Start by… cooking up a big pot of chickpeas – about 1 kg of dried pulses gives you well over 2 kg of the cooked stuff to play around with.
I soak the chickpeas overnight, drain them and then cover in water before simmering until tender. Once ready I season the pot with a little salt, allow the peas to cool and then keep them in the fridge to dive into over the next 5 days.
Adding a couple of tablespoons of cooked chickpeas to any fruit/vegetable smoothie not only gives a wonderfully creamy result but makes it more nutritious and keeps you feeling full for longer.
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My student standby soup takes about 15 minutes to make. Just fry some onions and a little garlic in some olive oil. Add chickpeas, a few chilli flakes and enough vegetable stock to cover. Cook for 5 minutes and then whizz until smooth and season with fresh mint, lemon juice, salt and pepper.
I like to warm some crushed garlic in extra virgin olive oil and then stir the chickpeas around in the oil before adding to a salad.
4: Roast vegetable hummus
Blend an equal weight of chickpeas and roast veg together (carrots, beetroot or butternut squash work well) with extra virgin olive oil, a little fresh garlic, fresh lemon juice, salt and pepper.
5: Chickpeas and greens
Fry onions and garlic in olive oil and then add chickpeas along with some spinach, kale or Savoy cabbage and allow the veg to wilt over a medium heat. Sprinkle with plenty of grated parmesan, lemon zest and juice, salt and pepper.
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5 reasons why chickpeas are great:
I’ve been excited about chickpeas for years.
But having just come back from Rome – where, rather amazingly, I attended my appointment ceremony as The European, United Nations Food and Agricultural Organisation, Special Ambassador for Pulses (there’s a mouthful) – I’ve been reminded how bonkers it is that these miraculous little power houses are so under utilised.
If you need a reminder of the nutritional and sustainability benefits of chickpeas then read on…
- Served with a cereal such as rice or wheat they make a great alternative source of protein to meat.
- They are packed with fibre and complex carbohydrates so that you digest them slowly, keeping you full for longer (less snacking).
- They are super cheap, especially if you cook your own.
- Pulses have one of the lowest carbon footprints of any food group and actually enrich the soil.
- They are incredibly versatile – and taste great.
This is the third in a series of blogs from Jenny Chandler, author of Pulse and Cool Kids Cook. Check out her amazing lentil tips here.