If you have to venture to the grocery store or are scrolling online to fill a cart, you may find a lack of pantry staples like pasta, kidney beans, and oats. But there is one product that might be in heavy supply: chickpeas.
Chickpeas are certainly not featured in the North American diet. But these nutrient-dense legumes, also called garbanzo beans, are versatile and extremely healthful. They can help manage blood sugar and cholesterol, promote better digestion, boost energy, and provide protein for muscle strength.
Rich in a variety of vitamins and nutrients, a cup of chickpeas offers roughly 20% of your daily magnesium requirement (helps with sleep) in addition to 12 grams of heart-healthy fiber and 39 grams of protein.
Of course, there is one resounding question surrounding this superfood: what the heck can you do with them? Thankfully, chickpeas can be a real friend during self-isolation. They are versatile and easy to prepare. Here are a few creative ways to include them:
Chickpea mash salad: Cooked chickpeas can be easily mashed, mixed with diced vegetables, mustard, and mayo to produce a chickpea mash. You can spread it between two pieces of whole wheat bread or eat it straight from the bowl.
Think of it as an alternative to egg or tuna salad.
Roasted chickpeas: Roasted chickpeas serve as a great snack or topping for a salad. Simply toss them in some oil and spice, then bake at 350 degrees until crunchy, about 30-35 minutes.
Chickpea salad: Another great side dish that can double as a meal is a bean salad. Mixing chickpeas, diced onion, and green pepper in olive oil and apple cider vinegar, then refrigerated for about 30-minutes to settle, is tasty, healthful option rich in good fats, fiber, antioxidants, and more.
Chocolate chickpea cookies: Yes, you read that correctly. Chickpeas can even be made into a sweet snack. It sounds strange, but smashing them up and mixing with some chocolate chips, nut butter, and maple syrup can help satisfy your sweet tooth for a fiber-rich treat.
Chickpeas can be a smart, healthy, and available choice in most grocery stores and promote good health through the COVID-19 crisis.