Garbanzo beans (commonly known as chickpeas) are part of the legume family of foods.
They are a fabulous source of fibre, with one serving containing around 1/3 of your daily recommended fibre intake!
But that’s not all. Chickpeas contain high amounts of B vitamins, as well as a vast array of minerals including manganese, copper, iron, zinc, phosphorus and magnesium.
Not sure why these minerals are so important? Well, between these mentioned they:
Help to regulate blood sugars
Provide robust antioxidant protection (aka antiageing support)
Help your body utilise vitamins (particularly the skin-loving vitamins C and E)
Reduce symptoms of PMS
Help produce collagen
Maintain healthy bones
Protect against heart disease
Support the immune system
Speed up wound healing
My goodness, that’s a list and a half. And it doesn’t stop there. Chickpeas are also a great protein source. And the high fibre and protein content combined can help keep your appetite under control. Meaning it’s a great food if you are trying to manage your weight.
So why wouldn't you include these little legumes in your diet?
Houmous is my all-time favourite chickpea-based food. It’s great:
as a dip for veggies
instead of butter in sandwiches or burgers
alongside falafels (for some extra chickpea goodness)
mixed into egg yolks to make deviled eggs
There’s more to chickpeas than houmous though. They taste great smashed in salads, cooked into a Moroccan tagine, or thrown into a tray bake with fish.
Dried chickpeas often put people off. But it’s not that scary. Simply pop them into a bowl, cover them with plenty of cold water and leave them overnight. Then to cook them:
tip the drained chickpeas into a pan
add twice the amount of cold water
bring to a boil
turn the heat down and simmer for around 45 minutes - 1 hour
You can even freeze the cooked chickpeas to use at a later date