I absolutely have an obsession with chickpeas. I add them to nearly everything, curries, chilli, nachos, salads, stir fries, or I roast them and eat them as a snack. They are my favourite legume, so I made another recipe featuring them.
A quick little nutrition fact about CHICKPEAS
What are chickpeas? Chickpeas come under the umbrella of ‘legumes’. Legumes are a group of plant foods that contain lots of nutrients and are relatively cheap to eat. Other legumes include kidney beans, borlotti beans, cannellini beans, lentils…. the list goes on! If you’re in the USA you may know chickpeas as ‘garbanzo beans’.
Some nutrition benefits of legumes? They are high in fibre, which helps to keep us regular and soluble fibre, which can help to lower our blood cholesterol levels[1-4] and blood sugar levels[1,5,6]. They are source of carbohydrate, and can help you to feel fuller for longer. They’re also a source protein (but not a complete source), which is especially great if your vegetarian or vegan for a cheap source of protein.
Are all legumes gluten free? Yes, but watch out for may contain statements. Unfortunately a lot of dried legumes have ‘may contain gluten/wheat’ on the label. However their are HEAPS of safe versions if you have Coeliac Disease, both canned and dried.
Where to buy? If you’re after canned versions I typically use Aldi or the Annalisa brand found at Woolies and Coles (Edgells have may contains). If you’re after dried, I usually hit up Coles International section or health food/gluten free stores for the Lotus brand (green packaging).
Some top tips for the use of chickpeas:
- Wash canned chickpeas before adding to dishes. The liquid they sit in is called ‘Aquafaba’, and is high in oligosaccharides (a non-digestible carbohydrate), which can cause bloating in some people.
- The ‘Aquafaba’ liquid in canned chickpeas can be used as an egg replacement in meringues. The protein and carbohydrates (starches) from the legumes leak into the aquafaba liquid. This enables it to be whipped into a foam! However you will need typically more sugar than a normal meringue, and the aquafaba is not a complete source of protein. Whereas egg whites are a complete source of protein even without the egg yolk.
- Soak dried chickpeas before use. I generally soak overnight in water, drain and rinse in the morning and they’re ready to go. Don’t soak them for too long through, I’ve made this mistake before and had my chickpeas beginning to sprout! Generally the rule of thumb is the longer you soak them the quicker they will cook, however mine seem to be the same every time.
Check out below my recipe for my references if you want to read more nutrition tips, or feel free to ask me a question.
I guarantee you’ll love this quick and easy chickpea curry recipe as much as me! I slightly overcooked mine, so my pumpkin went really soft, but you can always pull it off the heat as soon as the pumpkin has softened so it retains it’s shape. It pairs perfectly with my gluten free naan bread recipe found here.
References if you want to read more about some health benefits:
1. Hartley L, May MD, Loveman E, Colquitt JL, Rees K. Dietary fibre for the primary prevention of cardiovascular disease. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2016, Issue 1. Art. No.: CD011472.
2. James SL, Muir JG, Curtis SL, Gibson PR. Dietary fibre: a roughage guide. Internal medicine journal. 2003;33(7):291-6.
3. Lunn, J. and Buttriss, J. L. (2007), Carbohydrates and dietary fibre. Nutrition Bulletin, 32: 21-64.
Dietary fibre intake and risk of cardiovascular disease: systematic review and meta-analysis 5. Lattimer JM, Haub MD. Effects of dietary fiber and its components on metabolic health. Nutrients. 2010;2(12):1266-89.
6. Satija A, Hu FB. Cardiovascular benefits of dietary fiber. Current atherosclerosis reports. 2012;14(6):505-14.