Garbanzo beans and Chickpeas are two terms used interchangeably for the same legume, known scientifically as Cicer arietinum L.
This versatile legume is a popular ingredient in various dishes worldwide, from salads to soups and stews.
In this article, we will explore the nutritional value, different cooking techniques, and creative chickpea/garbanzo bean recipes to help you make the most of this fantastic source of plant-based protein.
⬇️ Table of Contents
- 🤔 What Are Garbanzo Beans?
- 📋 Classification and Varieties
- ❓ Why Are Garbanzo Beans Called Chickpeas
- How To Cook Garbanzo Beans
- 👨🏻🍳 Chickpea Recipes
- Aquafaba: Chickpea Liquid In Your Cooking
- 🍴 Air Fryer Chickpeas Recipe
- Gluten-Free Chickpea Flour: A Versatile Alternative
- 🌿 Chickpeas and Sustainability
- 🛒 Where to Buy Chickpeas
- How to Store Chickpeas
🤔 What Are Garbanzo Beans?
Chickpeas, or garbanzo beans, are a type of legume belonging to the Fabaceae family. They are edible seeds in various colors, shapes, and sizes.
These little beans have a firm texture and a nutty, slightly earthy flavor. They are highly nutritious, tasty snacks, rich in fiber, have a high amount of protein, and provide a host of other nutrients essential for a healthy diet.
Garbanzo beans are a staple in many cuisines around the world, including Mediterranean, Middle Eastern, and Indian cooking. They can be consumed in various forms, such as whole, ground into chickpea flour, or even as a liquid in the form of aquafaba.
Both dried garbanzo beans and canned are widely available and can be used in many recipes, from soups and stews to salads and veggie burgers.
📋 Classification and Varieties
Garbanzo beans (chickpeas) are a type of legume belonging to the same plant family as peas, lentils, and black beans. They grow in pods, with each pod containing one or two edible seeds.
There are two main varieties of raw chickpeas: the larger, lighter-colored Kabuli chickpea variety and the smaller, darker Desi chickpea variety.
Both types are rich in fiber and protein content and can be used in various dishes, including soups, stews, and salads.
❓ Why Are Garbanzo Beans Called Chickpeas
Garbanzo beans are called chickpeas due to their etymology. The name "chickpea" comes from the earlier term "chiche pease," which is modeled on the Middle French "pois chiche," where "chiche" comes from Latin "cicer."
The word "garbanzo" comes from an alteration of Old Spanish "arvanço," which first entered English as "garvance" in the 17th century.
It was then gradually anglicized to "calavance," which referred to a variety of other beans. The current form, "garbanzo," comes directly from modern Spanish.
Notice: People should not eat raw garbanzos or other raw pulses, as they can contain toxins and substances that are difficult to digest. Even cooked chickpeas may have complex sugars that can be difficult to digest and lead to intestinal gas and discomfort.
How To Cook Garbanzo Beans
You can cook chickpeas on the stove top, in a slow cooker, or using an instant pot. To cook garbanzo beans on the stove, place the soaked chickpeas in a large pot, cover them with water, and add a bay leaf for flavor.
Bring the water to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook until the chickpeas have reached the desired tenderness.
This can take anywhere from 45 minutes to 2 hours, depending on the age and size of the chickpeas. Cooking time can be reduced by adding a pinch of baking soda to the cooking water.
Slow cooker and instant pot (unsoaked chickpeas method) cooking options are also popular for cooking techniques.
Cooked garbanzo beans using this method require less attention and can result in tender, evenly cooked beans. Consult your appliance's manual for cooking times and instructions specific to your device.
Best, soak beans overnight.
Begin by choosing from dried garbanzo beans or canned options. For dried chickpeas, it is essential to soak them before cooking to reduce the cooking time and improve their texture.
Soak dried chickpeas in plenty of water for 8 to 12 hours, or use the quick-soak method by boiling them in water for 2 minutes, then letting them sit for an hour.
When some people eat beans, they may experience a feeling of fullness and discomfort in their stomach, which is called bloating. This is because beans contain a type of carbohydrate called oligosaccharides, which can be difficult for some people to digest.
However, presoaking beans before cooking them can help to reduce the amount of oligosaccharides present in the beans.
The Ratio of Water to Beans
When cooking garbanzos, use a ratio of 3 cups of water per 1 cup of dried chickpeas, or drain and rinse canned chickpeas before adding them to your dish to reduce sodium levels.
For pressure cooker or air fryer recipes, follow the manufacturer's guidelines for the correct amount of liquid and cooking time.
Chickpeas have a relatively mild flavor, which makes them an excellent canvas for various seasonings. Add spices like cumin, paprika, or bay leaf during the cooking process to enhance their taste.
Once the chickpeas are soaked, you can cook them using various methods, such as:
- Stovetop: Simmer the chickpeas for 1.5 to 2 hours in a large pot with a 4:1 water-to-beans ratio.
- Pressure Cooker: Cook the chickpeas for approximately 25-30 minutes with a 4:1 water-to-beans ratio.
- Slow Cooker: Cook the chickpeas for 4 hours on high or 8 hours on low, ensuring they remain submerged in water.
- Air Fryer: Roast chickpeas in the air fryer with your favorite seasonings for crunchy roasted chickpeas, a savory snack.
👨🏻🍳 Chickpea Recipes
Chickpeas are versatile and nutrient-dense legumes that can be transformed into a wide array of delicious dishes.
