Chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans are a versatile legume and a common ingredient in Middle Eastern and Indian dishes like hummus. The roots of chickpeas can be traced back to ancient Egypt and the word hummus means chickpea in Arabic. Regardless of where it is from originally, hummus is one of the most popular dips in the United States.
Chickpeas are a legume known as a pulse. Lentils, dry beans and dry peas are also pulses. Pulses produce seeds within a pod. According to the USDA’s MyPlate food system, these types of foods are in the beans and peas subgroup. They are excellent sources of dietary fiber and plant protein.
One cup of cooked chickpeas has 24.4 grams of fiber and counts as 1 cup of vegetables toward an adult’s daily goal of 2.5-3 cups per day. One-fourth cup of cooked chickpeas counts as an ounce equivalent in the protein group. They are high in folate and potassium and are located in both the protein and vegetable food groups. They also contain phytochemicals, which may reduce the risk of certain types of cancers.
You can eat chickpeas hot or cold, canned or dry. Chickpeas (garbanzo beans) are found in grocery stores with other ready-to-use canned beans or they can be purchased dry in plastic bags or bulk. Chickpeas have a nutlike taste and a texture that is buttery, yet somewhat starchy. They can be roasted and added to salads, used in soups, or easily pureed from the can to create a smooth hummus.
An ingredient that’s often found in hummus recipes is tahini. Tahini is a thick paste made from ground sesame seeds. Tahini is also called sesame paste.
Tips for Serving Hummus
- Dunk veggie sticks into hummus as a tasty snack. It’s a great way to sneak in a serving of vegetables.
- Use hummus as a regular condiment like ketchup or mustard.
- Try hummus on a bagel.
- Spread hummus on warmed pita bread.
- Use hummus in a tortilla wrap in place of mayonnaise.
The following recipes increase fiber, are MyPlate savvy and easy to serve anytime.
Courtesy of What’s Cooking? USDA Mixing Bowl
- Drain and mash garbanzo beans in blender, food processor or with fork.
- Add remaining ingredients.
- Blend until smooth. Chill one hour or overnight.
- Serve with vegetable sticks, whole wheat crackers or tortilla chips.
- Promptly refrigerate leftovers.
Nutrition Facts (per 3 tablespoons): Calories: 122, Fat: 4g, Carbohydrates: 17g, Fiber: 4g, Protein: 6g, Sodium: 231mg, Cholesterol: 0mg. Serves 6.
Easy, No-Tahini Hummus
Adjusted recipe courtesy of University of Nebraska Cooperative Extension
- Drain and rinse garbanzo beans. In a food processor or blender combine garbanzo beans, garlic, cumin, salt and olive oil.
- Blend on low speed, until a smooth dipping consistency is reached. Add a tablespoon or two of water if a thinner consistency is desired.
- Serve with a variety of fresh vegetables or whole grain crackers.
Nutrition Facts (per 3 tablespoons): Calories: 115, Fat: 3.2g, Saturated Fat: 0.4g, Carbohydrates: 18.3g, Fiber: 3.5g, Protein: 4g, Sodium: 239mg. Serves 6.
Michigan State University Extension’s Chick what? Chickpeas article provides additional information about chickpeas. For additional hummus recipes, check out University of Missouri Extension’s Black Bean Hummus.
- North Dakota State University Extension. Pulses: The Perfect Food. 2012.
- North Dakota State University Service News. Prairie Fare: Say Yes to Nutrient-rich Hummus.
- University of Illinois Extension. Hand Over the Hummus. 2015.