Chickpeas: September's Food of the Month
Good nutrition is important! Every month we will provide information on one of our favorite foods, and some great ways to incorporate it into your weekly meals.
The featured food for the month of September is chickpeas. Chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans, are extremely affordable and easy to find in your local grocery store. They can be bought dried or canned. The recipes in this post were all made with canned chickpeas. Chickpeas are a relatively low calorie option, while still providing good protein and fiber. Their versatility creates a large number of options for recipes, including meals, snacks, and even desserts.
This month we tried three different recipes:
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I have added/omitted some ingredients based on personal preference. Please feel free to add/omit ingredients based on your personal preference.
-1 1/2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
-1 cucumber, halved & sliced
-1 15 oz can of chickpeas/garbanzo beans, drained & rinsed
-1/2 medium red onion, thinly sliced (omitted)
-1 avocado, sliced
-1/4 cup cilantro, chopped (I substituted parsley)
-4 oz feta cheese, diced (omitted)
-3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
-3 Tbsp lemon juice
-1 garlic clove, pressed or minced (omitted)
-1/2 tsp sea salt
-1/8 tsp black pepper
1. Combine the dressing ingredients and whisk to combine.
2. Combine the salad ingredients in a bowl. Add dressing to taste, and toss salad.
Crispy Baked Chickpeas
-1 15 oz can of chickpeas/garbanzo beans, drained & rinsed, very well dried
-1 Tbsp neutral oil (I used olive oil)
-1/2 tsp sea salt
-1 tsp seasonings of choice (I tried chili powder and old bay)
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
2. Drain chickpeas and rinse thoroughly with water. Spread the chickpeas on a clean, absorbent towel and dry the chickpeas. Remove the skins that come off of the chickpeas.
3. Place chickpeas in a bowl and top with oil and salt. Do not add the seasoning yet.
4. Spread on a baking sheet, and bake for 45-50 minutes, or until crispy.
5. Remove from oven and toss with seasonings, then let cool 5-10 minutes.
6. Serve as-is (great snack) or add to a salad.
Chickpea Peanut Butter Cups
-1/2 cup canned chickpeas/garbanzo beans
-1/2 cup peanut butter
-3 Tbsp maple syrup
-Pinch of salt (omit if using salted peanut butter)
-1 1/2 cups chocolate chips (I used regular- this recipe can be made vegan by using dairy-free)
-1 Tbsp coconut oil
-Muffin cup liners
1. Melt chocolate chips and coconut oil on the stove or in the microwave.
2. Add 1 tsp of the melted chocolate into the bottom of a muffin cup liner so that it covers the bottom and swirls up the sides slightly. Place in freezer while you prepare the filling.
3. Pulse chickpeas in food processor until crumbly, but not pureed.
4. Add peanut butter, maple syrup, and salt, and pulse until the mixture suddenly thickens.
5. Roll 2 teaspoons of filling into a ball. Set aside, and repeat with remaining filling (there should be 12 balls).
6. Remove muffin cups from the freezer, and place one ball of filling in each cup. Pat down into a flat circle.
7. Pour 1 teaspoon of melted chocolate over the top of the filling.
8. Place the muffin cups back in the freezer for at least 15 minutes before eating. Store in fridge/freezer.
I love these recipes!! I will definitely be making all of these again. The chickpea salad makes a great meal on its own, or would also work well as a side dish. The flavors of all of the ingredients come together wonderfully, and the dressing adds just enough flavor without making the salad feel too heavy. I brought some leftover salad for lunch the next day in a plastic container, and it held up well.
The crispy chickpeas were very tasty as well. I tried them when they were fresh out of the oven with no seasoning (only oil and salt), and I was happy to snack on them that way. I also tried adding chili powder and old bay, and both were good options for adding flavor.
The chickpea peanut butter cups are certainly not the healthiest recipe, however they are a slightly healthier alternative to the average store-bought peanut butter cup. I chose to use dark chocolate chips for the recipe since that's my personal preference, but I believe the recipe would also work well with milk chocolate. I thought these tasted AMAZING (very similar to other peanut butter cups), and I won't have any difficulty finishing the leftovers. The chickpeas added a special consistency to the peanut butter mixture which I enjoyed.
I hope you'll give some (or all) of the above recipes a try! Let us know what you think :)
The above recipes and information are not intended to replace the advice of a healthcare professional. Please consult a registered dietitian or physician to determine the best dietary guidelines for your individual needs. The opinions expressed above are subjective.