Chickpeas are a fountain of health, rich in protein, fibers, complex carbohydrates, calcium, magnesium, copper, phosphorus, zinc, folate, iron, manganese, choline, selenium and vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin K and B.
It is a legume mostly grown in the Mediterranean, Middle East and Africa. The dried beans, as well as the canned beans are popular worldwide.
Because it’s a gluten free source with a high level of protein and fibers, chickpeas are essential for a weight loss program that is healthy and satisfying. Chickpeas are also a rich source of nourishment, that is recommended by doctors for dietary treatment.
Among its healthiest benefits are:
- Because of its levels of fibers and complex carbohydrates, chickpeas are good for people with type 1 diabetes, giving them energy while helping the level of glucose to lower.
- Selenium, which is a mineral mostly found in soil, is a much needed mineral that boosts the immune system, helps keep the liver in its optimal functional capacity, and is also good for people with high cholesterol. Selenium occurs naturally in some foods, like Brazilian nuts, sea food, sunflower seeds and chickpeas.
- Chickpeas are also rich in calcium and phosphorus, a balanced combination that is good for the bones.
- They are also a source of vitamin C, which aside from being an excellent anti-oxidant, also helps the body absorb iron. This last tidbit makes the chickpeas, like the lentils, an ideal iron source for vegetarians.
Hummus is a paste made of the beans that originate back centuries ago. Now-a-days it’s enjoyed in almost every country around the world, and below is an easy and delicious recipe for the famous pate.
- Two cups of dry chickpeas.
- One whole lemon.
- One garlic clove.
- Sesame paste (about eight tablespoons).
- One tablespoon of olive oil – optional/
- Place the chickpeas in a pressure pot and add salt, garlic and one liter of water (four cups) and cook for forty five minutes. (Or about an hour and a half in a covered pot).
- Wait until it has cooled to drain (reserve some of the water in case the pate turns out too thick).
- Place the chickpeas in the food processor, along with the lemon juice – freshly squeezed – and the sesame paste and beat until a smooth paste is formed.
- Decorate with olive oil.
Tips: You can add or decrease the amount of lemon, garlic, salt and/or sesame paste depending on your preferences.
Note: You can replace the dried chickpeas with canned ones. For the same recipe above, use three cans. Also, if pate becomes too thick, you can add some of the liquid that you used to cook the beans.