Chick Peas

Pass the Chick Peas!

by Bridie Chandegra - Easy VeganⓇ

Pass the Chick peas please! These little beauties are truly magic.Pass the Chick peas please! These little beauties are truly magic.

Out of all the legumes I think chick peas are my favourite. This amazing bean is almost magical when you take into account the sheer number of uses and benefits it has.

Yes, it is a magic bean!

What are Chick peas?

The chickpea or chick pea (Cicer arietinum) is an annual legume of the family Fabaceae, subfamily Faboideae.

Chickpea seeds are high in protein. It is one of the earliest cultivated legumes, and 7500-year-old remains have been found in the Middle East. Wikipedia

Also Known As...

Chick peas, are also known as Garbanzo beans, Bengal grams and Egyptian peas.

Chickpeas or Cicer arietinum, means Chickpeas or Cicer arietinum, means "small ram," in Latin, reflecting the unique shape of this versatile legume as it resembles a rams head.

The name "chickpea", earlier chiche pease, is modelled on Middle French pois chiche, where chiche comes from Latin 'cicer'. Chich was used by itself in English from the 14th to the 18th century. 

The word garbanzo, from an alteration of Old Spanish arvanço, came first to English as garvance in the 17th century, being gradually anglicized to calavance, though that came to refer to a variety of other beans (cf. calavance). The current form garbanzo comes directly from modern Spanish. - Wikipedia

Chick Pea Varieties

There are two main varieties of chickpeas; One larger, round and more light in colour, called the Kabuli Chickpea and the smaller, darker and irregularly shaped Desi Chickpea often used in India and the Middle East.

Smaller desi chickpeas are darker and coarser on the outside, with yellow flesh inside. You may see split desi chickpeas sold as 'chana dal' in Indian markets.

Most people think chick peas are beige in colour, but some varieties are black, green, red and brown.Most people think chick peas are beige in colour, but some varieties are black, green, red and brown.

You can purchase chickpeas either dried or canned. Although canned chickpeas can be used if you are in a rush, for flavour it's best to soak dried chickpeas overnight and cook them in their soaking liquid to make sure you retain all the yummy goodness.

Chickpeas have a delicious nut-like taste and a texture that is buttery yet starchy and fluffy at the same time. It's a very versatile legume, and in my opinion incredibly clever at making itself useful in a myriad of recipes.

Chick peas are a common ingredient in many Middle Eastern and Indian dishes, such as hummus, falafel, and curries.

But the magic doesn't end there! Oh no...

Nutritional Benefits of Chickpeas

Chickpea flour is higher in protein than wheat flour, which could help stave off those hunger pangs for longer. Choosing chickpea flour may also help increase the number of calories you burn in a day. Chickpeas are an ideal protein source for vegans, as they provide nearly all of the essential amino acids the body needs.

Chick peas are brimming with exceptionally good fibre.Chick peas are brimming with exceptionally good fibre.

Fibre is the backbone of the human diet. Far too much importance is placed on protein but the real source of gut health is wholesome bean fibre.

Chick peas are one of the top ten sources of fibre. Chickpeas can help us live longer, control our blood sugars and help prevent and treat diabetes.

Major Source of Fibre

Evidence based research also shows that eating more fibre in your diet decreases the chance of bowel cancer. Chickpeas have been used to treat high blood pressure and diabetes for thousands of years.

Free Radical Scavengers

Chickpeas also contain antioxidants that help fight free radicals. And, using chickpea flour in processed foods seems to reduce their content of harmful acrylamide.

Low GI Food Source 

Chickpeas are a low-GI food, meaning they have a gradual effect on blood sugar. Some studies showed eating foods containing chickpeas resulted in decreased blood sugar levels, compared to products made with wheat flour.

Rich in Vitamins and Minerals

Chickpea flour is loaded with important nutrients. One cup of chickpea flour contains:

  • Calories: 356
  • Protein: 20 grams
  • Fat: 6 grams
  • Carbs: 53 grams
  • Fibre: 10 grams
  • Thiamine: 30% of the Reference Daily Intake (RDI)
  • Folate: 101% of the RDI
  • Iron: 25% of the RDI
  • Phosphorus: 29% of the RDI
  • Magnesium: 38% of the RDI
  • Copper: 42% of the RDI
  • Manganese: 74% of the RDI

With slightly more folate than you need in a day chickpeas play an important role in preventing spinal cord defects during pregnancy.

No need for folate supplements here!

Increase Lifespan

Legumes have been proven to increase lifespan too. In a recent global study involving groups of people in Japan, Sweden, Greece, and Australia the results showed that the participants with longer lifespans were the ones with the highest legume intake overall. 

Chickpeas, beans and pulses (legumes) are proven, in eveidence-based tests, to increase lifespan and general well-being.Chickpeas, beans and pulses (legumes) are proven, in eveidence-based tests, to increase lifespan and general well-being.

