"Self-sufficiency does not mean 'going back' to the acceptance of a lower standard of living. On the contrary, it is the striving for a higher standard of living, for food that is organically grown and good, for the good life in pleasant surroundings... and for the satisfaction that comes from doing difficult and intricate jobs well and successfully." John Seymour ~ Self Sufficiency 2003

Thursday, 12 January 2012

I call them Chickpeas...

I call them Chickpeas, but they are also called Garbanzo beans :)

And, I just can't get enough of them.  I tend to listen to my body when it craves something.  There is obviously something it is short of, and the only way it can be provided is, to my mind, by giving me a craving which will satisfy that shortfall.  Lately I have been craving chickpeas.
Tomato and chickpea soup.  I used raw,
sprouted chickpeas for the crunch factor :)
They are such a versatile food.  They can be eaten cooked and placed in soups and stews, or made into a flour, ground and (shaped into balls and) fried as falafel (and served with an almond mayonnaise - yummy!), fermented into an alcoholic drink (haven't tried that yet), made into hummus (raw or cooked) or sprouted and eaten raw in salads, or as a snack.

Chickpeas can easily be cooked in the solar oven, or on the stove top.

Here is the nutritional information on them (taken fromhttp://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/legumes-and-legume-products/4326/2): 

Chickpeas are low in Saturated fat, and very low in Cholesterol and Sodium.  They are also an excellent source of Dietary Fiber, Protein and Copper, and a very good source of Folate and Manganese

Recent studies have also shown that they can assist in lowering cholesterol in the bloodstream.

Bean and lentil sprouter
How to sprout Chickpeas

Garbanzo beans contain enzyme inhibitors, which are dormant until they are soaked and start to sprout.

Take a cup of chickpeas and place in your sprouter.  If you don;t have a sprouter, you can soak the chickpeas in a glass jar.

Simply place the chickpeas in the jar, add three times as much water and soak overnight.

Drain the water and rinse the chickpeas thoroughly.  Drain well and cover the neck of the jar with cheesecloth / muslin and secure that with a rubber band.  Set the jar at an angle (don't completely invert the jar as the sprouts need oxygen to enter through the cloth) and place in a position out of sunlight and at room temperature.

Rinse and drain morning and evening until you notice that your chickpeas are beginning to sprout (a tiny white shoot will start growing from the chickpea.  This should happen roughly 2 - 3 days from the initial soaking.

By sprouting the chickpeas you reduce phytic acid, a type of phosphorous compound found in seeds, grains, beans and nuts.  This acid affects your body's ability to absorb nutrients.  Soaking the chickpeas ensures that you will be able to digest the peas easier and absorb more nutrition per serving.  To ensure a silky and smooth finish, blend the raw peas for longer than you would do for cooked peas.

Raw Hummus
(yields 1 cup)

1 cup sprouted chickpeas
1 - 2 cloves of garlic
2 - 3 tablespoons tahini
2 tablespoons freshly chopped parsley or coriander
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 cup filtered water
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon olive oil
salt & pepper to taste

Using a food processor blend the raw sprouted chickpeas, garlic, tahini, parsley/coriander, lemon juice, soy sauce and olive oil together until it forms a smooth paste.

Taste and adjust the lemon juice salt and pepper.  Use as a dip with raw veggies.
Chickpea and pasta salad
I recently had this for dinner.  It ticked all the boxes - being delicious, filling and completely satisfying.  And a brilliant way of using up left over pasta :)

Chickpea & Pasta Salad
(Serves 1)

One cup of sprouted chickpeas
One cup of cooked, cooled pasta of your choice (I used spaghetti in the photo above, but any pasta will suffice)
One cup of grated carrot and cabbage
A couple of broccoli spears - roughly chopped
8 - 10 cocktail tomatoes - quartered
A handful of Walnuts - roughly chopped
A sprinkling of crisp, drained and cooled, onion pieces
1000 Island dressing

Combine all the ingredients and dress with the 1000 Island dressing.  Enjoy :) Filling healthy and nutritious!

As an experiment, this year I have a couple of chickpea plants growing in my garden.  Judging by the success that is already visible, next year I'm planting many more...

Caution:  Chickpeas (Garbanzo beans) can cause a severe allergic reaction to those who are sensitive to them.  They contain purines which can lead to an excessive accumulation of uric acid, which may contribute to health problems, such as gout and kidney stones.  Chickpeas also contain large amounts of oxalate.  Individuals who have a history of oxolate-containing kidney stones should avoid Chickpeas / Garbanzo beans.


Mr. H. said...

That soup and salad looks and sounds delicious. I will have to give growing chickpeas a try sometime.

John said...

Chick peas are goooood!

quinn said...

I love chickpeas, and your photos are making my mouth water! It is snowing outside, so the soup looks especially tasty at the moment :)

Humble wife said...

We call them chickpeas too. I bake them in the oven with a little red wine vinegar, salt, and other seasonings for 15 minutes or so and have a crunchy chickpea snack any time.


Dani said...

Mr H - I chucked a couple of chickpeas which I sprouted into the ground, and I have a few plants growing - not many chickpeas as yet though...

John - LOL - they are.

Quinn - Nothing like a hearty soup in the middle of winter - heck - anytime!

Jennifer - That sounds delicious. Do you cooked soaked chickpeas / tinned chickpeas or dried chickpeas? And how much vinegar in what temperature oven?

Jane @ Hard Work Homestead said...

My Italian inlaws call them Cici beans. I like chick peas, but can not imagine what they would taste like in an alcoholic wine. Not sure I would like that.

Frogdancer said...

I'm growing chickpeas too!

Stitchin' time said...

That looks yummy but now I only put a few chickpeas in curries and stews as a blood test shows I am bordering on pre-gout and pre-diabetes levels of whatever it is they test for :(. I'm still losing weight though so when I weigh a few less kilos I'll have tests done again and find out if it is just a weight problem causing this.

emilysincerely said...

Chickpeas here too. I love making chickpea burgers as an alternate to having meat one night. Also making hummus. Never thought about sprouting them to make raw hummus - will have to try that. Will also have to try just sprouting for salads too. Thanks. Emily

Dani said...

Jane - I can imagine that they would produce something like whiskey mash LOL

Frogdancer - I'd love to hear how much the the produce...

Robyn - Yeah - there is that side of them... :(

Emily - They are delicious in salads, and, as you say - burgers too :)

Elephant's Eye said...

Dani - I see you have activated the reply option, but you're not using it? Veg Plotting has a sprout post up today as well.

Dani said...

Diana - I only activated after I'd posted and replied to comments.

I'll check out Veg Plotting - thanks :)

Tania @ Out Back said...

Sorry I have got so behind with my blog reading and commenting Dani...

I have recently found a liking for chickpeas too, your tomato and chickpea soup looks nice.

Off now to do some more reading :)

Leigh said...

For some reason, I've never been able to get enthusiastic about chickpeas. You make them sound so good though. Definitely worth another try.

Dani said...

Tania - Happens to all of us LOL Chickpeas - even, I've discovered, freshly picked, are delicious :)

Dani said...

Leigh - Trust me - I've even got RMan enjoying them, and that's no mean feat :)

Humble wife said...

After I have soaked then cooked the chickpeas, I mix them with
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
2 tsp Italian herb seasoning blend
¼ tsp ground black pepper
Salt to taste, if desired
and cook at 400F for 20 minutes. Some times I allow them to cook a bit longer and they are like a yummy crunchy nut. You will love them.

Dani said...

Brilliant - thanks very much Jennifer - I'm gong to try that :)