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Garbanzos (Chick Peas)


An staple in Middle Eastern dishes and a good source of fiber, garbanzos are inserting themselves into our low-fat, low-cholesterol meal plans.  Deborah Madison, in The Savory Way, and Moosewood Restaurant, in Low-Fat Favorites, have recipes that combine garbanzos with spinach and pasta, as an ingredient of salads, and, of course, hummus.  The American Heart Association includes them in an artichoke quinoa pilaf with feta cheese, with broccoli rabe over pasta, and, of course, hummus.  

When they are ground, they are mixed with some oil and other ingredients to become falafel, a flour product that can be found in most retail stores in their international food sections.   The patties can be deep fried or baked.   Add a seasoning of your choice to spice them up. The patties can be substituted for the meat in gyros, or as a side dish with any of our yogurt sauces

Make a pilaf with your favorite grain (rice, millet, couscous, kasha or buckwheat groats, or other).  Use broth, as in Rice, to cook the grain, reserving a little to toss into the pilaf.  Add chopped bell peppers, tomatoes, other favorite vegetables, toss with some safflower oil and Indian Seasonings or garam marsala.

Hummus is made by processing cooked garbanzos with enough water (reserved from can if using canned beans)  to make a smooth puree.  Saute some onions and a garlic and add the mixture with a little tahini (pourable sesame seed paste) if desired, some lime juice and a little olive oil.  See Creole or Indian Seasonings for spices.  American Heart Association Cookbook adds roasted peppers and toasted sesame seeds to its recipe.

One cup of dried garbanzos will yield 3 cups cooked.  They should be soaked overnight in enough water to cover 3"-4" and cooked at a ratio of four cups water.  Cooking time varies among cookbooks, but 1 1/2 hours would be a safe guess.

Favorite recipes for garbanzo beans:

3-bean salad
Wheatberry Salad
As a substitute for barley in Minestrone
Rice and Garbanzos and as an addition to Sausage Soup in Mom's Recipes

Garbanzo beans are higher in Kj calories, sodium, and carbohydrates than kidney beans.   Nutritional values in calcium, potassium, and folates are also higher than kidney beans.