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The Great Garbanzo

By Alana Sugar, October 4, 2010  |  Meet the Blogger  |  More Posts by Alana Sugar
Did you know that beans are one of the oldest cultivated crops around? By some accounts, 7,500 year-old remains of this great bean have been found in the Middle East - they're ancient! They're also an excellent source of quality plant protein and fiber. And, they are inexpensive, nutritionally dense and very versatile. In fact, this favorite is so super-versatile and "exotic" it could turn up in your appetizer, your snack, your dessert or even your pancakes! That, my friends, is the GREAT GARBANZO! Call it a chickpea or call it a garbanzo bean, it's the same thing. For me, garbanzo beans always conjure memories of my time in India tasting wonderful, exotic dishes specially prepared from various regions. Many of these delicacies were made from Gram flour or Besan flour - both of which are made from ground garbanzo beans. In fact, I was in garbanzo heaven every time I bit into a Besan Ladoo, a sweet treat made with garbanzo bean flour and spices like cardamom. No wonder India leads the world in garbanzo bean production, followed by Pakistan and Turkey. These days, you'll find that gluten-free products - everything from biscuits to pancakes - often contain garbanzo bean flour. This adds protein and versatility. When you add these delicious garbanzo beans to your menu, you'll be getting a good bang for your buck! Just one cup of cooked garbanzo beans has:
  • 8% of your daily calcium needs
  • 26 % of your daily iron needs
  • 12 grams of fiber
  • Just 4 grams of fat
  • And 15 grams of great protein
Can't beat that! Sweet and mild in flavor, they'll enhance just about any favorite dish. Let's start with what I call "The Great Garbanzo Garnish." Be generous!
  • Garnish leafy green salads with plenty of these great beans.
  • Garnish soups, stews and casseroles.
  • Garnish hot cooked grain dishes.
  • Garnish sautéed veggie dishes.
  • Garnish toasted pita bread.
  • Garnish pizza.
  • Garnish warmed-up tortillas - and be sure to add a little cheese and tomato, maybe a little avocado.
  • Garnish sliced tomatoes; great with fresh cheese and olive oil.
While canned garbanzo beans are easy to use, you can also cook up a fresh pot yourself. Start by soaking the beans overnight. Discard the soaking water, fill the pot with fresh water and simmer until tender, about 1 ½ to 2 hours. For flavor, add some chopped onion and garlic. Be sure to cook until tender. Drain and keep them handy in the fridge, ready for use. Here are more great ways to glorify garbanzos: In case you're curious, here's a recipe for Besan Ladoos. Got a hankering for garbanzo beans? Have a favorite recipe? I would love to hear!




Joe @ Eden Kitchen says ...
I love how chickpeas are so versatile! The other day I made a smashed chickpea salad but my all time favourite chickpea recipe is this Roasted Chickpea Stew: http://edenkitchen.com/roasted-chickpea-stew/
10/04/2010 1:44:06 PM CDT
Mark Fitchpatrick says ...
Great Garbonzo Bean recipe.....Mock Tuna Salad Drain, rinse and drain again one can Garbanzo Beans. Mash the beans with potato masher...do not puree. To the mashed Garbanzo Beans add all of your favorite tuna salad ingredients...chopped boiled egg, chopped onion, pickle relish, chopped celery, mayo. Stir well and use as you would tuna salad. For vegan version omit the egg. Delicious! Tastes just like the original.
10/05/2010 10:04:08 AM CDT
Jaime Lynn Braden says ...
My favorite garbanzo bean recipe is: http://trainingupkaitlyn.blogspot.com/2010/07/garbanzo-tomato-curry.html
10/06/2010 3:01:32 PM CDT
Meg Tierney says ...
Actually, gram or besan flour is made from Urad Dal - a type of black lentil - and not from garbanzo beans.
10/06/2010 3:36:48 PM CDT
sally says ...
I add garbanzo beans to my red sauce and put it over pasta...simple, delicious, healthy and filling!
10/06/2010 4:22:01 PM CDT
Kathy says ...
Our family has a favorite soup recipe that even the kids love. We use mostly 365 brand products for it. In addition to the fresh rosemary, I think that the 365 Organic Vegetable Broth is a key to it tasting really good! Here it is: Pasta and Chickpea Soup Serves 4-6 Ingredients-- 4 tablespoons olive oil, 1 small onion, minced 2 carrots, minced 2 celery stalks, minced 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped 14 ounce can cannellini beans, rinsed & drained 14 ounce can chickpeas, rinsed & drained 1 cup pureed tomatoes 1/2 cup water 2 quarts vegetable broth or chicken stock* 1-2 fresh rosemary sprigs 2 cups pasta (orecchiette, spiral or other smallish pasta) salt & pepper grated parmesan cheese as desired * The original recipe called for 1 1/2 quarts of broth, but the 2 extra cups I find handy to re-liquify the soup after it has been sitting even just a little while, as the pasta absorbs the broth.) 1. Heat oil in a large pot. Add the chopped vegetables and cook over low heat, stirring frequently for 5-7 minutes. 2. Add chickpeas & cannellini beans; stir well to mix & cook for 5 minutes. Stir in the pureed tomatoes and water. Cook, stirring for 2-3 minutes. 3. Add 1 quart of the broth, the rosemary sprig, salt and pepper to taste, and bring to a boil. Lower the heat, cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 45 minutes to 1 hour. 4, Pour in 2 additional cups of stock with the pasta and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer for 7-8 minutes or according to pasta package directions, until pasta is al dente. Remove rosemary sprig. Serve with grated parmesan cheese as desired.
