5 Delicious Ways to Eat Chickpeas

Article posted in: Diet & Nutrition
chickpea patty

We’ve pledged our love to pulses—aka dry peas, lentils and chickpeas—here quite a bit. So it should come as no surprise that today we’re going gaga for garbanzo beans and getting cheeky over chickpeas. They have a great balance of protein and complex carbs for sustained energy, plus a punch of fiber, potassium, calcium and folate.

And apart from being a nutritious addition to your diet, chickpeas offer great texture and versatility to your cooking.

So we’ll jump right in with our five tasty chickpea recipes, some old favorites with a new spin, and some unique recipes you’ll just have to try.

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1. HUMMUS
Let’s start with the basics: Our spin on a classic dip that’s the perfect match for veggies. Making your own hummus is super simple and tastes even better than store-bought. Give it a whirl today!

Into a food processor:
1 1/2 cups chickpeas, drained and rinsed (save liquid from can), 1 clove garlic, 2 tablespoons olive oil, juice from half a lemon, sea salt and cracked black pepper to taste. Blend until creamy, using a small amount of the reserved liquid, only if desired, to reach a creamier texture. Have fun with add ins, too: we love roasted red peppers, Sriracha hot sauce, or cilantro and lime.

Makes: 6 servings
One serving counts as: 1 SmartCarb on Nutrisystem

2. NACHO-STYLE ROASTED CHICKPEAS
A crispy, satisfying snack that’s full of flavor, these roasted chickpeas make a tasty addition to whole grain veggie wraps or green salads—and are perfect by the handful, too.

Into a plastic freezer bag:
2 cups chickpeas, drained and rinsed. Spray generously with cooking spray and shake to coat. Add 2 tablespoons fat-free Parmesan cheese, 2 teaspoons chili powder, 2 teaspoons onion powder and sea salt to taste. Shake again, then spread into a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 to 45 minutes, until golden brown and slightly crispy. Turn often to cook evenly.

Makes: 4 servings
One serving counts as: 1 SmartCarb and 1 Extra on Nutrisystem

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3. CHICKPEA SALAD
This is a yummy spin on deli-style salads, starring our favorite legume: The chickpea. This stores well in the fridge for up to three days and is great tucked into a whole wheat pita with lettuce and tomato slices, or just as delicious in romaine lettuce wraps!

Into a large mixing bowl:
2 cups chickpeas, drained, rinsed and mashed slightly with a fork, 1 cup total finely diced celery and minced green onions, 1/4 cup tahini, 1/4 cup (or more) water, 1/4 cup roasted unsalted sunflower seeds, salt, pepper and spicy brown mustard to taste. Stir until well mixed and add water as needed to bring to your desired consistency. Enjoy right away or after chilling in the fridge!

Makes: 4 servings
One serving counts as: 1 SmartCarb + 1 PowerFuel and 1 Extra on Nutrisystem

4. CHICKPEA BURGERS
Here’s a healthy burger recipe that’s super easy to whip up and customizes really well to match your favorite flavors. Make up a big batch or two and freeze the patties in parchment paper for a quick weeknight dinner solution! Serve on top of a big green salad or in a whole grain bun with your favorite toppings.

Into a food processor:
1 cup cooked quinoa, 1 cup cooked chickpeas, drained and rinsed, 2 eggs, 2 cup chopped veggies (we like a mix of onion, garlic, celery, mushrooms and carrot) sautéed to your desired softness (using zero-calorie cooking spray), plus salt, pepper and spices to taste (try chili powder and cumin for a Tex-Mex taste or curry powder and paprika for a curry spice burger). Pulse until combined, but a bit of texture remains. Form mixture into four patties and pan fry in a nonstick skillet with cooking spray until brown on both sides.

Makes: 4 burgers
One serving counts as: 1 SmartCarb + 1/2 PowerFuel + 1/2 veggie serving on Nutrisystem

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5. CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIE DIP
We saved the best for last: Dessert. Wait, chickpeas in a dessert? Yep, we went there! This dip is so delicious; you’ll just have to give it a try to believe us. We love this dip with apple slices, but have honestly been caught eating it right from the spoon.

Into a food processor:
1 cup cooked chickpeas, drained and rinsed, 1/4 cup almond butter and 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract. Blend until smooth and creamy. Fold in 2 tablespoons sugar-free semi-sweet chocolate chips and sugar-free sweetener to taste, if desired. Refrigerate until cool. Devour!

Makes: 4 servings
One serving counts as: 1 SmartCarb + 1 PowerFuel + 1 Extra on Nutrisystem