Garbanzo beans, chickpeas, Egyptian peas, bengal grams, Besan flour, gram flour….can be a bit confusing. Yet, there are only two types of chickpeas, even though several different colors. The desi are the smaller and darker seeds with a rough coat. The kabuli are the larger, lighter colored, smooth colored bean.
These beans, whatever you decide to call them, come in dried (split and whole), canned, flour, and in a jar. The liquid in the jar and cans is called aquafaba and used by vegans as an egg substitute. Three tablespoons of aquafaba are equal to one egg in recipe substitutions.
Aside from making so many diverse meals with this simple bean, the list of health benefits is quite impressive. The bean is loaded with fiber, protein, minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants to name a few. Eating garbanzo beans also helps with weight loss, as it helps with satiation and the feeling of satisfaction and desire for less processed foods, some studies have sited.
Along with helping with weight loss, chickpeas also supports digestive health and helps lower risk of colon caner. Other great health benefits include heart health and assists in controlling blood sugar and insulin secretion. Also, aids in lowering cholesterol levels.
With all those benefits, it’s no wonder chick peas are part of the Mediterranean diet. Mediterranean foods have been eaten by groups noted in the Blue Zone island of Ikaria, Greece. If you are not familiar with Blue Zones, it’s a wonderful study of the world’s regions/groups of people who live the longest and healthiest lives. Food is one part of the conclusions for a healthy lifestyle, along with several other ways of living.
I’ve personally been enjoying several types of garbanzo beans for lots of fun and experimentation. I found a bag of roasted chick peas with sea salt that act as a wonderful exchange for a healthier snack choice. I’ve noted the feeling of ‘fullness’ and satisfaction after eating a few handfuls.
I’ve also been baking with besan flour. I found an organic bag at a local Indian Market near my office. I’ve made gluten free chocolate cookies that didn’t last very long in my full house. I also used the flour to coat cauliflower for roasting. The flour is very diverse and versatile in flavor.
The organic jar of chickpeas made the best hummus I’ve ever made! The recipe for my homemade hummus is on my website: www.happyfamilyhealthandwellness.com
The bag of dried garbanzo beans are good for several dishes like stew, soup, and also to keep in refrigerator for topping salads, bowls, etc. I also like to mash the garbanzo beans and make a breakfast scramble with them. It’s a perfect vegan dish, if you are avoiding eggs and tofu. Like with all beans, I suggest soaking the beans at least 24 hours, before cooking. You may throw them in a crock pot, or slowly cook on the stovetop for quite a while.
Having chickpeas on hand can help with many different dishes that add fiber and protein to any meal, on top of the above listed health benefits added to the mix.
Follow my website or Instagram for future added recipes using garbanzo beans.