What are Chanas, Chickpeas, and Garbanzo beans?
Chanas, Chickpeas, and Garbanzo beans are different terms for the same bean. The term chana is an Indian term meaning chickpea. Garbanzo and Chickpea are terms that also have different geographical lineage. Garbanzo coming from Spanish-speaking countries, whereas Chickpea hails from Latin and European background.
An Eco-Friendly Food
Beans, in general, are a very sustainable protein source. Not only do beans require less water and tend to be a high yield crop, beans have an important function for soil health. They fix nitrogen, which means they can convert nitrogen from the atmosphere into the soil, improving overall soil health. Without nitrogen in the soil, plants cannot grow.
Beans, in general, are a good source of protein, healthy carbohydrates, and fiber. Chickpeas specifically will get you, per 1/2 cup portion, about 7 grams of protein, 22 grams of nutrient dense carbohydrates, and 6 grams of fiber.
Since chickpeas are a plant-source of protein, they are one of the great protein sources that contain phytochemicals. Phytochemicals are compounds found only in plant foods that provide health benefits related to proper cell division and cell processes. For example, chickpeas contain compounds called saponins, a class of phytonutrients that may have anti-cancer properties.
Using canned or dry chickpeas or garbanzo beans will be a nutritious and eco-friendly choice. Canned chickpeas are already cooked and ready to go for whatever preparation you are planning. Dry beans require more planning ahead, but are much more customizable.
If you are using dry garbanzo beans, a pre-soak is recommended. Soak dry beans in plenty of water for 8 hours, or over night, at room temperature. After soaking, rinse beans, and proceed with cooking. You can pressure cook or cook on the stove top.
Instant Pot Garbanzo Beans
Healthy Hummus Recipe
- 1 Food Processor
- 1 can chickpeas, drained Or 2 cups cooked chickepeas
- 1/3 cup tahini
- 2 whole garlic cloves
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1-2 Tbsp lemon juice
- 2-4 Tbsp water
- 2 pinches salt Or, to taste
- Using a food processor, add chickpeas, tahini, garlic, olive oil, and lemon juice. Pulse until combined. Mixture will be somewhat chunky at this point. Using a spatula or rubber scraper, scrape down the sides of the food processor.
- Add water, 1 Tbsp at a time and pulse until you reach your desired consistency.
- Add 2 pinches of kosher salt, or feel free to adjust this to taste. Blend continuously until smooth. If needed, scrape down the sides of the food processor and blend again to achieve even consistency throughout.
- Add your favorite seasoning powder for a new flavor! Try adding 1 Tbsp of curry powder or 1 Tbsp of za’atar seasoning.
- Add pickled or jarred vegetables: Jalapeños, Roasted Red Peppers, Artichokes, Green or Black Olives, etc. They will blend in nicely and give wonderful flavor!
- Or, chop pickled or jarred vegetables separately and sprinkle on top for a nice presentation.
How to enjoy:
- Serve this healthy hummus with raw vegetables, crackers, or pita chips as a dip.
- Make a hummus sandwich. Spread hummus on whole wheat bread, add cucumbers, sliced tomato, and feta cheese.
- Serve as a side dish with grilled meats and vegetables.