What are chickpeas?
Chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans, are a super cool, readily available, portable, snackable, affordable and tasty nutrition “bomb”. They pack a complete protein punch, literally providing all essential and non-essential (because we can make them), amino acids which are the building blocks for protein.
In the USA, we are familiar with chickpeas as whole “beans” or “peas” which you can purchase in cans or in their dried forms at the market. Chickpea flour is also quite readily available these days and has found favor among individuals who need a gluten-free flour alternative for baking.
What can chickpeas be used for?
While chickpea flour, also known as gram flour, has increased in popularity and visibility in North America it has been used in cooking around the world for centuries. You are probably most familiar with chickpea flour in the form of Flatbread, which is eaten widely around the world. Depending on the culture, flatbread has a different name! In Italy, flatbread made from chickpea flour is known as farinata. The French call their flatbread Socca, and in India their chickpea flatbread is the crunchy Poppadum! Who knew?
You may also be familiar with chickpeas in world-renown hummus, where they play a starring role with tahini (sesame paste). Also falafel, a Middle Eastern delicacy (a street food!), where chickpeas are smashed down and rolled into delicious bite-sized balls. Chickpeas are also at the heart of a myriad of curries in Indian cuisine.
Now you have a taste of the many uses of chickpeas, here are seven unique and innovative ways to incorporate this beautiful ingredient in delicious recipes and get them on your plate!