Saturday, March 16, 2013

Chickpeas, aka garbanzo beans

So the 21 day cleanse is drawing to a close.  At this point I intend to continue to minimize my exposure to dairy and gluten.  The Husband pretty much abandoned the cleanse last Saturday, although he has said he is going to make an effort to eat in a more healthy way.  Maybe a piece of fruit once in awhile.  Translation - he doesn't want to cook his own food and will cheerfully consume whatever I set in front of him.

This week I didn't really make many of the recipes from the cleanse.  Instead I prepared recipes from various sources, including Clean Food by Terry Walters.  One of the recipes I am crazy about - crispy roasted chickpeas.  I am a big hummus fan, so I figured roasted chickpeas would be delicious.  However, I entirely underestimated their addictive properties.  I ate almost an entire can of chickpeas in one sitting.

The recipe is super simple:
3 cups cooked chickpeas (I used 1 can since this was a trial run)
2-3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt
Seasonings of your choice (I used cumin and chili powder)

Preheat oven to 400.

Rinse chickpeas and drain well.  Pat dry with a towel and spread evenly over parchment lined baking sheets.  Drizzle with olive oil and make sure they are all coated.  Sprinkle with a generous amount of sea salt and seasoning.  Roast for about 30 minutes or until golden crisp.  Devour.

There you have it, the reason chickpeas became my new favorite snack food.  Looking forward to finding more ways to enjoy the chickpea.

Interestingly, some recent studies have shown that domesticated chickpeas contain twice the tryptophan as the wild form.  Tryptophan is a precursor to serotonin, so maybe they are elevating my mood after all.

As for nomenclature, chickpeas having two names can be a source of confusion.  Once I sent the Husband to the store for chickpeas, and he can back with a can of spring peas because he couldn't locate anything called chickpeas.

The name chickpeas is actually derived from the Latin cicer, whereas "garbanzo" comes from Basque through Spanish.  It does make me wonder, though, what the previous name for these legumes was, as it was originally cultivated in the Middle East (history here).  The domesticated chickpea has been found in archeological sites such as Akarcay Tepe in Turkey and Jericho in the West Bank.  The earliest discovery to date, though, was in Tell el-Kerkh in the late 10th millennium BC.  Wow.

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