Chickpeas Are Perfect Vegan and Vegetarian Summer Staple

25 July, 2008 (09:45)


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RECIPES: Hummus, Chickpea Vegetable Salad, Chickpea Baked Potatoes

By Rae Udy

The Latin name for chickpeas, Cicer arietinum, means “small ram,” and reflects the unique ram head shape of this nutritious legume. Chickpeas are also referred to as garbanzo beans, Bengal grams and Egyptian peas.
Chickpeas originated in the Middle East and the region still heavily relies on this high protein beam. According to the website, The World’s Healthiest Foods, the first record of chickpeas being consumed dates back about seven thousand years.
http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=58
They were first cultivated around 3000 BC in the Mediterranean basin and subsequently spread to India and Ethiopia. Today, the main commercial producers chickpeas are India, Pakistan, Turkey, Ethiopia and Mexico.
Chickpeas are a good source of cholesterol-lowering fiber with almost 50 percent of daily value. In addition to lowering cholesterol, chickpeas high fiber content prevents blood sugar levels from rising too rapidly after a meal.
These nutty flavored beans are a good source of protein with almost 30 percent of daily value in one cup. When combined with a whole grain such as whole wheat pasta or brown rice, chickpeas provide protein comparable to meat or dairy foods without the high calories or saturated fat.
One cup of chickpeas contain 268 calories and are almost fat-free with just one gram total fat. These delicious beans also provide a good source of manganese, copper and iron.
Canned chickpeas make it easy to prepare Hummus in seconds. This tasty dish is great on hot summer days or evenings when you don’t feel like cooking. Chickpea Vegetable Salad is a filling salad perfect anytime but especially is the summer. Chickpea Baked Potatoes is a hearty vegetarian main dish ready in minutes with the microwave.

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Posted in Salad and Salad Dressings, Vegan and Vegetarian Side Dishes, Vegan Snacks, Vegetarian Appetizers, Vegetarian Lunch Recipes, Vegetarian Main Dish

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