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Thanks to the increasing popularity of hummus, chickpeas are gaining momentum in the fight to be in your cupboards. Also called garbanzo beans, chickpeas are a legume and are widely used in Mediterranean, Middle Eastern and Indian cuisine. Besides grinding them into a delicious hummus, perfect for dipping vegetables, chickpeas can be used for many other dishes.

Chickpeas have a slight nutty flavor with a grainy texture. They may be found on a salad bar as one of the many toppings for lettuce salad. Chickpeas pair well with tomatoes and greens like kale or spinach. Add them to a vegetable soup or stew, or try your hand at Indian food with a chickpea curry or tikka masala. Chickpeas can also be mashed to make falafel, a Middle Eastern "sandwich" made with fried or baked chickpea balls and served in pita bread. But a simple recipe found below is to simply roast chickpeas for a crunchy, nutritious snack.

Chickpeas are high in protein and fiber, making them a hearty vegetable. Their meaty texture and high protein content gives them the ability to replace meat in many dishes. They're also a good source of zinc and folate. You can buy dry chickpeas, soak in water overnight, and boil in fresh water for 2 hours, but if you don't have that kind of time, you can purchase them canned, which are precooked. Canned beans, however, will have added sodium. Look for chickpeas that are lowest in sodium and be sure to rinse with water, which can wipe away 30-40% of the salt. However you want to say them, chickpeas or garbanzo beans, they're hoping to find a way to your plate.


Roasted Chickpeas Printable PDF

2 cans (15 oz.) chickpeas, drained and rinsed

2 Tablespoons olive oil

Optional seasonings: salt, pepper, garlic, cayenne pepper, etc.

Preheat oven to 400?F. Pat rinsed chickpeas dry with a paper towel. In a large bowl, toss chickpeas with olive oil and optional seasonings. Spread onto baking sheet and bake for 50-60 minutes or until crispy and rattles when shaken.

Yield: 6 servings


Nutritional analysis per serving: 160 calories, 7 grams fat, 190 milligrams sodium, 19 grams carbohydrate, 6 grams fiber, 7 grams protein