Have you used chickpeas much before? They are a strange sounding ingredient and are available either dried or canned. You may prefer different options depending on what you are using them for but more about that shortly.

Washed and drained canned chickpeas in glass dish on bamboo board
Washed and drained from a can in glass dish on bamboo board

What are chickpeas?

They are a legume also known as garbanzo beans in some areas. They are grown in Middle Eastern countries for a long time and as such are often used in their cuisines.

They have a nutty taste and are a good source of fibre, vitamins and minerals. Extremely high in protein they are a great substitute for meat in vegan and vegetarian diets.

Whilst they are not high in calories they are not as low as vegetables. A 56g portion of them contains 92 calories. This portion also contains 8% of the recommended daily intake of iron and 6g of protein.

The water they are soaked in or canned in is called aquafaba which is used by vegans as an egg substitute.

Packet of dried chickpeas

Why they are good for weight loss

The high protein and fibre in chickpeas are great for filling you up and as such perfect for weight loss. They limit the amount of other calories you eat as they are filling you up.

Low-calorie density foods like these are great to fill a portion of your plate with. They even have properties that support blood sugar control so great for those at risk of type 2 diabetes.

Can of chickpea dahl

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a bottle of milk
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teaspoon saying calories don\'t count on this spoon
Weight loss magnet
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Useful for budget meals

These are really cheap legumes with a can for around 35p and dried chickpeas even cheaper. Dried chickpeas need rehydrating and boiling before cooking. Rehydrating them is best done overnight.

Chickpea flour, known as gram flour, is used in many dishes such as onion bhajis. Aquafaba, the water from them, can be used as an egg replacement in meals so if you are on a tight budget consider this too.

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Chickpea recipes

There are so many ways you can use them in recipes, here are just a few of my favourites.

Snacks and dips

Roast them in the oven to make something a little like nuts.

Roasted red pepper hummus

Falafel

Curry loaf

One-pot pumpkin soup with apple, lentils and chickpeas

Main meals

Cauliflower and chickpea curry

Moroccan tagine

Fruity roast plum, sweet potato and chickpea quinoa salad

Spanish chickpeas, spinach and eggs

One-pot chickpea curry

Vegetable and chickpea paella

Cajun vegetable stew

Chana Masala

Desserts

I recently made a chickpea cake, recipe for that coming soon!

Pinterest pin of closeup of chickpeas

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