I was shopping a few months ago at Sprouts Farmers Market when I stumbled upon a bag of dried chickpeas. Silly me, I didn’t realize stores sold dried chickpeas. The only chickpeas I’d ever known were in a can!
A variety of thoughts raced through my head… I started to wonder what in the world would someone make with dried chickpeas?!?
I put the bag of dried chickpeas* in my cart and promised myself I would figure it out later. The chickpeas were cheap and I love eating chickpeas, so what could possibly go wrong? There was bound to be a recipe that I could follow to help me figure out what to do with these little dried chickpeas.
When I got home, I put the dried chickpeas in my pantry and guess what, I forgot about them for a few months. (I really should clean out my pantry – I think it’s home to a lot of forgotten foods!)
“I am so making this,” I thought to myself.
So I took the Chickpea Stew recipe and adapted it to my liking, and voila, I made one heck of a delicious, nutritious and fun meal using those darn little dried legumes I bought long ago.
Using dried chickpeas are so easy to do – I don’t know why I was so afraid of them.
In order to prepare dried chickpeas, you need to do a little prep work ahead of time.
Soak the dried chickpeas overnight in water to loosen them up (they will slightly expand), and then boil them in water for about an hour the next day. Once they’re rehydrated, they are ready to eat as is and/or add to any dish.
OK, so using dried chickpeas proved to be no big deal after all. And the dried chickpeas are way cheaper than the canned stuff, and saving money is always a good thing, right?
I personally think there are many reasons to love chickpeas – dried, canned and all.
For starters, chickpeas are complex carbohydrates. This means they are digested slowly. You’ll feel fuller longer and you won’t have spikes and crashes in your energy like you do when you eat simple carbs like sugar and white refined grains.
I also love that chickpeas are loaded with protein and fiber. Filling up on this chickpea stew deterred me from overeating at dinner and later that night – in fact, after eating chickpeas, I don’t feel hungry for hours! Plus, the fiber helps us all maintain good digestion and keep away things like constipation. Yuk!
Oh, and have I mentioned that chickpeas are oh-so-good for you? That’s right, chickpeas contain high levels of iron, zinc, folate, phosphorus and B vitamins, all essential nutrients our bodies need to maintain good health. And when you eat more plant foods you eat less meat… and, well, we could all stand to eat less meat. (Meat isn’t exactly a health food, is is?)
Overall, this delicious chickpea stew provided not only a healthy meal for my family last week, but also a hearty, vegan meal that everyone loved… even the kids (I’m serious, my kids loved it!). Oh, and I haven’t even mentioned how awesome my house smelled that night…
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