Chickpeas go by many different names, including garbanzo beans, Indian peas, ceci beans, Bengal grams and many others. You can use chickpeas to make hummus, salads, stews and more. Here’s a fanastic recipe for chickpea tofu stir-fry.
Chickpeas were originally cultivated around 3500 BC. Some ancient cultures enjoyed the chickpea as a dessert while for others, chickpeas were a staple food. Chickpeas were even discovered to be something of a substitute for coffee, and even today some people brew chickpeas as coffee, especially in areas where the real thing is difficult to come by.
Types of chickpeas
There are two main types of chickpea: Desi, which is grown in India, Ethiopia, Mexico and Italy, and Kabuli, which is grown in Southern Europe, Northern Africa, Afghanistan and Chile. Desi chickpeas have a considerably higher density of fiber than Kabuli chickpeas, which means that if you are looking to incorporate fiber into your diet, you should look for these. Also, those with blood sugar problem find Desi chickpeas to be more suitable because of their lower glycemic index.
Chickpeas can be eaten cold or in salads. They can also be cooked in stews or ground into flour which is primarily used in Indian cuisine. Many other methods of preparing chickpeas exist, such as grinding them into a paste to make hummus, or roasting and spicing them to make a snack.
High in zinc, folate and protein, chickpeas are a great protein alternative to meat. They are high in fiber and a healthy source of carbohydrates for those with diabetes or blood sugar problems. Chickpeas are very low in fat and most of the fat that is present is polyunsaturated. Calcium is another nutrient that chickpeas provide in a surprising quantity.
Chickpea tofu stir-fry
- 2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 small white onion
- 1 cup boiled chickpeas
- 8 ounces tofu
- 1 cup kale
- 1 zucchini
- 1 small tomato
- 1/2 lemon
1. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large skillet on medium-high. Add salt, chopped onion and chickpeas. You can use canned chickpeas for convenience. Stir-fry until chickpeas are golden brown and crusty.
2. Add tofu and cook for a minute. Stir in the kale and continue stir frying for a minute or two. Remove everything from pan and set aside.
3. Place remaining oil into the pan. Add zucchini and saute for 3-4 minutes. Add chickpea mixture back to skillet, then add chopped tomato. Stir for 1 minute and remove from heat.
4. Stir in juice from half of lemon and serve hot.