Like kidney beans, chickpeas are a great source of protein for vegetarians and everyone else really! They are also very rich in fibre. Insoluble fibre binds to and removes cholesterol and prevents constipation and digestive disorders. Soluble fibre also lowers cholesterol and helps to prevent heart disease and strokes.
Chickpeas are very high in folate, which lowers the levels of an amino acid called homocysteine in the blood. Homocysteine is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease, so it is important to keep levels down.
Chickpeas are also a good source of iron, zinc, calcium, magnesium and potassium for balancing body fluids and relaxing the arteries.
Houmous is the obvious use of chickpeas and always tasty! Pop a tin of rinsed cooked chickpeas into a blender and pulse. Add a chopped garlic clove, a tbsp of tahini paste and the juice of one lemon. Blitz everything together. Season with some salt and pepper and add a glug of olive oil until the mixture becomes spoonable (seems like a good word here). Transfer to a bowl and sprinkle with paprika, chopped parsley and drizzle of olive oil. Lovely with as an accompaniment to lamb tagine to keep up the Middle Eastern theme or with carrot sticks and pitta bread. Avocado houmous is great too…