The Humble But Mighty Chickpea
The Superfood That Has Stood the Test of Time.
Domesticated over 7,000 years ago in the Middle East, the humble chickpea, also called garbanzo bean or ceci, was transported to the Mediterranean around 4,000 BC, and eventually found its way to the New World in 1600 through explorers from Spain and Portugal. Today, this nutritious legume is a staple in Middle Eastern, Indian, Spanish, Italian, and Latin American cuisines.
Chickpeas are available in several forms: dried, canned, and ground in the form of chickpea or garbanzo bean flour. A one-cup serving of chickpeas contains 14 grams of protein, 12 grams of fiber, 44 grams of carbohydrates, and 269 calories. In addition, chickpeas contain a host of other vitamins and nutrients associated with lowering blood glucose levels, decreasing the risk of heart disease, and removing free radicals, thus protecting the body from cancer, improving digestion, and reducing the occurrence of anemia.
In addition to its health benefits, this versatile superfood is a plant protein that is both
inexpensive and has a long shelf life. This month we pay homage to this “diminutive giant” by featuring a number of recipes that give our humble friend the recognition and spotlight it deserves.