Chickpeas, also called garbanzo beans, are one of the oldest consumed crops in the world. In fact, they have been a part of certain traditional diets for over 7,500 years. They are included in popular recipes found around the world, including being used as the main ingredient in hummus, which is commonly consumed almost every single day in places like Israel, Syria, Turkey, Palestine, Jordan and Egypt.
Chickpeas are a type of legume that offers a range of health benefits. Legumes are a member of the pea family and technically a seed pod. Other common edible legumes include lentils, peas, a variety of beans, soybeans and peanuts.
Chickpeas, are a great source of plant-based protein and fibre, iron, zinc, phosphorus, B vitamins and more. With so many vitamins and nutrients, chickpeas benefit the body in a number of different ways. Here are the top seven health benefits of chickpeas:
1. Helps Control Blood Sugar Levels
2. Increases Satiety and Helps with Weight Loss
3. Improves Digestion Thanks to a High Fibre Content
4. Helps Protect Against Heart Disease and Cancer
5. Provides Essential Vitamins and Minerals
6. Great Source of Plant-Based Protein
7. Have an Alkalizing Effect
Chickpea flour has all the above benefits and is low on the glycemic index, which is a measure of how much a food raises your blood sugar as it’s digested. So in comparison to all-purpose flour, chickpea flour takes your body longer to absorb the carbohydrates. This translates to more prolonged energy, rather than a spike followed by a “sugar crash”, which soon leaves you hungry again and craving more carbs. While this is especially important for people with diabetes, limiting refined carbohydrates is also protective against developing diabetes.
For those with celiac disease and gluten intolerance, having another flour alternative is a huge benefit, especially because common substitutes (like white rice flour, tapioca starch or potato flour) often provide empty calories.
I have found Chickpea flour incredibly useful and am totally addicted to it! I use it for pancakes, wraps, crackers, pastry for pies and quiches. It can also be used as a binder in burgers or falafel, a thickener for soups and sauces, to brownies, no-egg omelettes and pizza crust.
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