Garbanzo beans have a long shelf life, and are high in protein and fiber. They have been a staple in Middle Eastern, Indian, and Mediterranean dishes for many years. Evidence of garbanzo beans being cultivated has been found as early as 3500 BC from Jericho to Turkey to Greece. In recent years Americans have begun to fall in love with this mighty pulse.
Pulses, like lentils and garbanzo beans, are the edible seeds of plants in the legume family. The Palouse region in Washington State is known for its production of pulses. "The production of pulses promotes sustainable agriculture, pulse crops help decrease greenhouse gasses, increase soil health, and use less water than other crops."² Pulses, take nitrogen from the air and convert it to nitrogen for the soil, leaving the soil healthier where they are planted.
Garbanzo beans not only leave the soil healthier but they are an important staple for plant-based diets. Garbanzo beans themselves are good sources of protein, fiber and micronutrients. They have found popularity has a staple pantry ingredient and as crunchy snacks. The leftover liquid from a can of beans or from cooking dried beans, called aquafaba, is a fantastic egg replacer. When frothed this liquid can be used exactly like eggs whites, while being plant-based. Garbanzo bean flour, gram flour or chana dal, are all names for the flour that comes from these amazing pulses.
- Whole Wheat: 408 calories, 3g fat, 86g carbs, 16g protein (per cup)
- Chickpea Flour: 356 calories, 6g fat, 53g carbs, 21g protein (per cup)
Garbanzo bean flour is as versatile as the bean itself. It can be used to make instant hummus, as an egg replacer, or as a gluten-free alternative to wheat flours. Chickpea or garbanzo bean flour is denser than whole wheat flours making it a fantastic binder for baking. You can substitute garbanzo bean flour for wheat flour as a one-to-one ratio.
Here is an easy four-ingredient peanut butter cookie recipe to start off your garbanzo bean flour baking adventures.
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² Pulses.org . "What are Pulses?" - pulses.org "Pulses.org" Pulses, Web.