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Superfood of the Month: Chickpeas

Chickpeas are incredibly easy to include in your diet because they are affordable and available in most grocery stores.
Credit: mescioglu - stock.adobe.com

WEST COLUMBIA, S.C. — Chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans, are part of the legume family. Chickpeas are loaded with protein, iron, zinc, fiber, folate and potassium. They are naturally low in saturated fat and sodium and cholesterol-free. Chickpeas are incredibly easy to include in your diet because they are affordable and available in most grocery stores in canned and dry varieties.

Health Benefits

Control Blood Sugar

Canned and dried chickpeas have a low glycemic index, which means your body absorbs and digests them slowly. They also have a type of starch that digests slowly. These factors help keep your blood sugar and insulin from going up too fast, which is beneficial for people with diabetes.

Help with Digestion

Chickpeas are high in dietary fiber, especially soluble fiber. The good bacteria in your gut breaks it down so your colon can digest it slowly.

Lower Cholesterol

Soluble fiber can lessen your total cholesterol and your LDL (“bad”) cholesterol, which lowers your risk of heart disease.

Boost Mental Health

Chickpeas have choline, a nutrient that helps make important chemicals for memory, mood, muscle control and other brain and nervous system activity.

Sticky Sesame Chickpeas with Rice and Broccoli



  • 2 cans of chickpeas
  • 3-4 large cloves of garlic
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1-1/2 T toasted sesame oil
  • 1/3 c low-sodium soy sauce
  • 3 T maple syrup
  • 2 tsp rice vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger or 2 tsp fresh ginger, grated
  • 1 T arrow root or cornstarch
  • 4 T low-sodium vegetable broth (divided)
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes (optional for spice) 


1.     Drain and rinse chickpeas and set aside.

2.     Mince garlic and add to a sauté pan with oil.

3.     Sauté for a few minutes or until garlic is very fragrant.

4.     In a small bowl, combine the arrowroot powder and 2 tablespoons of vegetable broth and mix until no lumps remain. Set aside.

5.     In the sauté pan with garlic, add in the low-sodium soy sauce, sesame oil, maple syrup, rice vinegar, ginger and additional 2 tablespoons of vegetable broth. Whisk together.

6.     Add the arrowroot mixture and stir.

7.     When bubbles start to form, add the chickpeas and stir until well coated.

8.     Cook on low heat until the sauce becomes thick and sticky, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

9.     Remove from heat and let sit so the chickpeas can absorb all the flavor.

10.  Serve with steamed broccoli, quinoa or rice.

 NUTRITION – Makes 4 servings

Serving: 1 bowl | Calories: 321cal | Carbohydrates: 49g | Protein: 11.5g | Fat: 9.6g | Fiber: 10.5g |Sugar: 9g

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