Garbanzo beans, otherwise known as chickpeas, are members of the legume family and are commonly used in Mediterranean, West Asian, and Middle Eastern dishes. Like other legumes, garbanzo beans provide an alternative source of protein for vegetarians, but can also add flavor and nutrition to non-vegetarian dishes. Whether used whole or pureed, fresh or canned, garbanzo beans provide a number of nutrients essential for your body.
Before using dried chickpeas in a recipe, soak in cold water for 12 hours and then pressure-cook for 20-25 minutes or boil, covered, for 1 1/2 hours. After soaking and cooking, chickpeas more than double in size. Dried chickpeas can also be roasted as a snack or ground into flour.
Chickpeas pack a punch in the nutritional areas of fiber, protein and folate. A half cup serving of cooked chickpeas packs a 6.2g fiber punch and 7g of high-quality vegetable protein as well as providing 35% of the RDA for folate. That same half cup is only 135 calories with 2.1g total fat, only 0.2g of those saturated.
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