10/06/2010 4:57:20 PM CDT
StefF says ...
i bought some jalapeno/garlic stuffed green olives; i cooked some garbanzo beans.....mixed them together, very little else, maybe a tad of grapeseed oil....i must say...this is a fabulous combo, something like what you mentioned above...satisfying, filling and oh so tasty....YUM
10/06/2010 5:12:38 PM CDT
rainy217 says ...
I used to have a recipe for a dish that had chickpeas, tomatoes,sweet potatoes,gran marsala, vegetable broth and I can"t remember what else.Maybe green peppers too. I was wondering if you had a recipe that was similar. Every recipe I have made so far has been wonderful! Thank you so much!
10/07/2010 11:53:07 AM CDT
Reeve Friday says ...
Every recipe I read from your blog is so exciting. I never know the history behind this garbanzo beans. I know only to prepare a tomato curry with these beans. This is really healthy and versatile. I shall try some of these recipes and post my feedback. Thank you for sharing.
10/09/2010 2:10:58 PM CDT
Stefanie says ...
Chickpeas are one of my favorite beans. I love hummus of many flavors. Chickpeas themselves are slightyly bland but when simmered in a flavorful liquid or in curry dishes, they come to life. Hummus would be my favorite way to use them.
10/10/2010 2:31:40 PM CDT
Patti at Worth The Whisk says ...
LOVE garbanzos, and apparently a lot of other people do, too. One of the most popular recipes on my blog is a delicious Greek Garbanzo, Onion and Tomato Salad, here it is: http://worththewhisk.com/2009/09/14/garbanzo-onion-and-tomato-salad-from-la-greekfest/
10/10/2010 4:29:37 PM CDT
Babu says ...
Good article. Meg Tierney...Besan flour is not made from urad daal...it's actually made from channa daal, a daal obtain from black chickpeas, after these are being washed and removed their skin. Black chickpeas have a harder skin, but are loaded with even more nutrients than the regular chickpeas...there is even green chickpeas!
10/10/2010 11:17:47 PM CDT
Kimberly says ...
I love Garbanzo beans! I always use them in my taco soup recipe. They're a good substitute for kidney beans any day!
10/12/2010 12:28:16 PM CDT
Anne Schaefer says ...
I need to know the amount of potassium in garbanzo beens. My husband has kidney failure and cannot have foods with potassium.
10/15/2010 12:02:28 AM CDT
paig292 says ...
@Anne One half-cup serving of cooked garbanzo beans contains approximately 250 mg of potassium.  Please check with your doctor before including this and other suspect foods in your husband’s diet.  Thank you for your question.
10/15/2010 3:35:13 PM CDT
jhutcherson says ...
can we get green garbanzo beans @ whole foods here in NC ? there great.
03/31/2011 1:25:33 PM CDT
bepkom says ...
@jhutcherson: Garbanzo beans will be available in cans at all our stores. If you're looking for fresh, you should call your local store ahead of time to find out.
03/31/2011 1:45:21 PM CDT
iCant says ...
bonless skinless chicken breast garbonzo bean flour also called (chickpea flour) egg whites (optional) grill or pan any kind of oil (i preffer grapeseed) cut the chicken into chicken finger size dip in egg whites (optional) roll in flour frie until fully cooked or cook until breading is a little crispy then grill serve whith ranch or B.B.Q sauce
11/09/2011 7:51:45 PM CST
iCant says ...
im gluten intolerant and sensitive to lots of food i want to fid a biscuit recipe that consists of just garbonzo bean flour and any spices im just a kid can someone help me
11/09/2011 7:57:23 PM CST
janejohnson says ...
@iCant Here's the link to Celiac.com 's website for all their recipes for GF biscuits. I'm sure there should be an option to use the Garbazo Flour or even replace other flours with your GF flour of choice. Happy baking! http://www.celiac.com/categories/Gluten%252dFree-Recipes/Gluten%252dFree-Recipes%3A-Biscuits,-Rolls-%26amp%3B-Buns/
11/10/2011 3:05:26 PM CST
tom says ...
Does wfm carry the Pedrosillano Garbanzo Beans ? Supposedly, these are the best flavor,creamy and great for making hummus.
12/26/2013 1:56:27 PM CST
Nikki - Community Moderator says ...
@TOM - Our exact vendors and products differ between stores. Check with your local store directly to see what they have to offer!
12/27/2013 12:46:36 PM CST