Garbanzo Bean Boot Camp

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We are what we eat.  Health and wellness are exciting as we feel better. According to Healthline, garbanzos (also known as chickpeas) are a rich source of vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Chickpeas offer a variety of health benefits, such as improving digestions, aiding weight management, and reducing the risk of several diseases.

When I was younger, I would buy store-ready hummus. I then graduated to making hummus from canned garbanzos. Then I took the big plunge and learned to make hummus from freshly cooked garbanzo beans. There are many ways to cook beans. This is the way I cook them and to me it’s a comfort food that brings delicious eating experiences to my family and creates hygge memories.

How to Cook Garbanzo Beans:

For each cup of dry beans, add 1 tablespoon of uncooked millet. (For information on why to add millet and for an alternate method of cooking dry beans, click here.) Place beans and millet in a heavy pot. Cover with water and soak 6-8 hours or overnight. Rinse after soaking using a sieve with a tiny mesh so the millet does not wash away. Using the same heavy pan, cover the beans and millet with about 2 inches of water and simmer for 2- 2 ½ hours. Test for doneness. If soft, enjoy them in many varieties of dishes from roasted garbanzos to hummus to tabbouleh with garbanzos and beyond.

 

5 Minute Hummus

Ingredients:

  • 1 ¾ cups of fresh cooked garbanzo beans with millet
  • 1 clove garlic
  • ¼ cup olive oil, plus more for serving
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons tahini (sesame seed paste)
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 tablespoons chopped black olives
  • Dash smoked paprika
  • Sweet paprika

Instructions:

  1. In a food processor, puree the chickpeas and garlic with the olive oil, lemon juice, tahini, salt, olives, and a dash of smoked paprika until smooth and creamy. 
  2. Add 1 to 2 tablespoons of water or garbanzo broth as necessary to achieve the desired consistency. 
  3. Transfer hummus to a bowl and add a few olives to the top along with a few whole garbanzos. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with sweet paprika.

Hummus can be served as a dip with fresh vegetables, served with crackers and even used as a spread for sandwiches and flatbread.

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Another one of my favorite dishes is tabbouleh. This is a Middle Eastern dish packed with goodness and nutrition. The dish is bulgur and fresh vegetables with mint, lemon, and garlic. When I found this recipe, I fell in love with the flavor. Adding garbanzo beans to tabbouleh packs it with nutrition. This recipe is also one of my favorites this time of year because the vegetables that are used can be straight from the garden. 

Tabbouleh with Garbanzo Beans

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ cups boiling water
  • ¾ cups uncooked bulgur
  • 3 medium tomatoes (2 ¼ cups)
  • 8 medium green onions, chopped (1/2 cup)
  • 1 medium green bell pepper
  • 1 cup chopped cucumber (peeled)
  • 3 /4 cup fresh chopped parsley
  • 3-4 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
  • 1 ¾ cups fresh cooked garbanzos

For Lemon Garlic Dressing:

  • ¼ cup lemon juice, freshly squeezed
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground pepper
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped

Instructions:

  1. In a medium bowl, pour boiling water over bulgur.  Let stand 1 hour.
  2. In a tightly covered container, shake all lemon garlic dressing ingredients.
  3. Drain any remaining water from bulgur. Stir remaining ingredients into bulgur. Pour dressing over tabbouleh, toss.

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For a quick treat, roasted garbanzo beans are a great treat to snack on or as a topping on a salad.  Enjoy the possibilities.

Recipes adapted from Sara Quessenberry and Betty Crocker.