Chickpeas (aka The Garbanzo Bean)

chickpeas2Yes, you read it right, this post is about chickpeas! Since our family has given ‘Vegan’ a go, I have discovered how versatile chickpeas are. They are one of my favorite things to cook with lately. In starting this blog I realised I don’t even know where chickpeas come from or what they even are. I decided to do some research…

Chickpeas are slightly irregular round legumes, a bit larger than pea-sized. A plant will grow up to 50 cm high and has small, feathery leaves on it. One seed pod will contain 2-3 peas. Chickpeas grow in a subtropical climate, and there are two types of chickpeas: the desi which is small dark seeds with rough coating and the Kabuli which is beige-colored and has larger seeds. Mature chickpeas can be eaten in salads, added to stews or ground into gram flour. It can be used in making hummus or falafel.

Plural: Chickpeas

Season: available year-round

How to select: Available canned, dried and in some areas fresh.

How to prepare: Salads, soups, stews.

Matches well with: carrots, cilantro, coriander, couscous, cumin, garlic, lemon, mint, olive oil, onions, parsley, peppers, rosemary, spinach, tahini, tomatoes, yogurt

Substitutions: chickpeas = broad beans


I also learned that they are very good for you. They are high in fibre, protein, iron, and manganese (an energy booster). Since they are high in protein they make you feel fuller longer so you are less likely to eat large portions. This is always important when trying to watch your weight. One of the biggest things my husband and I learned when we tried weight watchers for a short time is portion control is the key to success. Finding something that can fill you up without having to eat a lot of it is very nice.

My favorite thing about chickpeas is that they can be eaten in so many different ways. Hummus is probably one of the most popular uses for chickpeas and a yummy one at that. Here are a few of my favorite recipes for chickpeas:

Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Crispy Spiced Chickpeas




There are so many different ways to use chickpeas, get creative. Pinterest is a fabulous place to find lots of new and interesting ways to use chickpeas in all kinds of ways. Try adding chickpeas to your dinner or dessert tonight! I’d love to hear of any of your favorite recipes with chickpeas below.