A staple for vegetarians and vegans, and cultivates in many parts of the world from India to the Mediterranean, chickpeas are an important source of natural, plant-based protein. Many of us will be more familiar with them as hoummous, or in Spanish dishes playing second fiddle to chorizo and Iberico ham, but we’re here to show you why this legume is a main event in its own right.
As well as being a powerhouse of naturally gluten-free, vegan-friendly protein (a cupful provides approximately 15g protein), chickpeas are also a source of fibre – which is important for promoting a healthy digestive system. Insoluble fibre (which is high in chickpeas) is a bit an unsung nutritional hero – not only does it stimulate the production of digestive bacteria, but it also increases our bodies’ natural ability to regulate blood sugar – one of the main factors in diabetes. Furthermore, fibre is important for weight loss, as it makes us feel fuller for longer – so chickpeas can keep those sugar cravings and unnecessary calories at bay.
Being rich in iron, phosphate, calcium, magnesium and zinc, chickpeas also contribute to building bone structure and strength – both of which are important if you’re active and want to stay injury-free. And if you’re exercising regularly, you’ll also benefit from the high potassium and low cholesterol content in chickpeas, which keeps our hearts in check, as well as vitamin C and B-6, which all contribute to greater overall health.
Aside from all that, chickpeas are an incredibly versatile ingredient, making it a cook’s dream to work with. Their naturally nutty and creamy taste make them the perfect addition to winter stews and curries, or they can be baked and dusted with paprika, cumin and turmeric for a quick, moreish snack.
Even chickpea flour has been in the Indian subcontinent as a gluten-free staple for many millennia and inspired by the power of the pea, we’ve use chickpeas in a variety of innovative new Gourmosa products – from our chana chaat pots, where it’s complemented with sweet-sour pomegranate seeds to our beef samosa pots for meat lovers – making it easy for you to fill up on chickpea goodness.
Background of chickpeas by freefoodphotos.com