Chickpeas

Wendy our in store Nutritional Therapist tells us the health benefits of Chickpeas and gives us a recipe she uses to make a delicious hummus.

Chickpeas are one the earliest cultivated legumes

Chickpeas are a versatile, tasty, plant based food that packs a great nutritional punch. They are a legume that grows on a small shrub with 2-3 peas per pod. They are one the earliest cultivated legumes, originating from the Middle East approximately 7,500 years ago. They are also known as Garbanzo beans and chickpea flour is known as gram flour.

Chickpeas are high in fibre and protein. These work together to slow digestion, meaning you feel full for longer. This helps to maintain a healthy body weight. A fibre rich diet also helps to prevent constipation ensuring our gut is in good working order.

Chickpeas have quite a low glycemic index (GI). This determines how quickly your blood sugar levels rise after eating a food. Diets with low GI foods have more stable blood sugar levels, reducing the risk of diabetes and heart disease.

Along with protein and fibre, chickpeas are also rich in vitamins and minerals. They, therefore, reduce the risk of certain chronic diseases. Soluble fibre can lower your LDL (bad) cholesterol, potassium and magnesium help to reduce blood pressure. Thus lowering the risk of heart disease. Chickpeas help your body make a short chain fatty acid called butyrate. Butyrate helps to clear the body of dying cells, reducing the risk of colorectal cancer. Chickpeas calcium, magnesium and fibre content contribute to strong bones. Chickpeas contain choline, an important nutrient in the formation of chemicals that support memory, mood, muscle control and nervous system activity.

Chickpeas are inexpensive, widely available and an incredibly easy addition to your diet. They are vegan and naturally gluten free. They can be easily added to salads, stir fries, soups for an extra nutritional kick.


I love hummus this is my favourite recipe

Ingredients:

400g tin of organic chickpeas

2 tsp of freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 clove of garlic

100ml water

2 tbsp of tahini

Salt and pepper to taste

Method:

Put the chickpeas, lemon juice, tahini, garlic, salt and pepper into a blender, add a little water and blend.

Add enough water to make a stiff paste. Add a little water at a time to make the consistency you prefer.

Adjust the seasoning to taste.

Optional additions:

Ground cumin.

Chopped coriander leaf blended through.

Paprika

Olive oil can be used instead of water for a richer taste, but that is also extra calories!

This is delicious served with crackers, veg sticks, in sandwiches, in salads or an accompaniment to eggs or tofu. Enjoy.



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