Looking for a healthy alternative to peanuts or other nuts at your next party? Why not consider roasted chickpeas (garbanzo beans)? Roasted chickpeas with a dash of spice are crunchy, healthy and cater for both gluten-free and vegetarian folks. Why not try them at your next holiday entertaining function?
Originating from the Mediterranean and the Middle East, chickpeas tick all the boxes from a health perspective. We enjoyed roasted chickpeas throughout Turkey when we visited there. They were sold everywhere at the markets and I have been keen ever since to make my own version of this tasty morsel. In Turkey, they were roasted in a machine that looked suspiciously like a cement mixer!
But what are the health benefits of chickpeas?
The Health Benefits of Chickpeas
Among the many health benefits of chickpeas, are the following:
- Good for diabetics as they are high in fibre and may lower glucose levels and improve blood sugar, lipids and insulin
- The iron, phosphate, calcium, magnesium, manganese, zinc and vitamin K content present in chickpeas are all great for bone health.
- A good source of potassium important for lowering blood pressure.
- The high fiber, potassium, vitamin C and vitamin B-6 content, coupled with the lack of cholesterol found in chickpeas, all support heart health.
- Selenium is found in chickpeas. It plays a role in liver enzyme function, and helps detoxify some cancer-causing compounds in the body.
- Research shows that chickpeas lower the amount of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol in the blood.
- Choline in chickpeas helps with sleep, muscle movement, learning and memory.
- Because of their high-fiber content, chickpeas help to prevent constipation (just like prunes) and promote regularity for a healthy digestive tract.
- Dietary fibers in chickpeas are important factors in weight loss by functioning as “bulking agents”.
One cup of cooked chickpeas contains 269 calories, 45 grams of carbohydrate, 15 grams of protein, 13 grams of dietary fiber, 4 grams of fat and 0 grams of cholesterol. A one-cup serving of raw chickpeas provides 50% of daily potassium needs, 2% vitamin A, 21% calcium, 13% vitamin C, 69% iron, 2% sodium, 55% vitamin B-6 and 57% magnesium. Additionally, chickpeas contain vitamin K, folate, phosphorus, zinc, copper, manganese, choline and selenium.
The above health information has been sourced from Medical News Today. You can read more about it here.
Chickpeas around the World
Chickpeas are common throughout the world and serve as an important source of calcium for vegetarians or for those that cannot afford meat. They are incredibly popular in India and in fact India produces about 75% of the world’s chickpeas. Australia is second with approximately 6%. Pakistan, Turkey and Myanmar are the other major producers. Chickpeas also feature heavily in Italian, Greek, Middle Eastern, Spanish and Portuguese cuisine.
Chickpeas are versatile. Great in salads, they are the major ingredient in hummus (with tahini another great food) as well as falafel. They can be made into flour (besan) so are great for gluten-free baking. They are easy to add to soups if you are looking to bulk them up.
So with all that said, why not try these roasted chickpeas as an alternative to nuts? Especially given the allergies that can occur with nuts.
Good for a party but also just a good snack for home or when out hiking.