Whether it was the Japanese eating their soy, the Swedes eating their brown beans and peas or those in the Med eating lentils, chickpeas and white beans, the legume intake results were consistent and statistically significant within all the data, across all the populations combined. Results proved there was an 8% reduction in the risk of death for every 20 grams increase in daily legume intake.

That’s only two tablespoons of beans extra a day. Eat more, and perhaps you'll live forever - Told you they were magic!

History of Chick Peas

Domesticated chickpeas were found in the aceramic (early Neolithic period, before a culture develops ceramics) ground of Tell es-Sultan (Jericho) and Çayönü in Turkey. This dates the domestic chickpea to about 3500 BC.

In southern France, Mesolithic layers in a cave at L'Abeurador, Hérault, have yielded wild chickpeas carbon-dated to about 6790 BC.

The humble chickpea has grown continually in popularity ever since. Mostly, because they're one the most versatile legumes in cooking today. Think of them as the legume family's answer to mushrooms.

Chickpeas, Legume's Answer to the Mushroom!

As an avid cook and experimental chef, the mushroom is another one of my favourite foods, and like the chickpea it's because a mushroom can be incredibly  versatile too. They also add great texture and flavour to just about any recipe. Plus, they're fat free, low in sodium and, like chick peas, they have soluble fibre that helps to lower total and LDL cholesterol levels. 

Both mushrooms and chick peas have been a staple in Mediterranean cuisine since there have been cooks in the kitchen. And, it's not only Greece or Italy that have the monopoly, these two ingredients lends its alliances heavily to Middle-Eastern and Indian cuisines reliant on them for so many authentic dishes. 

A traditional Moroccan marketplace called a Souk divides into various trade sections like herbalists, spice sellers, metal workers and food markets.A traditional Moroccan marketplace called a Souk divides into various trade sections like herbalists, spice sellers, metal workers and food markets.

If you're lucky enough to have a Moroccan market on your doorstep then treat yourself to a traditional Moroccan Vegetable Soup, made with chickpeas, cilantro (coriander) and lemon. Family recipes are handed down generation after generation and are spiced with cumin, turmeric and cinnamon. This type of soup is also known as Harira, a Muslim staple to break the daily fast of Ramadan.

If you don't fancy yourself as a connoisseur of the spicy palette then most vegan cafes do a tasty falafel wrap, hummus dip, burger or a mild bean curry, all made with the magic chickpea!

8 Great Recipes Ideas that Include the Humble Chick Pea

The following recipes are part of The 30-Day Switch and Stay Easy Vegan ChallengeOne Month of Delicious Vegan Meals at Your Fingertips - Yummy!

1. No Egg Vegan Frittata

2. Beetroot Burger & Fries

3. Chickpea and Aubergine Curry

 4. Aquafaba Mushroom Crepes

5. Savory Pancakes & Vegan Feta

6. Butternut Squash Pasta Bake

7. Morning Sweet Potato Hash

8. Oat Cream Falafel Burger

Tips for Those That Can't Cook

Not everyone finds cooking and experimenting with food as pleasurable as me. Some people get very frustrated and don't even try, turning instead to convenient pre-packaged ingredients and, even worse, processed ready meals.

But don't worry, with chick peas, every meal is easy peasy! 

Don't get me wrong, chick peas are magic but they're not that magic! They won't suddenly jump up on their own and make a scrummy meal for you, but if you buy the canned chickpeas in water, these little balls of versatility can really save the day.

Can't cook and don't know what to do, reach for some chick peas.Can't cook and don't know what to do, reach for some chick peas.

Most clever cooks have a repertoire of recipes they use over and over again, just adding flavours and base ingredients to fulfil the desired need. For example, a summer-vegetable penne-pasta bolognese can become a winter-warming vegan-meatball pasta bake.

The fillings and sauces for most main meals can be bulked out and crammed full of healthy fibre using our trusted friend the chickpea!

Simple 'No Cook' Chickpeas

Don't fancy cooking? Chickpeas are your friend here too!Don't fancy cooking? Chickpeas are your friend here too!

If you can't cook or won't cook, the chick pea is the best high-fibre friend you can find.

For a simple, quick and easy meal, add drained and rinsed canned chickpeas to a bowl of spinach leaves. Plop in some sliced red onion, a handful of washed red kidney beans, drizzle with vegan mayonnaise and  season with some salt and pepper. Very simple and not a saucepan or casserole dish in sight!

Of course you could cheat completely and just pick up the phone. Ordering vegan food is getting more and more popular. Beetroot and chickpea burgers and falafel wraps are a favourite for most.

Don't feel guilty about it, just do it - have the night off!

A Few Chickpea Vegan Favourites

Chickpeas are one of the key ingredients in a vast array of recipes, starters & mains, even chickpea flour (also known as gram flour), is used in bread, cakes and desserts.

