Chickpeas are an excellent staple food to have in your cupboard and these can have many different uses. They are cheap and are readily available from most shops and come either dried or in canned varieties.
Chickpeas contain an abundance of fibre, protein, vitamins, and minerals. Chickpeas can help reduce your risk of cancer, diabetes, and heart disease if consumed as a regular part of your diet. They can also aid with digestive tract issues and weight control. Chickpeas are an ideal substitute for meat for those adopting either a vegan or vegetarian diet as they are protein-based and have a great texture.
Many of us may have tried eating hummus as a dip to enjoy alongside snack foods but there are so many more exciting and diverse culinary options available due to the flexible nature of this ingredient. Chickpeas can be used in salads, curries, wraps, burgers, and soups alike.
Chickpeas make a great addition to any curry sauce and taste great when cooked with a variety of spices.
Chickpeas can substitute meats regularly used in curries such as chicken and lamb and they become soft when cooked. Chickpeas can be used as part of a recipe from Corrie Cooks and they can also be used as a standalone ingredient in curries or in conjunction with other ingredients such as cauliflower and tomatoes.
There are many types of curry that can be explored using chickpeas ranging from Indian curries to Thai curries. Enjoy your curry with a serving of rice and some naan bread.
Chickpea salads and wraps
Chickpeas can also be made into a great salad which is quick and easy to prepare and serve.
Limitless possibilities are ranging from tuna salad with chickpeas to chicken salad with chickpeas to Greek salad.
Enjoy chopped chickpeas as part of a Greek salad in conjunction with feta, bell pepper, red onion, chopped tomatoes, olives, and diced cucumber pieces. Finish your dish off with a tangy vinaigrette.
An alternative to a salad would be a wrap. Combine sliced chickpeas that have been lightly cooked with tortilla wraps or pita bread along with a tangy sauce.
Soup is a quick and easy meal to prepare and ideal for eating year-round or as part of a light lunch. Combine chickpeas with canned tomatoes, spinach, garlic, onion, celery, and carrots along with spices to make a beautiful Mediterranean-inspired soup. Alternatively combine chickpeas with potato, paprika, garlic, thyme, and rosemary to make a divine chickpea and garlic soup.
Of course, chickpeas are also used in hummus, being the main ingredient. Hummus is a fantastic dip that you can make up quickly and easily. Ideal for dipping, adding to a loaf of nice warm crusty bread, or eating with breadsticks it is the perfect dip for any occasion.
Hummus has a smooth texture and is high in protein so it is the perfect food to give even the fussiest of eaters within your home. As hummus is pale in colour it is perfect to give to toddlers and small children who are learning about textures and flavours.
A Versatile Food Source
As you can see chickpeas are a versatile food source and it can be consumed hot or cold. Chickpeas can help you finally take control of your diet, and they are also affordable too.
If you are looking at going meat-free, even for a day a week then chickpeas will give you the protein you will lose by not eating meat. Because it is a versatile good source you can add it to lots of dishes and you can alter recipes to include chickpeas.
When you are buying chickpeas it is important to shop wisely and carefully. Some chickpeas can come from abroad and as a result, can have a high carbon footprint attached to them. Where you can it is important to buy local, and buy organic where possible. Organic chickpeas that have been grown without the use of any products or fertilizers will be better for your health both now and moving forwards in the future.
The benefits and positives of consuming chickpeas as part of a balanced diet cannot be denied and chickpeas should be a serious consideration for the health-conscious and for those wishing to add variety into their diet. Chickpeas have a range of health benefits and can even counteract ongoing disorders to bring serious health problems under control such as issues relating to fluctuations in blood sugar levels.
Of course, before you make any radical lifestyle changes it is important to contact a medical professional for advice and guidance just to ensure that you are getting your recommended allowance of nutrients and vitamins.
Chickpeas are an excellent substitute for meat and an essential ingredient for those following a meat-free diet. They can easily and quickly be incorporated into more dishes than you can think of.
Allen Brown is a keen writer covering topics such as nutrition, health, travel and beauty. He enjoys spending time with his two kids on his past time.