Chickpeas offer endless possibilities for creative recipes, from classic Middle Eastern favorites like hummus and falafel to innovative salads, stews, and even desserts.
Chickpeas are a delicious addition to salads, providing extra protein and a satisfying texture. Toss them with fresh vegetables, leafy greens, and a tangy dressing for a nutritious and filling meal.
This popular Middle Eastern spread is made from mashed food processor chickpeas, tahini, lemon juice, garlic, and olive oil. Hummus is perfect as a dip for raw vegetables, pita bread, or a spread for sandwiches and wraps.
Chickpeas hold up well in soups and stews, absorbing flavors from the broth and other ingredients. Add them to your favorite soup or stew recipe for a hearty, meatless meal.
These fried or baked balls made from ground chickpeas, herbs, and spices are a staple in Middle Eastern cuisine. Enjoy falafel in a pita sandwich or a salad for a delicious, plant-based protein option.
Aquafaba, the liquid from a can of chickpeas, has gained popularity as a vegan egg white substitute. It can be whipped into stiff peaks and used in various recipes, such as meringues and mayonnaise.
Aquafaba: Chickpea Liquid In Your Cooking
Aquafaba is the liquid that results from cooking chickpeas, whether you cook them yourself or find it in canned beans. This bean water has gained popularity as a vegan egg white replacement due to its unique properties.
It can be whipped into stiff peaks, much like egg whites, and used in various recipes such as meringues, mousses, and even baked goods.
To use aquafaba in your cooking, simply drain the liquid from a can of chickpeas or reserve the cooking water after boiling dried chickpeas.
If using canned chickpeas, make sure to select a low-sodium option to control sodium intake. Typically, three tablespoons of aquafaba can replace one egg white in most recipes.
🍴 Air Fryer Chickpeas Recipe
Air fryers have become popular in recent years, and they provide a healthy and easy way to cook chickpeas. Air-fried chickpeas make for a delicious and crunchy snack or salad topping. Here's a simple recipe to prepare air-fried chickpeas:
- 1 can (15 ounces) chickpeas, drained, rinsed, and patted dry
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- Preheat the air fryer to 375°F (190°C).
- In a bowl, combine chickpeas, olive oil, salt, garlic powder, smoked paprika, ground cumin, and black pepper. Toss until the chickpeas are evenly coated with the oil and spices.
- Place the seasoned chickpeas in a single layer in the air fryer basket. Cook for 12-15 minutes, shaking the basket halfway through, until the chickpeas are golden brown and crispy.
- Allow the chickpeas to cool for a few minutes before serving. They will become even crunchier as they cool.
- Store any leftover air-fried chickpeas in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.
Chickpeas are not only delicious and versatile, but they are also a great source of nutrients for those following plant-based diets or looking to incorporate more plant-based protein into their meals.
They can be used in a variety of dishes, from classic Middle Eastern recipes like hummus and falafel to innovative dishes like air-fried chickpeas and aquafaba based desserts.
With their mild flavor and satisfying texture, chickpeas are an excellent ingredient to experiment with in the kitchen.
Whether you prefer dried or canned, don't hesitate to try out new recipes and cooking techniques to make the most of this nutritious and versatile legume.
Gluten-Free Chickpea Flour: A Versatile Alternative
Chickpea flour, made from finely ground dried chickpeas, is a gluten-free alternative to traditional wheat flour. It can be used in a variety of recipes, from savory dishes like socca (a Mediterranean flatbread) to sweet treats like gluten-free cookies and brownies.
Aside from being gluten-free, chickpea flour is also high in protein and fiber, making it a nutritious choice for those looking to add more plant-based protein to their diets.
To use chickpea flour in your recipes, simply substitute it for all or part of the wheat flour called for in the recipe, adjusting the liquid content as needed.
🌿 Chickpeas and Sustainability
Chickpeas, like other legumes, have a relatively low environmental impact compared to other sources of protein, such as meat and dairy. They require less water to grow and can even help to fix nitrogen in the soil, reducing the need for synthetic fertilizers.
By incorporating more chickpeas and other legumes into your diet, you can support more sustainable food production and contribute to a healthier planet.
In conclusion, chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans, are a versatile and nutritious legume that can be enjoyed in a variety of dishes. They are an excellent source of plant-based protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals, and they offer numerous health benefits.
Whether you prefer dried, canned, or farm-fresh chickpeas, there are countless ways to incorporate these delicious and sustainable legumes into your meals.
🛒 Where to Buy Chickpeas
Chickpeas can be found in most grocery stores, either in the canned beans section or as dried beans in the bulk food area. Many health food stores and specialty markets also carry chickpeas, including organic and heirloom varieties. In addition, chickpeas can be purchased online through various retailers.
How to Store Chickpeas
Proper storage of chickpeas is essential to maintain their nutritional value and prevent spoilage. Dried chickpeas should be stored in an airtight container in a cool, dark place like a pantry or cupboard. They can last up to two years if stored properly.
Cooked chickpeas, whether homemade or from a can, should be stored in the refrigerator in a covered container. They will stay fresh for 3-5 days. Chickpeas that are cooked can also be frozen for up to six months in an airtight container or freezer bag.
Are Garbanzo Beans Suitable For Individuals With Diabetes?
Their high fiber content can help stabilize blood sugar levels and control overall blood sugar.
However, monitoring portion sizes and pair garbanzo beans with other low-glycemic foods is essential to maintain optimal blood sugar balance.