Friday, January 18, 2013

Food Focus Friday: Chickpeas


Chickpeas are a member of the legume family may have originated as far back as 7,500 years ago in the Middle East. Also formally known as garbanzo beans, chickpeas are high in protein & fiber and are most commonly used in Mediterranean or Middle Eastern food dishes (and especially in hummus). However, as this legume has grown more popular the opportunities are endless!

Nutrition Facts: 1 cup chickpeas
270 kcal
14.5g protein
45g carbohydrate, 12.5g fiber
4.2g fat (unsaturated healthy fat)

These legumes are rich in Folate (71% daily value), B6 (11%) and Thiamin (13%), Iron (26%), Phosphorus (28%), Copper (29%) and Manganese (84%). One cup also provides 1824mg omega-6 fatty acids and 70.5 omega-3 fatty acids. These tiny gems are a great source of slow burning complex carbohydrate and their fiber content will leave you feeling satisfied and full for hours.

Of course, we can't talk about chickpeas without a hummus recipe! I made this yesterday and it took about 5 minutes to whip up with a food processor. Very easy and much cheaper than the store bought version (and richer in taste in you ask me). I made mine spicy but you can personalize it any way you want.

Easy Chickpea Spicy Hummus

1 (14.5oz) can chickpeas, drained & rinsed
2 tbsp tahini
2 tbsp olive oil
Juice from 1 lemon

For spicy hummus, add salt, black pepper, red pepper flakes and Sriracha sauce to taste. You can also adjust the consistency of the hummus by adding more or less lemon juice and olive oil.

Enjoy on a wrap, with sliced pita or with veggies!

For the avocado lovers out there, here's another favorite chickpea recipe I've been enjoying lately. It takes less than 5 minutes to prepare and makes for a great snack or lunch:

Chickpea & Avocado Salad 

Pictured with arugula lettuce on Ezeikel bread

And finally, a crock pot recipe to enjoy on cold winter days:

Rustic Chickpea Stew w/ Apricots

Pairs best with couscous and I made mine with sweet potatoes instead of turnips.

Some additional recipes to consider:

Other than in hummus, have you ever tried chickpeas? Do you have any different recipes to share with me!?


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