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Food of the Month: Garbanzo Beans

Beans are a vital part of a plant-based diet and my favorite is definitely the garbanzo bean a.k.a. the chickpea. They are extremely versatile fitting into most dishes for a little added protein and satiety. In fact, one study showed that people who consumed more garbanzo beans reported more satisfaction from their diet and consumed less processed food and less food overall. That sounds pretty good to me!

What Are They?

Garbanzo beans were one of the first legumes cultivated during the emergence of farming in the Neolithic Period. Garbanzo beans were first domesticated in South Eastern Turkey approximately 7,000 years ago followed by their spread to the Middle East and Southern Europe.

Health Benefits

Garbanzo beans are high in protein, iron, folate, thiamine, Vitamin K, Magnesium, Manganese, Potassium, Calcium, Zinc, Copper and Phosphorus. Most importantly they are rich in fiber with 70% of the fiber they contain being insoluble fiber. This is important to the maintenance of colon health because insoluble fiber remains undigested all the way to the colon where bacteria in the colon metabolize the fiber fueling the colon cells. Two cups of garbanzo beans are equal to the total amount of dietary fiber required per day. One study tested the different types of fiber with one test group consuming 28 grams of fiber from various sources and another consuming 28 grams of fiber in the form of garbanzo beans. The group receiving the garbanzo beans showed better blood fat regulation including lower levels of LDL cholesterol, total cholesterol and triglycerides.

How to Store

Dried garbanzo beans should be stored in a cool, dry, dark place. Different batches should be stored separately as they may contain different levels of dryness and will cook differently. Canned beans can be stored on a shelf in your pantry paying attention to the expiration date that is listed. Once they have been cooked or opened they will keep in the refrigerator for approximately three days. Check out my blog on beans to find the best method of soaking your beans to decrease the gas they promote.

How to Use

Garbanzo beans can be used in soups, on top of salads, in hummus, roasted in the oven for a crispy snack or check out these two recipes!

 

IMG_4531Chickpea Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ingredients:

1 can (1 1/2 cups) chickpeas, drained

1/2 cup of nut butter of your choice (I like peanut butter)

1/2 cup light brown sugar or date sugar ( for a less processed cookie chose the date sugar but both are delicious)

2 teaspoons vanilla

1/8 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 cup chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Combine all ingredients except chocolate chips in a mixing bowl using a stand or hand-held mixer and mix well making sure that no whole chickpeas remain.
  3. Scoop into 1 inch balls and place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone liner like a Silpat.  Using the back of a spoon flatten the cookies because they will not flatten on their own.
  4. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the chocolate chips are melting.

Adapted from the Ambitious Kitchen

 

Roasted Beets and Quinoa Salad

Ingredients:

2 medium beets

1 package (6 oz.) mixed greens

1 cup cooked quinoa

1 medium avocado, cubed

1/2 cup walnut pieces

1/2 cup chickpeas

Flavored vinegar of your choice

1/4-1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder

salt and pepper to taste

 

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Cut leafy tops off of beets, scrub them and wrap them in aluminum foil.  Place on a baking sheet and roast for approximately one hour until the beets are fork tender.  Unwrap the beets and let them cool.  Once cool,  peel the beets and cut into thin slices.
  2. In a large bowl combine the quinoa, avocado, beets, lettuce, walnuts, chickpeas, salt, pepper and garlic powder.  Add vinegar to taste and serve immediately.

Adapted from the Kroger Magazine (mymagazine.us)

 

 

 

 

 

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