THE FOOD SERIES: Garbanzo Beans/Chickpeas
One word: hummus. Need I say more?
Garbanzo beans are legumes that can be found black, green red, or even brown. They have a nutlike taste and texture that can be buttery yet somewhat starchy and even pasty. There are two main types of garbanzo beans: 1) the kabuli-type and 2) desi-type. The kabuli being the type we see the most, especially in North America. They are cream-coloured, sometimes even whitish, are round and nearly twice as large as the desi-type. The desi-type of garbanzo beans are much darker, more irregular in shape, and have a thicker seed coat. Because of this thicker seed, they provide a more concentrated nutrient profile, such as some of the antioxidants that are found. As a result, the darker the garbanzo bean the better.
Garbanzo beans originated from Turkey, Syria and Iran and were popularly consumed in ancient Egypt, Greece and Rome. Today, India is the leader in chickpea production, followed by Australia, Pakistan, and Turkey.
They grow on well-drained soil in warm and arid areas that offer enough sunlight. They are quite sensitive to heavy rainfall and frost, and are also prone to many fungal diseases, which easily affects its harvest.
1 cup of chickpeas, cooked:
45.0 g Carbs
12.5 g Fiber
4.2 g Fat
14.5 g Protein
123.0 μg Molybdenum
1.7 mg Manganese
282.1 μg Folate
0.6 mg Copper
275.5 mg Phosphorus
Molybdenum, a mineral that is not very common and not as well known, yet garbanzo beans are an excellent source of this mineral. This mineral have been well researched within the environment but not so much in our bodies. Nevertheless, it has been found to play a key role for at least seven enzymes in our bodies, and relied on in many other bodily systems for support.
Molybdenum is needed for optimal sulfur balance. They play a role in the activity of an enzyme called sulfite oxidase (SO). This enzyme is involved in converting sulfite and converting it to sulfate which is crucial in keeping sulfur circulating within our bodies. Additionally, molybdenum is a cofactor for another enzyme xanthine oxidase (XO), which is responsible for converting two molecules into uric acid. Uric acid plays an important role in the total antioxidant capacity in our bloodstream.
In terms of garbanzo beans as whole, there are many additional health benefits. The high fiber content is incredibly important for supporting the health of our digestive tract. At least two-thirds of the fiber found is insoluble, meaning it can reach all the way to our colon unchanged before it is broken down into short chain fatty acids. It is these short chain fatty acids that act as the fuel, providing our cells in the colon with energy and keeping our colons active and healthy. The high fiber along with high protein together provide great blood sugar stability and regulation and thus beneficial for diabetes prevention. Other benefits include: high and unique antioxidant composition, help decrease risks for cardiovascular diseases and other issues, as well as increases the chances for satiety and decreased caloric intake and thus help with weight management.
WAYS TO ENJOY
It blows my mind how many different types and flavours of hummus you can experiment with and try. Here are just a few… (a few meaning a lot because I got too excited). Use hummus as a dip with your favourite fresh veggies or chips, use it as a spread on toast, sandwiches or wraps, add a little bit more liquid and use it as a dressing on salads or sauces in pastas.
Oil-Free, Tahini-Free, Low-Fat Hummus
Indian-Spiced Curried Hummus
Green Goddess Hummus
Spinach and Garlic Hummus
Roasted Beet Hummus
Roasted Red Pepper Hummus
Recipes to try!
It is quite impressive as to how many different meals and dishes you can make with chickpeas being the primary ingredient. I mean just take a look at the list of recipes I have curated and give them a try!
Chickpea Veggie Burger
Chickpea Stirfry Bowl
Chickpea Salad Sandwiches
Chickpea Tikka Masala with Green Rice
Chickpea Scrambled Eggs
Chickpea Noodle Soup
- There are many other names in addition to chickpeas and garbanzo beans; for example bengal grams, egyptian peas, ceci beans, and kabuli chana.
- Roasted chickpeas were once used as a substitute for coffee in Europe, and remains a common caffeine-free alternative.
- Leaves of chickpeas are used for the manufacture of a blue, indigo colour dye.
- Chickpeas are a very versatile ingredient: they can be canned, dried, or roasted, and consumed both hot or cold.
- They are the most widely consumed legume in the world!
ADDITIONAL RESOURCES / REFERENCES