There are many reasons why the Mediterranean Diet is considered the healthiest in the world (so much so that UNESCO has included it on its “Intangible Cultural Heritage” list), and here to take a bow for the part it plays is the humble chickpea.
With their creamy texture and delicate, nutty taste, chickpeas have found glory in our own diets through the evolution of hummus into a virtual household staple. Meanwhile, brands are catching on to the versatility of these small, round legumes—also known as garbanzo beans—as well as their potential health benefits for consumers.
Though chickpeas might appear unassuming, they pack a nutritional punch as a good source of protein, dietary fiber, resistant starch, vitamins and minerals (particularly calcium, folate, magnesium and potassium), as well as polyunsaturated fatty acids.
And when served up in savory or (increasingly) sweet creations, chickpeas are as tasty as great, on-the-go snacks, as they are as the anchor to a satisfying meal or morphed into a decadent sweet (dessert hummus, anyone?). So, whether puffed, fried, roasted or puréed; turned into pasta or cookies, or transformed into flour or bakery products; more and more brands are jumping on the chickpea bandwagon.