Old is certainly not a word I've used to describe chickpeas in the past; however this latest superfood to hit grocery store shelves is in fact a much younger version of the beloved chickpea: the green garbanzo bean.
These little green guys are harvested three to six months prior to regular chickpeas, so are still in their live green state when they are picked. The result is a more nutrient dense chickpea. The beans are then frozen within three hours of being picked, meaning they've retained a significant amount of nutrition in comparison to canned chickpeas.
As a nutritionist, there are plenty of reasons why these have become a staple in my pantry, or freezer, I should say. First of all, the green garbanzo is higher in protein and fiber compared to a regular chickpea. For a 113g serving, the green garbanzos have almost double the protein. We know now that high protein foods are excellent in regulating blood sugar, which in turn can lead to weight-loss and better energy, among other benefits. The green garbanzo is also a great source of iron and vitamin A as well, important for both energy and eyesight. Personally, I love that the beans are non-GMO and harvested without the use of insecticides.
Last, but certainly not least, they taste amazing. I'd describe the young chickpea as similar to a regular chickpea, but much fresher tasting. They have a mild flavour and can essentially be used the exact same way you would use a regular chickpea, like in hummus, for example. If you're wanting to pick some up, look for these protein packed green garbanzos in the frozen sections of the grocery store, or in North America, in the fresh salad bar of popular chains like Whole Foods & Trader Joe's.
Here is my favourite Garlic-y Green Garbanzo Bean Hummus recipe.
- 3 large cloves garlic (careful - it's garlicky)
- 2 cups green garbanzo beans
- 1/4 cup tahini
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
- juice of 1 lemon, well squeezed
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- pepper to taste
While food processor is running, drop in peeled garlic cloves to mince them. Add in all remaining ingredients, except the olive oil, and mix. Pour in olive oil through the top of the processor. (Option to add extra olive oil if you want it to be a creamier consistency.) Sprinkle with some extra cayenne for garnish and spice.