There are few pantry staples as generous as the modest chickpea. Highly nutritious and incredibly versatile, this multitalented legume, also known as a garbanzo bean, can be transformed into delicious, fiber-filled, plant-based protein packed creations. Most commonly known as the base of hummus, chickpeas can also be used to make healthier versions of your favorite comfort foods and even vegan-friendly treats.
Crispy Roasted Chickpeas
Roasted chickpeas make a fiber-packed, protein-rich snack that’s excellent on its own or added to other recipes for a delightful crunch. There are endless possibilities for mouthwatering flavor combinations. Try smoked paprika and cumin, cinnamon and sugar, garlic and ginger, or soy sauce, sesame oil and chili powder. Drain and rinse chickpeas, then pat until extremely dry, roast in the oven at 400° for 40 minutes and dig into these addicting snacks!
Chickpeas infuse a slightly nutty flavor into traditional veggie burgers. In a food processor, blend chickpeas, cooked onions, eggs and flour. Add mix-ins like curry, turmeric or mint, or incorporate crunchy ingredients like pepitas (pumpkin seeds) or sunflower seeds to help bind the burgers. Form into patties and sauté to the desired doneness. You can also use rolled oats and walnuts in place of flour and serve in lettuce wraps to make the burgers vegetarian and gluten-free!
Next time you use chickpeas, don’t discard the excess liquid in the can (also known as aquafaba). Aquafaba is an emerging ingredient that’s popular for its similar consistency to egg whites, as well as its plant-based properties. A unique mix of starches and protein gives it a wide variety of foaming, binding and thickening qualities. Use aquafaba in place of eggs to create homemade mayonnaise or baked goods or mix it with sugar and vanilla extract, then whip into a stiff, fluffy foam to create an egg-free meringue.