Chickpeas: A Guide to Preparing and Creating Delicious Hummus

Do you have chickpeas in your pantry?

Chickpeas, a small legume commonly used in Mediterranean, Middle Eastern, and Indian cuisine, are a great addition to your diet. They are a fantastic plant-based source of protein, as well as dietary fiber and minerals.

You can find chickpeas pre-cooked in cans or dried. If you opt for dried chickpeas, be sure to soak them in water before cooking.

The Nutritional Benefits of Chickpeas: A High-Quality Vegan Protein Source

Chickpeas are a nutritious vegan food that provides high-quality protein, with 14.5g per one cup (164g) serving of cooked, boiled chickpeas without salt. They are also rich in calcium, with 80.4mg per serving, as well as iron and magnesium, with 4.7mg and 78.7mg respectively. Chickpeas are also a great source of fiber, with 12.5g per cup, and can help maintain healthy bones due to their mineral content. Overall, chickpeas are a nutrient-dense food that can provide numerous health benefits.

How to Cook Chickpeas: Tips for Maximizing Health Benefits

Chickpeas are incredibly easy to cook and can also be bought pre-cooked in cans, glass jars, or even frozen. However, to fully maximize their health benefits, it’s best to cook them at home. Here is my recommended method:

Start by soaking the chickpeas overnight in water (using double the amount of dried chickpeas). Add a teaspoon of sodium bicarbonate to the soaking water. After soaking for 8 hours, replace the water with fresh water and cook until the chickpeas are ready to eat. I suggest using a pressure cooker for quick and easy cooking.

If you’re in a hurry, you can reduce the soaking time by boiling the chickpeas with water for 3 minutes, setting them aside for 2 hours, replacing the water with fresh water, boiling again, changing the water once more, and then cooking until they’re ready to eat.

To add flavor to the hummus paste, I like to add bay leaf, garlic clove, and sage leaf to the cooking water. Another option is to add Kombu seaweed to the water, or simply keep it plain.

Homemade Hummus Recipe

Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients:

  • 200g cooked or canned chickpeas

  • 1/2 lemon

  • 4 tbsp tahini

  • 6 tbsp water (cooking water or regular water)

  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

  • 1 tsp paprika

  • 2 cloves garlic

  • 1 tsp cumin

  • Pinch of Himalayan salt

Instructions:

  1. In a food processor, combine the chickpeas, garlic, tahini, lemon juice, cumin, paprika, and salt. Blend until the mixture is smooth and creamy.

  2. Gradually add water to the mixture while blending until you reach your desired consistency.

  3. Transfer the hummus to a serving dish and drizzle with olive oil.

  4. Sprinkle paprika on top for added flavor.

  5. Serve with pita bread, vegetables, or your favorite dipping chips.

Enjoy your homemade hummus!

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