Switching up the foods you eat by adding more nutrient-rich items to your diet can dramatically improve your health and longevity.
As a dietitian, one of my always favorite healthy foods in my kitchen is a can of salt-free (or low-sodium) organic chickpeas. Chickpeas are a type of legume in the same family as beans and peanuts. Chickpeas are sometimes called chickpeas, the most common chickpeas have a round shape and beige in color, but other types of chickpeas are black, green or red.
A staple of the Mediterranean diet, chickpeas are rich in fiber and protein, both of which are essential for healthy bones, muscles, and skin. (One cup of chickpeas provides 12.5 grams of fiber and 14.5 grams of protein.)
Even longevity expert Dan Buettner agrees on the health benefits of chickpeas. Buettner, who coined the term “blue zones” — or places around the world where people live the longest — has asked dozens of prominent nutritionists and food scientists what people should eat to enjoy long, healthy lives. And chickpeas were found to be among the most recommended foods, “like a flashing neon sign.”
Here are six simple, quick and innovative ways to incorporate chickpeas into your daily eating routine:
1. Replace croutons with roasted chickpeas in salads
This is a great way to add crunch, fiber, protein, and flavor to your bowl of greens.
Roasted chickpeas are easily available in most grocery stores, but you can also make them at home by rinsing and drying canned chickpeas. (It helps to soak them in between clean paper towels or tea towels.) Then add a few tablespoons of olive oil and grill it on a cookie sheet at 400°F for 20 to 30 minutes, or until it turns crispy and golden brown.
If you want a stronger flavor, add spices such as paprika, cumin, or black pepper.
The key to filling your smoothie is adding protein and healthy fats, so if you don’t have a protein powder on hand, chickpeas are a great source of plant-based protein.
They also give a nice boost of fiber to your smoothie for a more balanced meal — and adequate fiber is something many of us lack. 2017 analysis in The American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine found that 95% of Americans do not consume enough fiber each day.
To make chickpea smoothie, simply mix almond milk, banana, chickpeas, dates, and peanut butter.
3. Enjoy bites of hummus dough without bread as snacks
They contain protein and fiber, which is key to keeping me going until my next meal. It also prevents the blood sugar crashes that can come from eating sugary snacks.
In a food processor, combine drained and washed chickpeas, nut butter, oats and a sweetener of your choice (such as honey or maple syrup) and blend until smooth. After mixing some chocolate chips, use a spoon to extract about 2 tablespoons of the mixture and roll it with your hands into a bite-sized ball.
Store everything in an airtight container.
4. Top the pizza with barbecue-flavored chickpeas
I like to use roasted chickpeas as a topping for pizza. It’s a simple way to add both protein and flavor to any slice of savory pie.
Simply mix your favorite BBQ sauce with the chickpeas, toss to coat evenly, then spread on a savory topping.
One of my favorite quick breakfast or lunch is Chickpea and avocado toast.
It’s easy: mash some chickpeas with avocado and flavor with spices (I like adding cumin and chili powder to mine), lemon juice, and cilantro. Spread the mixture over whole-grain toast and top with a pinch of chili flakes.
6. Hummus dumplings for brunch
You will need some washed canned chickpeas, eggs, nut butter, baking soda, vanilla extract and milk (you can use alternatives like oat or almond milk). Mix until the mixture is smooth, then heat the pancakes on a tray, letting each side cook for a few minutes. Serve with your favorite fruit toppings!
Rahaf Al Bochi He is a nutritionist and founder olive tree nutritionNutrition Consulting Company. Featured in numerous publications, including CNN, US News & World Report, and health day. Rahaf is the 2020 Georgia Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Media Award recipient. Follow her on Twitter Tweet embed.
do not miss: