Chickpeas are one of my favorite food. Not only they taste great, they are so versatile. You can make so many things with them! So here is all you need to know about chickpeas!
What are chickpeas?
Chickpeas are part of the legume family. Legumes and especially chickpeas are a great source of complex carbohydrates and protein. If you’re a vegan or vegetarian, chickpeas are a must!
Chickpeas are grown mainly in India, which owns 65% of the world production. However, they can be grown locally! In Geneva, there are plenty of farmers offering chickpeas, so buy local and support your farmers.
Chickpeas are also a great source of macro-nutrients such as Vitamin B9 (Folate), and many minerals such as calcium, magnesium and potassium. A 70g serving will bring you a huge amount of nutrients and help you reach your daily recommended values.
In other words, chickpeas are great for you.
Soaking time : 8-12 hours
Cooking time : 1 hour
This is often when people either don’t know or feel discouraged and go to the stores to buy canned chickpeas. Canned chickpeas are better than none, but there is a lot of added salt, and sometimes even sugar, so try to avoid, or rinse them well. So here are the 3 steps:
- Soak 12 hours (this can be done a second time)
- Simmer in a big pan for 1 hour (more or less, depending on how crunchy you like them)
- Get rid of the water and cover with a tea towel and lid
Chickpeas need soaking, to start the germination process. Ideally, and conveniently, you can soak them overnight (approx. 12 hours). For people who are very sensitive in digesting legumes (they can create gaz or bloating), you can soak them for a second time, but change the water and rinse the chickpeas, and let them soak for another 12h round.
Once the soaking is done, rinse them and put them straight in a big pan, and add lots of water. I bring them to boil, then reduce to very low temperature and let simmer for 1 hour.
Once ready, get rid of the water, and put the peas back into the pan, and cover the pan with a tea towel, and then cover with the lid. The tea towel will absorb the moisture from the remaining heat.
Recipes are endless… but here’s a few examples on how to eat them.
Plain and simple! They are great to add on a salad, or as a side dish. Add some chili flakes and fry them in a pan with a little coconut oil and get the real Indian experience!
Hummus. Perfect for your aperitive and impress your guests! Here is what I use: chickpeas, water, garlic, little bit of olive oil (optional), cumin, salt, pepper. Add some beetroot juice to make it pink !
Falafel. Mash the chickpeas and add all sorts of other ingredients such as onion, garlic, coriander, parsley, etc… Make small round forms and cook them either in the pan or in the oven. For a more “crunchy” version, add flour around your falafels before cooking.
That’s one of the most attractive things about legumes, they are cheap. It’s probably your cheapest source of protein. If you’re vegan or vegetarian, you have to have them. If you’re trying to reduce your meat consumption, it’s a great alternative. You can buy 1kg of chickpeas for around 6 CHF and believe me you go a long way with that quantity!
Chickpeas are just amazing. They are :
What are you waiting for? Buy some chickpeas from your local farmer and live a healthy lifestyle.