Did you know that the United Nations has designated 2016 as International Year of Pulses? Yeah, we’re excited. This is the perfect excuse to cook, bake, and admire chickpea recipes.
There’s probably a can of chickpeas—AKA garbanzo beans—in your cupboard. (Unless you’re one of those fancy people who like to cook your own chickpeas from scratch. If so, we applaud you.) Sure, you can use that can of chickpeas to make hummus. Or you can use it as the base for an inspired dessert, snack, or meal that will revolutionize your view of the humble chickpea.
Desserts and snacks
1. Peanutty Blondie Bars
Chickpeas for dessert? Oh, yes. In fact, chickpeas make the perfect gluten-free replacement for flour in brownies and blondies (which are basically butterscotch-flavoured brownies). You won’t taste the beans in these bars—promise. Your taste buds will be too busy enjoying the peanut butter and dark chocolate.
2. Chickpea and Lentil Crunch Bars
This is not your typical granola bar! These bars are nutty and earthy, with just a hint of sweetness. If you’re looking for a snack to help you through a long day, look no further. The combination of chickpeas, oats, and lentils lends these bars major staying power.
3. Roasted Chickpeas
If you have yet to try roasted chickpeas, you’re seriously missing out. These protein-packed gems are the ultimate snack, whether you’re lounging on the couch or running errands. Plus, they make for divine salad and soup toppers.
4. Firecracker Popcorn
Looking for something with a little spice? This popcorn and chickpea recipe delivers. Inspired by Japanese flavours, the popcorn is infused with ground ginger, red chili flakes, and crumbled nori (the seaweed sheets that are used to wrap sushi rolls). Our only warning is that this snack is so good, portion control might go out the window.
5. Smashed Chickpea Salad in Avocado Boats
Tired of your usual avocado on toast? Mix things up with this vegan darling, which is much simpler to make than it looks. Chickpeas pack in the protein, of course, and avocado adds heart-healthy, monounsaturated fats to the mix.
6. Cookie Dough Hummus
This is another sweet take on the versatile chickpea. Chickpeas are blended with nut butter, coconut oil, chocolate chips, and a touch of natural sweetener to create addictive vegan cookie dough. Yes, you can even eat it straight out of the bowl; we won’t judge.
Salads and meals
7. Chickpea Goji Berry Salad
This simple salad is loaded with flavour. Make it on the weekend for a week’s worth of healthy, satiating lunches. Our favourite part: goji berries pair perfectly with mandarin oranges, offering an early taste of summer.
8. Lemony Early Spring Vegetable and Chickpea Stew
Is it soup season or salad season? If you’re not sure, turn to this recipe: the flavours are zesty enough for spring, but the broth is warm enough for winter. This lemon-infused chickpea recipe will leave you feeling bright and revitalized.
9. Kale Slaw with Chickpea Caesar Dressing
Meet your new favourite kale salad. Chickpeas are the not-so-secret ingredient in the Caesar dressing, creating a creamy consistency with zero mayo needed. Plus, this salad replaces bread-based croutons with better-for-you sautéed potatoes. Win!
10. Chickpea Pasta with Creamy Cauliflower
Cauliflower is the key to creating creamy, luxurious pasta sauce without an avalanche of calories. Plus, this quick and healthy meal can be made vegan by trading Parmesan for nutritional yeast and coconut milk for evaporated milk.
11. Indian Vegetable and Chickpea Pizza
Homemade pizza doesn’t have to be complicated. This vegetarian version incorporates eggplant, cauliflower, and spinach to make what might be the healthiest pizza ever. A staple in Indian cuisine, chickpeas soak up the flavour of spices such as curry powder and garam masala (a blend of cumin, pepper, and cinnamon).
12. Chickpea and Red Lentil Masala
Likewise, this Indian stew is loaded with protein, fibre, and—of course—flavour. Like other beans and legumes, chickpeas are an incredibly budget-friendly alternative to meat and nuts. Savings aside, the fiery spices ensure that this vegan stew tastes like a million bucks.