Garbanzo beans, also commonly known as chickpeas, are a delicious legume with a creamy texture and a nutty flavor. They are cream-colored and fairly round with a curvy tip in the middle. Garbanzo beans are popular in Middle Eastern and Indian dishes and provide plenty of protein and fiber for a healthy, plant-based diet. More recently garbanzo bean flour has become popular in gluten-free cooking and baking.
Cardiovascular disease prevention
Digestion: Legumes are known for their fiber content and can aid in regulating digestive function. Garbanzo beans have 50% of the recommended daily fiber in one cup, primarily providing insoluble fiber which aids in many functions of the colon and lowers risk of developing colon cancer.
Antioxidant: In addition to vitamin C, E, and beta-carotene, there are phytonutrients present in garbanzo beans that account for most of the antioxidant health benefits. These phytonutrients include the flavonoids and phenolic acids and support body systems susceptible to free radicals.
Cardiovascular disease prevention: There are many studies that show increased consumption of legumes decrease heart disease risk. The legumes help lower LDL (bad) cholesterol, total cholesterol, and triglycerides.
Blood sugar regulation: Protein and fiber are essential in regulating the absorption rate of sugar into the bloodstream. Both help in stabilizing the flow of food in the digestive tract and preventing the breakdown of food from occurring too fast or too slow.
Good source of:
Fiber, manganese, iron, phosphorus, copper, folate
Purchasing, storing, & enjoying:
Purchasing: Garbanzo beans can be purchased dried or canned and can be found at any grocery store. While canned vegetables lose much of their nutrients through the canning process, garbanzo beans only lose 15 % of their nutrients.
Storing: Dried garbanzo beans should be stored in an airtight container in a dry and dark place and can last for up to 12 months. Cooked garbanzo beans can last up to three days in a covered container that is stored in the refrigerator.
- Dried beans can be cooked in a pressure cooker, on the stovetop, or in the microwave. To cook beans on a stovetop, add three cups of water for each cup of dried beans. Bring to a boil and reduce the heat to simmer, partially covering the pot. Skim any foam on the top and cook until the beans are tender. Canned beans can be a quick alternative.
- Add garbanzo beans to soups and salads. They work particularly well in Mediterranean dishes.
- Puree garbanzo beans with olive oil, tahinin, garlic, and lemon juice for an easy hummus.
Resources & recipes:
Mexican chickpea recipe: http://www.vegangela.com/2011/11/11/mexican-chickpea-salad/
Curried chickpeas and quinoa: http://blog.fatfreevegan.com/2010/04/ridiculously-easy-curried-chickpeas-quinoa.html
Spicy Roasted Chickpeas: http://www.chow.com/recipes/30368-spicy-oven-roasted-chickpeas
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