with nutrients and have become a pantry staple in the US.

Now, when it comes to versatility, both legumes are champs. You can use them in a variety of dishes, from pastas to salads to crispy croutons. And let’s not forget about aquafaba, the liquid that comes from chickpeas and can be used as a thickening agent or egg replacement in recipes.

But, if you’re looking for a protein boost, garbanzo beans are the way to go. They pack a whopping 6 grams of plant-based protein per serving. And if you’re gluten-free, both legumes are safe to consume.

So, whether you prefer chickpeas or garbanzo beans, there’s no denying that they’re both delicious and nutritious. So, go ahead and incorporate them into your everyday meals. And if you’re feeling adventurous, try making chickpea pancakes with strawberries and cream. Trust us, it’s a game-changer.

Chickpeas Vs Lentils

Alright folks, it’s time to settle the age-old debate: chickpeas vs lentils. These legumes have been battling it out for years, and it’s time to finally put an end to it. So grab your spoons and get ready to dig in.

First things first, let’s talk about the differences between these two contenders. Chickpeas are larger and heartier, while lentils are smaller and more tender. Chickpeas also take significantly longer to cook, but they have a neutral flavor that makes them a great vehicle for sauces and broths. Lentils, on the other hand, have a mild earthy or peppery flavor and come in a variety of colors and textures.

Now, let’s get down to the nitty-gritty: the nutritional value. Both chickpeas and lentils are rich in fiber, plant-based protein, resistant starch, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. However, lentils have slightly fewer calories and more fiber per serving compared to chickpeas. Chickpeas, on the other hand, contain slightly more protein. So, it’s a bit of a toss-up in terms of which one is better for you.

But let’s be real, we’re not just eating these legumes for their nutritional value. We want them to taste good too! And luckily, both chickpeas and lentils are delicious and versatile. Chickpeas are great in hummus, salads, and stews, while lentils are perfect for soups, curries, and porridges.

So, which one should you choose? Well, it really depends on your personal preference and what you’re cooking. If you’re looking for a heartier ingredient that can hold its shape, go for chickpeas. But if you want something a bit more tender with a variety of flavors and textures, lentils are the way to go.

In conclusion, the chickpea vs lentil debate may never truly be settled. But one thing’s for sure: both of these legumes are nutritious, delicious, and worth adding to your pantry. So go ahead, grab a spoon, and dig in!

Conclusion

So, there you have it – everything you need to know about chickpeas, from their history to their nutritional value.  Chickpeas are a great source of fiber, protein, and vitamins and minerals, and can be used in a variety of recipes.  So, next time you’re at the grocery store, pick up some chickpeas – you won’t regret it!

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Joost Nusselder, the founder of Bite My Bun is a content marketer, dad and loves trying out new food with Japanese food at the heart of his passion, and together with his team he's been creating in-depth blog articles since 2016 to help loyal readers with recipes and cooking tips.