How good are Chickpeas onboard?

Originally cultivated in the Mediterranean and the Middle East, chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans are loved around the globe, with a permanent spot in practically everyone’s pantry, not only vegetarians. They are featured prominently in Italian, Greek, Indian, Middle Eastern, Spanish and Portuguese cuisine. Yet chickpeas somehow still get relegated to the side dish territory, unceremoniously puréed into yet another bowl of hummus. 

Fresh Chickpeas being Harvested. Normally 2 seeds per Pod.
Though the most common type of chickpea appears round and beige, other varieties include colours such as black, green, and red. Like other legumes such as beans, peas and lentils, chickpeas are prized for their high protein and fiber content. This is great for us when fresh protein on the boat is low. 

On Our Dreamtime we tend to bulk up our meals with chickpeas, whether it be in a slow cooked stew or roasted there is always place for chickpeas. Having the convenience of them available in canned and dried forms allows us to store them onboard for long periods of time. 

Hummus is the Arabic word for chickpeas, which are often cooked and ground into a paste and mixed with tahini (sesame seed paste), this is the most commonly known use for chickpeas in Australia and it is used as a dip. But chickpeas are so much more. We have been amazed at the way the humble Chickpea is used all over the world. Such diverse cuisines using one simple ingredient to make amazing different taste sensations. 

How are Chickpeas used around the globe.
  • Mature dried chickpeas can be ground into flour, ground and shaped into balls and fried as falafel. This is commonly used in Syria and Lebanon.
  • Chickpea flour is known as gram flour or besan in South Asia and used frequently in Asian cooking.
  • In Portugal, they are one of the main ingredients in rancho, eaten with pasta and meat, including Portuguese sausages, or with rice. 
  • In Spain, they are used cold in tapas and salads, as well as in cocido madrileño. 
  • In Italy, chickpeas are eaten with pasta or in soup. In southern Italy, chickpea flour is made into a batter for panella, a sort of crepe.
  • In Egypt, chickpeas are used as a topping for kushari.
  • In the Philippines, chickpeas preserved in syrup are eaten as sweets and in desserts such as halo-halo. 
  • And just for fun some varieties of chickpeas can be popped and eaten like popcorn.
  • The chickpea-derived liquid can be used as an egg white replacement to make meringue.

How to cook them.

Fresh picked Chickpeas are usually rapidly boiled for 10 minutes and then simmered for a longer periods until soft. Dried chickpeas need a long cooking time (1–2 hours) but will easily fall apart when cooked longer. If soaked for 12–24 hours before use, cooking time can be shortened by around 30 minutes. Chickpeas can also be cooked in the pressure cooker, sous vide or slow cooked in a ShuttleChef.  Canned Chickpeas are the easiest to prepare used straight from the tin, rinsed you can roast, steam, add them to a salad or any dish.

Chickpeas are a nutrient-dense food, providing rich content protein, dietary fibre, folate, iron and phosphorus, thiamin, vitamin B6, and zink. They have been associated with a number of possible health benefits for medical conditions. Diabetes, Bone Health, Blood Pressure, Cholesterol, Inflammation, Cancer and Heart Health.

Rustic Chickpea Salad recipe in Our Galley's Salad Ebook Recipe Ebooks

Bored to death by the idea of tossing that can of chickpeas into your salad for the umpteenth time? It's time to up the game. If you've got a can of chickpeas, you've got the makings for a fast, plant-based meal that satisfies. Check out some of the ways we use chickpeas on Our Galley Vegetarian page ... Vegetarian Recipes

Chickpea Truffles
Checkout this great page for inspiration 


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