All About Chickpeas

Chickpeas, also called garbanzo beans, are a great addition to a healthy diet! They are sold dry and canned, and both types can be used in different ways. 

Dried whole or split chickpeas are great for Indian and Spanish dishes. Depending how you choose to cook them, it can be a bit time-consuming, but they are worth it! 

When using dry, start by rinsing the chickpeas. Soak them in water in the fridge overnight to make them easier for your body to digest. After soaking, you can cook your chickpeas on the stove for 1.5 hours, on high in a slow cooker for 3-6 hours, or in a pressure cooker for about 20 minutes. You can add a pinch of baking soda to the water when cooking to speed up the cooking time! 1 cup of dried chickpeas makes 2.5-3 cups when cooked. 

Canned chickpeas are pre-cooked and ready to eat! These are great roasted, or ground into hummus or a meatless burger. Watch out for sodium in canned chickpeas, though. Always choose low-sodium options, and feel free to rinse your chickpeas in a strainer to remove even more of the salt.

Half a cup of cooked chickpeas has about 135 calories, 2 grams of fat, 6 grams of fiber, 7 grams of protein, 30% Daily Value of folate, 10% Daily Value of zinc, and 4% Daily Value of iron. Chickpeas have also been shown to help decrease blood pressure, lower cholesterol, and improve digestive health

While chickpeas themselves are a good substitute for meat, the liquid from canned chickpeas can also be used in place of egg when baking, and it can be whipped (just like egg whites) into meringue or whipped cream! Chickpea flour is also available as a gluten free flour option. You can buy chickpea pasta, chips, tortillas, breads, and pizza doughs!

If you’re looking for a tasty chickpea recipe, give this hummus a try!


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Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP)

North Carolina State University
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