Chickpeas, Four Deliciously Different Ways

Photo: Heavenlynn Healthy
Chickpeas, garbanzo beans—whatever you want to call them, we're filling our kitchen cabinets and reusable shopping bags with the protein-packed legume. (In fact, legumes are having their turn in the spotlight since the UN declared 2016 the International Year of Pulses).

And there's a reason that we fill our bowls with the super-seed, and blend it into delicious dips for feel-good snacking. Chickpeas provide about 7 grams of protein per 1/2 cup, and are loaded with fiber for a healthy gut.

So if you're only fluent in store-bought hummus, prepare to expand your garbanzo horizons.

Break out your food processor and your crock pot, because we're sharing four of the most delicious ways cook and eat chickpeas—with plenty of recipes, of course.

chickpea kale salad
Photo: Live Eat Learn

1. Roast them

Coat them in a little olive oil (hello, healthy fats!) and your favorite spices then pop them in the oven until toasted, and you've got the perfect snack or salad topping. Roasted chickpeas add crunch and flavor when you need to spice up your dinner, or get a protein boost after a sweaty spin class.

These spicy roasted chickpeas make for a great snack, while the star of this kale salad (pictured above!) may be the fibrous legume. Or, if you want to change up the warm curries that have been getting you through the winter, try this eggplant curry with roasted chickpeas.

lemon falafel
Photo: Pralines and Greens

2. Blend them

While we love them whole, a blender or food processor transform the chickpea into brilliant meatless meals...

This green goddess hummus takes a classic to a whole new level, while the chickpea makes these flavorful veggie burgers both filling and full of protein. And if you're a fan of falafel, the delish lemon falafel, pictured above, are super cute as dippable apps or mini sliders.

butternut squash chickpea red lentil stea
Photo: Warm Vanilla Sugar

3. Slow-cook them

If you have the patience to let your chickpeas simmer for several hours (while you're at work!), the possibilities for stews and chilis are endless.

Some must-try recipes? Vegan mole chili (did someone mention savory chocolate recipes?) and butternut squash, chickpea, and red lentil chili (pictured above). Or if you're looking for something a little lighter, try these fresh yet filling chickpea lettuce wraps.

Garbanzo Bean Salad
Photo: Mother Rimmy's

4. Drain and rinse them

Could it get any simpler? You're just a can-opener away from an array of in-a-pinch lunches and dinners.

For lunch, we're packing this smashed chickpea and avocado sandwich. Dinner? We're having a tough time deciding between a Mediterranean chickpea salad (pictured above!) or this winter spa salad...

Can't get enough chickpeas? You're not alone. NYC restaurant Maman loves mixing the legume-of-the-year with roasted vegetables for a mouthwatering salad that you can re-create at home

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