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5 Delicious And Healthy Chickpea Recipes

by Rhys Martin on Thursday 22 October 2020

 

Chickpeas, also commonly known as garbanzo beans, are a pantry staple in kitchens right across the world. That’s because they’re incredibly versatile – they’re used in everything from dips to stews and even desserts!

Whether you buy chickpeas dry and soak them in water before cooking them, or already cooked in a can, they’re super delicious and really good for you. Let’s dive into some of the benefits of chickpeas and explore some super easy, yummy, and healthy chickpea recipes.

Here's a few of the many benefits of chickpeas.

They’re rich in protein

Chickpeas have long been a mainstay of plant-based diets because they’re packed full of protein, with a 28-gram serving containing about three grams of protein

No matter what your fitness goals are, protein is one of the most important parts of any healthy diet. It’s essential for building strength and muscle, and it helps your body repair and replenish after exercise. Think about getting some of your daily protein needs from chickpeas.

They’re high in fibre

Chickpeas contain loads of fibre, and while this is certainly helpful to ‘keep you regular’ (which is important), it also ensures you feel fuller for longer. And this can help you avoid eating less healthy snacks in between meals.

Looking for a healthy snack with loads of fibre? Check out the tasty hummus recipe below.

They’re packed with nutrients and minerals 

Chickpeas are members of the legume family, which also includes lentils and beans. This means they’re full of things your body loves, such as folic acid, magnesium, potassium, and iron.

5 healthy, tasty and easy chickpea recipes 

Enough of the nutrient chick-chat, let’s get down to business with some chickpea recipes you’re going to absolutely love.

1. Chickpea burritos: An absolute crowd-pleaser, these healthy chickpea burritos are great for vegans, vegetarians and anyone with taste buds really. They’re also super quick and easy to make – midweek dinner sorted!

 

Ingredients 

Makes 4-6 medium-sized burritos.

  • 2 cans of chickpeas
  • 1 brown onion
  • 1 capsicum
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 avocado
  • 1 tomato
  • 6 flour tortillas
  • Taco seasoning
  • Salsa

Optional toppings include: jalapenos, tasty cheese, coriander, sour cream or low-fat Greek yoghurt, and hot sauce.

Method 

Dice the vegetables. Add a drizzle of olive oil to a medium-sized frying pan and fry the onion at a medium heat until soft. Then add the garlic and capsicum and cook for another 5 minutes or so. Add the chickpeas to the veggie mix and continue to cook until they start to break apart, then lower the heat and add the taco seasoning. Cook for another 5 minutes or until fragrant. Heat the tortillas and then whack everything together. Voila!

2. Hummus: A list of chickpea recipes would not be complete without hummus. And this homemade hummus recipe is so simple you’ll kick yourself for ever buying pre-made hummus from the supermarket. 

 

Hummus is great with toasted Turkish bread or crackers, however, for a healthy alternative swap in some carrots sticks of celery instead. You can also ditch the mayo in your wrap or sandwich and spread some hummus on instead for a healthier alternative.

Ingredients 

Makes about 3 cups worth.

  • 2 cans of chickpeas
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 tablespoons of tahini paste
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 60ml water
  • 100ml olive oil

Method 

Place all the non-liquid ingredients in a food processer and season to taste – then process it until well combined. Add the water and process again until smooth. Then continue to process it while slowly adding in the olive oil until you reach your desired thickness. See, told you it was easy!

3. Aquafaba meringues: Aqua what? You know the liquid from the canned chickpeas you’ve been pouring down the kitchen sink? Well, it’s that. And rather than let it go to waste, you can use it as a great egg substitute.

 

So, whether you have a plant-based diet, or you’re simply out of eggs and feeling adventurous, give this super easy chickpea meringue recipe a go. 

Ingredients

Makes about 14 palm-sized meringues.

  • 160ml canned chickpea liquid (tip: you can use the leftover chickpeas to make either of the two recipes above)
  • 1 cup of caster sugar

Method 

Using an electric mixer, whisk the chickpea liquid (aquafaba sounds more appealing, doesn’t it?!) until soft peaks form. This may take up to 15 minutes – be patient, you’ll get there. Then slowly add the sugar – continuing to whisk – until the mixture is nice and thick. Then dollop large spoonfuls onto a baking-paper lined oven tray until all the mixture is used. Bake at 120 degrees Celsius for one and a half hours. Once cooled, serve by themselves or with fresh strawberries or kiwi fruit.

4. Falafel: Rather than using beef or chicken in a wrap, burger or salad, why not add falafel instead? This middle-eastern classic is super tasty and provides a healthier, meat-free alternative that’s packed full of the many benefits mentioned above.

 

Ingredients 

Makes about 16.

  • 250g dried chickpeas
  • Half a teaspoon of bicarbonate soda
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 onion
  • 1 leek
  • 1 celery stick
  • 1 small chilli
  • 1 teaspoon of ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon of sumac
  • A handful of parsley
  • A handful of coriander
  • 80g plain flour

Method 

Soak the chickpeas in cold water overnight. Drain the chickpeas and pop them in a food processor along with the bi-carb soda – then set aside. Add the garlic, vegetables, spices and herbs to the food processor and process them until you get a paste. Mix in the processed chickpeas, along with the flour and season well. Using your hands, shape the mixture into balls. Heat a large frying pan over a medium heat with a good lug of olive oil. Once hot, lower your balls into the oil with a slotted spoon and fry for two minutes on each side!

Service with a side salad for dinner or pop in a wrap with some hummus for a doubly tasty chickpea-based lunch.

5. Chickpea curry: This healthy and quick chickpea curry is good mid-week soul food that can be pulled together with minimal fuss. 

 

Ingredients 

Makes enough for four people.

  • 1 can of chickpeas
  • 1 can of plum tomatoes
  • 1 can of coconut milk
  • 2 onions 
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 teaspoon of garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon of turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon of ground coriander
  • 2 fresh tomatoes
  • A handful of coriander

Method 

Head a drizzle of olive oil in a large pan and fry the onions until soft. Add the garlic and spices and cook until fragrant. Pour in the plum tomatoes and simmer for 10 minutes. Pour in the coconut milk and simmer for another 10 minutes, or until thickened. Add the chickpeas and fresh tomatoes and stir through until warmed. Serve with a side of basmati rice and a sprinkle of coriander. Voila! 

Full circle fitness for exercise and for life 

Virgin Active is built upon four dimensions of fitness: strength, stability, stamina and soul. These four dimensions make up our full circle approach to health and wellbeing.

If you’re interested in speaking with one of our experienced personal trainers about your nutrition goals, then find your nearest club and get in contact with us today!

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