Healthy Eating: A Lesson on Legumes

October 6, 2011 By: consultant 2 Comments

Garbanzo beans, also commonly known as chickpeas, are a versatile and tasty legume. They have a nutlike taste and buttery texture. They can be tossed in salads, roasted, mashed, stirred into soups, and even incorporated into desserts! They are also a healthy food, perfect to incorporate into any weight loss diet for your healthy lifestyle.

Originated in the Middle East, whose food cultures heavily rely upon this high protein legume. They are typically categorized in the Mediterranean flavor profile.

Make garbanzo beans a staple in your pantry. Not only are they taste, they are quick and convenient and pack in a lot of nutritional value.

Protein

Garbanzo beans are a good vegetarian source of protein. When paired with whole grains, it makes it a complete protein which is comparable to meat, without the added saturated fat or cholesterol found in meat protein sources. One cup of garbanzo beans has about 27% of the daily protein requirements.

Fiber

Legumes are rich in fiber, Garbanzo beans contain both soluble and insoluble fiber. Soluble fiber works in the digestive tract and helps lower cholesterol where as insoluble fiber helps prevent constipation and other digestive disorders. By having each type of fiber, it keeps the body healthy and working properly. Garbanzo beans contain 12.5 grams of fiber per cup. That’s 50% of the Daily Value!

Iron

Garbanzo beans are a great source of iron. Iron is important for energy production. High sources of iron can be found in red meat. For vegetarians, garbanzo beans are a great way to fit in more iron. Deficiencies of iron can result in fatigue.

 

How to select and store:

In the grocery store, garbanzo beans can be purchased either dried or canned.

Dried garbanzo beans can be found in bags or in bulk bins. Make sure there is no moisture and that they are whole and not cracked.

When purchasing canned garbanzo beans, look for the ones that have no extra salt added. Rinse under water before using. Extra beans, store in a sealed plastic container in the fridge.

Enjoy these three fun new ways to cook with garbanzo beans!

 

Lemon Garlic Hummus

Use chickpeas to make homemade hummus for a nutritious snack.

 

Lemon Garlic Hummus

Makes 24 servings

Ingredients:

2 cups can chickpeas, skins peeled off*
3/4 cup olive oil
3 tbsp fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons minced garlic
salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:

Open and drain the chickpeas. Remove the outside skin of the chickpeas.*

Put the chickpeas in the food processor and pulse about 5 times.

Add the lemon juice and minced garlic. As the chickpeas are processing stream in the olive oil slowly.

Add salt and pepper to taste.

Serve with sliced vegetables to dip.

Nutrition and Cooking tips:

  • Chickpeas are also called garbanzo beans.
  • The skins are edible and are usually left on when cooking with chickpeas, but can be removed when making hummus to make a creamier consistency.

Nutrition Facts:

Calories: 85
Total Fat: 7.0 g
Total Carbohydrates: 4.9 g
Dietary Fiber: 0.9 g
Protein: 1.0 g

 

 

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Dessert Hummus

Satisfy your sweet tooth with a tasty dessert made from healthy chickpeas.

 

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Dessert Hummus

Makes 18 servings

Ingredients:

2 cups can chickpeas, skins peeled off*
1/4 cup natural peanut butter
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup mini dark chocolate chips*

 

Directions:

Open and drain the chickpeas. Remove the outside skin of the chickpeas.*

Put the chickpeas in the food processor and pulse about 5 times.

Add the peanut butter, maple syrup, vanilla extract. Pulse until creamy.

Fold in the chocolate chips. Serve with slices of apples.

Nutrition and Cooking tips:

  • Chickpeas are also called garbanzo beans.
  • The skins are edible and are usually left on when cooking with chickpeas, but can be removed when making hummus to make a creamier consistency.
  • Dark chocolate chips are a better choice than milk chocolate because it has less sugar and more antioxidants.

Nutrition Facts:

Calories: 77
Total Fat: 2.8 g
Total Carbohydrates: 11.1 g
Dietary Fiber: 1.5 g
Protein: 2.4 g

 

 

Roasted Chickpeas

Spice up your chickpeas by roasting them in the oven.

 

Crispy Roasted Chickpeas

Makes 15 servings

Ingredients:

One 15-ounce can garbanzo beans
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
Pinch, Salt
Spice blend of your choice (Examples: creole or cajun seasonings)

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 400F.

2. Drain the can of garbanzo beans in a strainer and rinse with water for a few seconds to clean off the beans. Shake and tap the strainer to rid of excess water. Lay paper towel on a baking sheet, and spread the beans over. Use another paper towel to gently press and absorb the water on the beans. Roll the beans around with the paper towel to also remove the thin skin from any of the beans. Discard the skins and the paper towels.

3. Drizzle the olive oil over the beans and use your hands or a spatula to toss around and coat. Roast for 30-40 minutes until the beans are a deep golden brown and crunchy. Make sure that the beans do not burn.

4.  Season with salt and spice blend.

Nutrition Facts:

Calories: 115
Total Fat: 3.1 g
Total Carbohydrates: 17.2 g
Dietary Fiber: 4.9 g
Protein: 5.5 g

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2 Responses to "Healthy Eating: A Lesson on Legumes"

  1. Kristina says:

    What is the difference in nutritional value of garbanzo bean skins? How much is lost when removing the skins like for a hummus recipe?

    • amiller says:

      As far as the nutritional value of the skins, they are an excellent source of insoluble fiber, which is fantastic for digestion, as well as phytonutrients and antioxidants, which have disease-fighting properties. The bean itself is still very healthy and also contains these nutrition properties, but leaving the skin on when cooking with them should be beneficial for maintaining all of the health properties. Removing them will reduce the fiber content and some of the nutrition value.
      As far as how much is lost from removing the skin, I’m not sure and didn’t find any specific numbers from my research so far, so I would recommend that if you don’t mind the skins, go ahead and leave them on so all of the nutrition value is present.

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