Most people don’t realize that something as small as a chickpea (tinned or raw), can contribute to a dish and and play part in a healthy diet. Chickpeas contain fibre, manganese, protein and iron which all contribute towards weight loss, energy production, and a boost of iron.
Besides the health benefits, these protein-packed balls of goodness taste amazing in almost everything, which brings me to the 5 ways to use this simple - yet so very important pantry item in our everyday cooking.
Have a look!
1. Chickpea cupcakes
Cupcakes are perfect for any occasion or time of day, so why not add chickpeas? Gently folding in a handful of smooth pureed chickpeas to your light and airy cupcake batter, it will not only surprise everyone as a secret ingredient (normally used for savoury dishes), but will also add protein and aid as a gluten-free cake if no flour is used.
2. Chickpea smoothie
Smoothies aren't only reserved for juicy ripe fruits. Legume smoothie anyone? Adding a cup of tinned chickpeas to your smoothie will provide you with yummy goodness and energy to carry you through the day. No need for factory produced protein shakes. Chickpeas are the safe natural and better-tasting alternative way!
3. Chickpea and avocado on low GI bread
The smooth, rich and unique flavour of avocados is very hard to resist. Next time you have a craving for the simple yet famous “avo on toast”, try adding half a cup of mashed chickpeas to your avocado. This goes well on low GI toast or bread, with small crystals of salt and black pepper that will send your taste buds on an adventure never taken before.
4. Chickpea popcorn
For those frustrated with popcorn kernels getting stuck in the wrong places, or those who just enjoy trying new things, chickpea popcorn is a life changer when it comes to movie snacks. Simply place tinned chickpeas (drained) onto baking paper and into the oven for about 30 minutes. The soft, earthy gems transform into crispy golden nuggets similar to popcorn, just better (and healthier!). An alternative to oven baking is to deep fry the chickpeas, finishing with a dusting of popcorn spice of your choice.
5. Chickpea crumpets
Chickpeas create such beautiful texture when added to other foods. Adding a handful of pureed chickpeas to your crumpet mixture and carefully pan frying until golden, gives these all-time American favourites a cake-like texture along with all the good attributes that come with chickpeas. If you are not too fond of pureeing the chickpeas, they may also be added whole to the crumpet mixture, similar to the sweetcorn fritter your grandma used to make you for breakfast.
What's your favourite way to use chickpeas? Tweet us @Food24