Life is filled with views and counter views – and the world of food is no exception!
While we have a lot of love for MiNDFOOD magazine, we did raise our eyebrows at an article that appeared in the middle of last year (it’s the one with Sir David Attenborough on the cover), singing the praises of canned chickpeas when it comes to taste and nutrition.
Fresh is always best.
Chickpeas, also known by their Spanish name, garbanzo beans, are undoubtedly a wonderfully nutritious legume. Packed with protein, fibre, magnesium, iron and folate they’re increasingly popular, especially as a meat alternative in vegetarian and vegan diets. But to suggest canned products are the equal of freshly-grown or sprouted chickpeas? Well, we can only disagree Dear Editor ;-)
Grow your own.
Now clearly if you love chickpeas and the canned version is all you have available, well, that’s probably going to have to suffice. But if you want to enjoy the full chickpea experience, always go for the freshest options possible.
According to studies overseen by the American health publisher, Healthline, just one cup (140 grams) of chickpea sprouts offers a whopping 36 grams of protein, together with around 5% of the average adult daily requirement of Vitamin C and 40% of iron.
The great news is chickpeas are super easy to sprout yourself at home. Apart from seeds, all you’ll need is a jar and some water. They’ll usually be ready to eat in just 3-5 days. When they are, they’ll be packed with a far higher nutritional content than canned chickpeas – and taste so much better too.
More goodness, less nasties.
Importantly, by sprouting your own chickpeas you’ll also be avoiding any chance of contamination from Bisphenol A (BPA) – an industrial chemical found in the coating on the inside of many food cans and containers – as well as a number of other health watchouts, including typically high concentrations of sodium and salt.
(If you’re interested, the USA-based Livestrong Foundation outlines many of the disadvantages of eating canned chickpeas here).
That’s food for thought, heh?