Chickpeas are one of the healthiest foods you can eat.
To reduce the effects of eczema on my hands and arms I stopped eating foods that came in packages. Crackers and cookies, sauces and dips, and even condiments. This had a detoxing sort of effect on my liver and kidneys and I cannot tell you how quickly (relatively speaking) the eczema became less irritating. I endured three weeks of diligent ‘whole foods only’ diet with massive amounts of water to flush everything toxic out of my system.
The first week was the hardest.
Today I maintain minor symptoms that only flare up when triggered by something I shouldn’t have regularly anymore. (For me that’s wheat, sugar and alcohol. I make exceptions occasionally, usually on weekends, and go back to eliminating those foods during the week.)
Detoxing is hard for a foodie like me. But very much worth it. I actually only take an antihistamine once or twice a week now, as opposed to daily. This is tremendous progress for me.
Eating whole foods only is a little easier when the growing season is in progress. But chickpeas are economical and available pretty much everywhere. I bet every corner store carries either cans, or bags of dried, chickpeas.
Chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans, are full of nutritious benefits. They are high in protein making them a good addition to vegetarian meals or side dishes, even for a meat eater like me. A serving of about 100 g of chickpeas (3.5 oz) equals to almost 9 grams of protein (courtesy Wikipedia). I’m always looking to increase the kids’ protein content, and chickpeas seem to fit the bill nicely. Certainly for me, eating protein when I crave candy helps my blood sugars to stay even rather than go through the roller coaster that is my body when I consume, say, chocolate.
(I love chocolate. I still eat it, but not every time I crave it.)
It helps that I love the taste of chickpeas, which of course is helpful, and especially appreciate that they don’t create the same symptoms on the body as beans do. No bloating or gas. Bonus.
I can eat chickpeas plain or tossed in olive oil and sea salt as a snack, or tossed in a salad (like in the picture above). Sometimes I even make my own hummus. I’ve also been known to stretch meat sauces with chickpeas, and if there’s a kid who complains about this (there’s always one….) I smash them up into a paste first and mix it with the ground beef. Same thing for hamburger patties. No one says anything and I increased everyone’s nutrition. Win-win. 🙂
My favorite recipes with chickpeas include a simple salad tossed with a bit of olive oil and either lemon juice, or apple cider vinegar (the organic, unpasteurized kind with the mother in it). Fresh herbs from the garden, young swiss chard chopped small, spring onions all go well with the chickpeas. I rarely forget to put cherry tomatoes in, but broccoli florets are also a very nice way to enhance flavour and colour. Sometimes I steam the broccoli in the microwave for just a minute or so, other times I toss them in raw.
Delicious, I tell you!
While I was detoxing for the benefit of my eczema, chickpeas were a staple for me. They still are. Whenever cans of good quality chickpeas go on sale I pick up a few and keep them in my pantry. (The sodium content on some cans of chickpeas can be quite high, so a good rinse is recommended there.)
Alternately, I buy a bag of dried chickpeas and during a regular meal-prep time, put some in a pot full of water and boil them till tender. Takes 15, 20 minutes at most.
Do you eat chickpeas and if so, what do you recommend making with them?