Chickpeas 101

Garbanzo Beans ChickpeasChickpeas have been a staple of the Middle East for almost 7,000 years! Since chickpeas were first cultivated in the Mediterranian basin and spread to India and Ethiopia and from there around the world.  The ancient Egyptians, Romans, and Greeks used chickpeas as a staple in their diet.  In the 16th century chickpeas were brought to the New World.


Did you know?  

Quick facts and trivia about chickpeas:

  • Cicer arietinum (scientific name) also called: Chickpea (English), Bengal gram (Indian), Garbanzo (Latin America), Hommes, Hamaz (Arab world), Nohud, Lablabi (Turkey), and Shimbra (Ethiopia).  Other laymen terms that reference the chickpea are gram, garbs, Ceci bean, and Kabuli Chana.
  • The most common type of chickpea is beige; other varieties can be black, green, or red.
  • The chickpea (garbanzo bean) is the most widely consumed legume in the world.
  • Chickpeas slightly resemble a chicken butt but, that is not why they're called chickpeas.
  • The Latin name for garbanzo (chickpeas) bean is Cicer arietinum, meaning "small ram," reflecting slightly (if you squint) that the legume looks like a ram's head. 
  • Chickpeas are a staple of many "healing diets" because of their nutritional value.
  • In some countries, cooked young chickpea leaves are considered a green vegetable.  


Why Chickpeas Are Good for You:

  • Chickpeas are a complex carbohydrate which the body digest slowly, so there is no sugar spike or crash.  Also, chickpeas have a low glycemic index.  Controlling blood sugar is especially important to those with blood sugar disorders, such as diabetes or hypoglycemia.  
  • Chickpeas have a high fiber content.  Fiber works to create a substance in the digestive tract that bonds with fatty acids, this helps to balance cholesterol levels.  Fiber is known to be important in managing and controlling hypertension
  • Eating a serving of beans every day can reduce the chance of a heart attack and help to balance LDL cholesterol, know as "BAD" cholesterol. 
  • The minerals and vitamins, such as vitamin B6 (folate), iron, phosphorus, and zinc, found in chickpeas are essential for good health.  Three nutrients found in chickpeas; magnesium, manganese, and vitamin B6 help combat symptoms of PMS.   
  • Healthy protein plays a vital part in many functions of the body, including our vital organs, hormone levels, muscles, and tissue.  Protein gives our body the resources it needs to function well and age slower
  • The protein, vitamin, and fiber in chickpeas help to maintain energy.  The combined benefits of protein, vitamin, nutrients, and fiber help us to feel full longer, level blood sugar, and fuel our body.
  • Chickpeas are an excellent source of fiber. Fiber is essential for heart health, controlling blood sugar, prevention of cancer, heart disease, obesity, kidney stone, PMS, and more.
See resources listed at the bottom for more details on the benefits of chickpeas to the health of a body.


Environmental Benefits

  • Pulses replenish the soil they're grown in.


Chickpea Recipes

Kids & Cookie Dough Hummus

Cookie Dough Hummus by Bean Creative

Classic Hummus

Classic Hummus Base by Bean Creative