Chickpeas are a important source of protein and contain over 14 grams per cup. They are also a great source of fiber, vitamins and minerals. However, that being said, Chickpeas (any legume for that matter) are coated with a substance (protein) called lectin. Lectin is the legumes protective barrier from pests. Our digestive system has a hard time with lectins and can cause a variety of problems when consumed. That means, this beneficial protein dense food is also problematic. There is hope (trumpets)
The humble chickpea is a nutrient dense powerhouse. And if you’ve been a plant based eater very long, you know it’s a regular staple in your diet. So what is it and where does it come from?
The chickpea or chick pea (Cicer arietinum) is an annual legume. It has different names and is known by different types. Gram or Bengal gram, Garbanzo bean and Egyptian pea.
The Egyptian pea was one of the first cultivated crops. The oldest remains were found in the Middle East and have dated back 7500 years.
We can not only remove lectins, but also boost the nutrients found in this amazing food. Remember when mom or grandma would soak her beans overnight? I was told it was called de-gassing. (So you didn’t get gas) Gas is one of the body’s responses to lectins. Well come to find out soaking any legume softens the protective lectin on the bean. When cooked, the heat removes most the lectin. (pictured here) Walla! But wait, there’s more.
So how do we boost the nutritional benefits in the chickpea? I’m glad you asked. The key is sprouting! Yes sprouting your chickpeas. It’s easier than you think, but planning ahead is important because it takes an extra day or so. How does sprouting increase the nutrients? You start with a dried/dormant food and make it come alive. Once alive the food contains enzymes, vitamins and minerals it didn’t have in it’s dried state. Next I will give you step by step instructions on how to make your chickpeas the best they can be.
Start with 2 cups, or 16oz of dried chick peas. (I buy and recommend you buy organic if possible.) Rinse and sort them. Place them in a large bowl and cover them with double amount of water. cover the bowl and soak for 12 to 24 hours.
Drain and rinse. Once they have been drained and rinsed, Rince out the bowl you used to soak them in. Place chickpeas into this bowl. (Make sure to look at the peas so you can tell when they have sprouted.) Cover for 12 hours. They will have started to sprout at the end of 12 hours, however you can go another 12 if necessary. Chickpeas naturally have a small sprout tail. This sprout tail will become bigger and more pronounced when sprouted. (Pictured below.)
Once sprouted, you will parboil your chickpeas. give the chickpeas a good rinsing and place them in a large pot. Cover them with water till about 2 inches over the chickpeas. Bring to a boil and boil 10 minutes. You will start to see foam rising to top. Scoop as much off as possible. After the 10 minutes. Drain and rinse the chickpeas once more. You have just removed most the chickpeas lectins and increased their nutrient bio-availability. Your chickpeas are now ready to cook for your favorite recipes.
I hope you enjoyed this post and I encourage you to do some more research on the subjects of lectins and sprouting. I have included links to articles I found helpful. And please follow me on FB for information and fun stuff I don’t share here.
Sources: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chickpea https://www.precisionnutrition.com/all-about-lectins https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/280244#nutrition https://draxe.com/nutrition/sprout/ (here you won’t be making the whole sprout, just making come alive!)
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