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Nutrition

Chickpeas: The Versatile Ingredient Of The Year

As part of our 2019 Perfect Predictions, we asked our health and wellness trend-spotters and followers to share what they thought would be the hottest trends in food, beauty, and movement in the coming year. As we all know, fresh food has a special place in our hearts, but so does healthy snacking on the go, so a solid versatile veggie or ingredient is a must. This year, as predicted, you can expect to see chickpeas showing up as a protein-rich, gluten-free alternative, substitute and star on menus everywhere, including your home.

Chickpeas: The Legumes With The Leg Up

Chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans, rein from the Middle East and are featured in many Mediterranean recipes and dishes. What exactly are chickpeas? Chickpeas are legumes, from the same family as beans, lentils and peas and are known for their high amount of fiber, protein and carbohydrates. Some of the many possible benefits that come from incorporating chickpeas into your diet are building and maintaining strong bone health, maintaining low blood pressure, supporting a healthy heart, lower cholesterol and many, many more.

These little ‘peas are full of nutrients, such as vitamin K, folate, phosphorus, copper, zinc, manganese, selenium and choline. However, it’s important to note that you should not consume chickpeas raw due to toxins and anti-nutrients. The easiest way to enjoy chickpeas is when they are roasted, not raw!

What Is a Versatile Veggie?

What is a versatile veggie anyways? Versatile veggies are vegetables that have multiple uses to them. Take cauliflower for example, cauliflower is very versatile as you are able to simply steam it, sautee it, make pizza crust out of it, use instead of pasta for those who are gluten intolerant and so on. Granted chickpeas aren’t veggies, they’re legumes, they are falling into this versatile ingredient realm for their many purposes.

One of the simplest ways to consume chickpeas is to roast them and eat them like you would any other nut. Once roasted, the possibilities for versatile chickpeas are endless! Throw them on a salad, garnish your favorite rice dish, soup or pasta. Besides hummus, of course, another famous chickpea dish is falafels. Falafels are a Middle Eastern dish made up of spiced, mashed chickpeas in the form of balls or fritters. They then deep fry and enjoy the falafels with pita bread. This dish is a great option for vegetarians looking for another option outside of meat products of course.

Now, what are some ways you can get creative at home? There are a ton of recipes and creations out there that include chickpeas but aren’t hummus. Although we could list more than a dozen delicious hummus recipes, we would hate to discriminate against hummus.

Starting With A Chickpea Classic — Hummus

There are so many delicious and easy hummus recipes all with one crucial ingredient, chickpeas. Hummus, which quite literally translates to chickpea in Arabic, originated in the Middle East because of an abundance of chickpeas in the Mediterranean region. The necessary ingredients that you will need to make a basic hummus dip are chickpeas, olive oil, lemon juice, sea salt and blended tahini.

Let’s Get Cheeky with Chickpeas

So let’s think outside of just hummus and get versatile with chickpeas! Stuff your chickpeas into sandwiches, tossed into pasta, smashed up into hummus or falafels, added to curry or soup, roasted and tossed into sauteed greens and the list goes on.

Brands We Love Showing off the Versatility of Chickpeas

We can’t wait to see what you do with that can of chickpeas that have been sitting in your pantry – like we said, the possibilities are endless!

Nutrition
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Mackenzie is the Social Media Coordinator at Perfect Bar.

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