Before transitioning to a plant based diet over three years ago, I can honestly say I have never eaten a chickpea, aka garbanzo bean, in my life. Hard to believe, right? When I tell you this, I am not just talking about eating the bean itself (which I would never have considered). I am also talking about the most famous preparations of the garbanzo bean as well here. No falafels….No hummus. Anytime I would visit a Mediterranean place, I would typically just get some sort of a meat on a stick with plain old white rice. I know it sounds strange….but I have to admit that it is the truth.
After cutting nasty processed food out of my diet, I really had to start opening my mind and being a little more adventurous with my food selection. I still remember the day I had my first falafel. It was a glorious day – the sun was shining and the birds were singing. It seemed like everything had came together so perfectly for that moment in time when the crispy, cilantroey, fried ball first grazed my taste buds. After that first bite, I realized I had been seriously missing out on some delicious flavors.
These days, I use chickpeas quite frequently in my household. Not only do I find any excuse to eat falafels, but I also I use them in lots of other cool ways. I especially love to use chickpeas when I am baking gluten free goodies for the Farmer’s Markets. They are full of protein and fiber and their flavor is so mild, it is very easy to hide in sweet treats.
What is your favorite dish using chickpeas? I am looking for other ways to use this magical bean in your kitchen? Also, on a side note, I have an exciting recipe coming soon for my veganized “Meat on a Stick” Mediterranean recipe. I can’t wait to share!