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Part of the legume family, chickpeas are a real super food! They are a great source
of protein, low in fat, and high in fibre. They are also full of zinc, folate  and phosphorus. Chickpeas contribute to decreasing cholesterol and potential for heart disease, support good digestion, and help to improve blood sugar control.

Used a lot in Middle Eastern cooking, chickpeas can be used as a substitute for meat
or chicken.  Chickpeas are available dried, or tinned, but many people still don’t know how to use them. Here are some tips and recipe ideas:

Tips:

  • Use chickpea sprouts in salads and sandwiches
  • Spread Hummus on sandwiches instead of cheese or mayo
  • Add chickpeas to roast vegetables
  • Add chickpeas into stews and soups
  • Serve crunchy roasted chickpeas as a healthy protein snack

Recipes:

Hummus

Ingredients:

1 garlic clove.
¼ cup of tahini (sesame paste).
¼ cup of fresh lemon juice.
2 cups of canned chickpeas drained, rinsed.
½ cup of water.
¼ teaspoon of ground cumin.
¼ teaspoon of cayenne pepper
Salt, to taste.
Extra virgin olive oil.

  • In a food processor or combine the garlic, tahini and lemon juice; process until the mixture whitens.
  • Add the chickpeas and process until smooth.
  • Add the water, a little at a time, until the desired consistency is reached.
  • Add the cumin, cayenne and salt and process. Taste and adjust seasoning if
    necessary.
  • Transfer the hummus to a serving bowl, smooth the top and drizzle with extra
    virgin olive oil.

Chickpea curry

Ingredients:

1 cup of cooked chickpeas.
2 large onions.
2 dried red chilies.
¼ cup of ginger.
3 garlic cloves.
½ teaspoon of mustard powder.
1 teaspoon of cumin.
½ teaspoon of turmeric.
¼ teaspoon of cinnamon.
2 tablespoons of vegetable oil.
Salt, to taste.

  • Peel and cut the onion
  • Cut the ginger into small pieces
  • Put these ingredients, along with garlic cloves, mustard powder, and cumin
    powder in a blender; blend into a paste
  • Over medium heat add oil to a pan
  • Sauté the condiments
  • Once the spices become thick, stir and cook for 5 minutes
  • Add the cooked chickpeas
  • Turn over contents of the pan
  • Add 2 tablespoons of water and salt
  • Add the cinnamon powder and turmeric powder
  • Stir the pan
  • Cook for 8-10 minutes
  • Serve hot

Chickpea and mushroom soup

Ingredients:

100g of dried chickpeas
30g of dried porcini mushrooms
500g of mushrooms, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 sprigs of rosemary
2 sprigs of thyme
1 tablespoon of olive oil
100g of dried lentils

  • Soak the chickpeas in cool water to cover overnight; drain
  • Soak the porcini in warm water for 30 minutes; drain and chop
  • Sauté the porcini, mushrooms, garlic, rosemary, and thyme in 1 teaspoon of the
    olive oil with a pinch of salt until tender, about 10 minutes
  • Place the drained chickpeas in a pot of cool water, bring to a boil, and cook
    until tender; do the same with the lentils
  • Put half of the chickpeas and lentils in a food processor, and place them in
    one pot with the whole chickpeas and lentils
  • Add enough of the cooking liquid from the chickpeas and lentils to thin the
    soup to the desired consistency, and stir in the sautéed mushrooms
  • Bring to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes

Crunchy roasted chickpeas

Ingredients:

2 tins chickpeas, rinsed and drained
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon of sea salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper

  • Preheat oven to 200°C
  • Combine all ingredients in a large bowl; toss well to coat.
  • Transfer to a large baking sheet. Roast until lightly golden and crunchy, about 30 minutes, tossing every 10 minutes
  • Cool slightly and serve

Chickpeas can cause an allergic reaction in people who show sensitivity towards them. They also contain purines that can cause a build-up of uric acid and contribute to gout or kidney stones.