Fibre-Filled Vegan Pancake Recipe

Vegan chickpea flour pancakes might be the quickest and simplest grain-free vegan pancakes ever!Vegan chickpea flour pancakes might be the quickest and simplest grain-free vegan pancakes ever!

All you need is five simple ingredients:

  1. chickpea flour
  2. sea salt
  3. baking powder
  4. dairy-free milk
  5. your choice of sweetener

This tasty breakfast recipe can be served with bananas, walnuts and maple syrup and don't forget those blueberries for extra vitamins and minerals.

They're grain-free, gluten-free, oil-free, refined sugar-free, egg-free and dairy-free, all thanks to the magical power of the marvellous chickpea!

Chick Pea Snack Attack

Wasabi Roasted Chick Peas, perfect choice for a quick snack.Wasabi Roasted Chick Peas, perfect choice for a quick snack.

Stuck for a healthy snack? Here's a recipe I've tried on many a sunny day. Perfect with a glass of chilled Sauvignon Blush.

Ingredients

  • 1 can chickpeas (drain & save the liquid)
  • 3 tablespoons aquafaba (chickpea water)
  • 2 tbsp Wasabi powder
  • 1 tsp Himalayan salt
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 2 tsp cornflour or potato starch

Method

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees. 
  • Toss all the ingredients in a large bowl, then transfer to a rimmed baking sheet. 
  • Bake for 35 minutes or until crispy & golden brown. 
  • Remove from the oven & set aside to cool before serving.

Just like that - Magic!


It's Easy to Switch & Stay Vegan

The Easy Vegan App scans and examines your current shopping list and substitutes each product with a delicious vegan alternative - ethical, sustainable and utterly cruelty-free shopping. 

The Easy Vegan Platform and App is a complete personalised plant-based guru-in-the-pocket for transitioning meat-eaters and vegetarians.The Easy Vegan Platform and App is a complete personalised plant-based guru-in-the-pocket for transitioning meat-eaters and vegetarians.

Get early VIP access to the Easy Vegan App and see how easy it is to 'Switch & Stay' vegan for life.

Easy Vegan 30 Day Switch and Stay Try-Out Challenge.Easy Vegan 30 Day Switch and Stay Try-Out Challenge.

With GPS tracking and intelligent AI learning technology built-in, your transition to a clean, healthy and contribution-based lifestyle starts with an Easy Vegan 30 Day Switch and Stay Try-Out Challenge.

Get Meal Plan Offers & Vouchers

Easy Vegan has partnered with several of the best vegan makeup brands to bring our subscribers some super deals and coupons for an outstanding selection of beautiful vegan makeup and skincare.

Sign up below...

Easy Vegan Vine Newsletter

Vegan Vine Newsletter

Easy Vegan Vine Online Newsletter for vegan recipes, eco friendly and green living ideas, eco home accessories, plus hints, tips and guides on vegan and plant-based living.

Get the Vegan Vine monthly environment-friendly topical online newsletter covering animal welfare, eco issues and longevity tips and news. It's completely free and comes hassle-free straight to your inbox. Read vegan celebrity gossip, trending fashions & the very best in vegan recipes too.

Enter your email below for the next edition...

Vegan Vine Newsletter

Easy Vegan Vine Online Newsletter for vegan recipes, eco friendly and green living ideas, eco home accessories, plus hints, tips and guides on vegan and plant-based living.

Get the Vegan Vine monthly environment-friendly topical online newsletter covering animal welfare, eco issues and longevity tips and news. It's completely free and comes hassle-free straight to your inbox. Read vegan celebrity gossip, trending fashions & the very best in vegan recipes too.

Enter your email below for the next edition...

Recent Articles

  1. Toxic Furniture

    Dec 30, 20 02:19 PM

    Toxic Furniture Dangers Toxins could be lurking inside your favourite sofa, beds and even in your bookcases and cabinets.

    Read More

  2. Toxic Home

    Nov 12, 20 05:25 PM

    Do you have a toxic home? We're subjected to chemical toxins every day, some worse than others. Here's the top 4 toxic chemicals in your home right now!

    Read More

  3. Christmas Home Decor

    Nov 06, 20 10:56 AM

    Christmas home decor with the gold Midas touch for a luxurious festive season that's sustainable too!

    Read More

  4. Rewilding the World

    Oct 06, 20 10:14 AM

    Rewilding the World - a concept we must ALL take part in to continue the human race on earth. David Attenborough explains ways we can all live sustainably.

    Read More

Best Vegan Buys

Dr. Greger's 'How Not to Die' collection of books makes for required reading for every successful, healthy vegan.

Vegan Gifts

Looking for a vegan gift for a special person in your life? Amazon is a great place to start your search...

Luxury Eco Furniture

Tips for TopEco Living

Visit our sister site TopEco Living for guides, downloads and top tips on how to live in a completely eco-friendly way.