25 tasty ways to include chickpeas in your diet
Chickpeas are used in dishes around the world, yet many of us simply turn them into hummus – tasty but oh-so-dull when there are hundreds of other uses for these wondrous beans! Chickpeas are actually super-healthy, packed with fibre, protein, manganese and folic acid. They're also gluten-free and low on the glycemic index, so they're ideal to stop blood sugar spikes and leave you feeling satisfied for longer. We've come up with 25 tasty ways to add chickpeas to your diet and banish your hummus habit (ok, not totally!)
#1. Spicy chickpeas
If you're guilty of snacking in front of the TV, you'll know it can be all-too-easy to eat too many crisps or other processed foods. Swap your crisps and dip for these spicy chickpeas. Just sprinkle chickpeas with a little olive oil and some spices, then roast in the oven. A far healthier option than processed snacks.
#2. Roasted garlic and tomato soup
#3. Falafel salad
We love falafel, but this recipe takes the humble chickpea fritter to a whole new level! It has all the ingredients you'd find in your average falafel, deconstructed. Olive oil, lemon juice, nutty tahini, chickpeas, tomatoes and cucumber; it's ideal for a light lunch after a lunchtime workout or a lighter evening meal.
#4. Chickpea and almond curry
We love a good curry – this one uses healthy almond butter, rich in mono-unsaturated fat, plus coconut milk, lime and curry paste for a spicy Thai kick. This has to be one of the best veggie curry recipes we've tasted, far better (and healthier) than a takeaway!
#5. Chickpea burgers
Thanks for this utterly amazing curried chickpea burger recipe, Oh She Glows. You can whip up a burger in minutes with just a few ingredients – heart-healthy oats, seeds and spices. Vegan, delicious, nutritious and best of all, gluten-free.
#6. Egg and spinach 'nest'
Chickpeas for breakfast? Yes, really, try it, you'll love it (we promise). A fried egg nestled in a ring of lemony chickpeas and spinach is pretty perfect. It counts as two of your five a day, with protein and amino acids from the egg, good fats from the olive oil and iron from the spinach. Yum!
#7. Chickpea orange cake
If you're looking for gluten-free cake recipes, chickpeas will become your saviour. They add a nice hint of nuttiness to this light cake, which uses only seven ingredients. Delicious with a cup of tea (good book optional).
#8. Chickpea brownies
We're sure you're not surprised in the slightest by this recipe – after all, we already introduced you to sweet potato brownies, so why not try baking them with chickpeas? These are filled with goodness- coconut sugar and raw cacao are sources of natural, unrefined sugar whilst dark chocolate chips are a source of antioxidants. The addition of coffee, whilst optional, adds another layer of flavour to these gooey treats.
#9. Peanut butter and chocolate chip cookies
Nothing beats the smell of freshly baked cookies. These gooey cookies include chickpeas, so they'll fill you up for longer and you won't be tempted to eat the whole batch in one go! This is a great way to use your peanut or almond butter, and one of these is the perfect post-workout snack.
#10. Strawberry chocolate chickpea muffins
For once, a recipe with white chocolate instead of healthy dark chocolate! You can use dark chocolate if you like, though this recipe's so packed with healthy ingredients it doesn't really matter. Strawberries count as one of your five a day and are a source of Vitamin C and antioxidants. With just 100 calories in each muffin, this gluten-free recipe is ideal for breakfast or as a dessert.
#11. Moroccan chickpea soup
This simple, easy to make soup is great for lunch when working from home or as a quick dinner after a gym session. With tomatoes, celery, onions, chickpeas and broad beans, it's super-healthy and tastes amazing served with flatbread.
#12. Spanish chickpea and chorizo soup
Jamie Oliver is great at creating comfort food and this hearty, healthy Spanish-inspired soup recipe is an Expertrain favourite. The ingredients list may be long, but this is a soup for when friends come to dinner, not for everyday. It's a great way to ensure you're eating plenty of vegetables too.
#13. Chickpea avocado sandwich
You already know we love avocados – now you can add chickpeas to the mix for a satisfying sandwich. Packed with fibre and healthy fats, this sandwich contains celery, cucumber, spinach, avocado and chickpeas – the parsley, lemon and feta cheese add a Mediterranean twist.
#14. Chickpea risotto
For dinner with friends, risotto is a crowd-pleaser and sure to impress. Head back to yours after your workout at the gym and whip up this caramelised onion, chickpea and mushroom risotto that's surprisingly easy to make.
#15. Lovely lemon chickpea courgette pasta
Low-carb diets aren't all that, so we're putting pasta back on the menu with this lovely lemony dish. Packed with protein from the chickpeas, the courgettes count as one of your five a day. Simple, made with fresh ingredients and easy to make.
#16. Lemon mint edamame and chickpea salad
Autumn may be well and truly upon us, but that doesn't mean you can't head outside for a run. It definitely doesn't mean you have to stop eating salads either! The fresh flavours of lemon and mint in this salad are stunning. Edamame beans can help lower your cholesterol too. This is great served on its own or as a side dish with lean grilled chicken or salmon.
#17. Quinoa and chickpea wraps
Choosing Raw's delicious lettuce wraps with chickpeas and quinoa are ideal for a light lunch. Tossed with olive oil, lemon, mustard and sea salt, the quinoa tastes divine and the protein and fibre from the chickpeas will leave you feeling satisfied all afternoon.
#18. Cinnamon roasted chickpeas
Similar to the spiced roasted chickpeas we featured earlier, these are ideal if you're craving something sweet. Perfect as a snack or served as an ice cream topping – and you only need four ingredients.
#19. Coconut kadalai
'Kadalai' means 'chickpea' in Tamil, and this is basically a delicious curry recipe. With kale, red peppers, chickpeas and plenty of spices, it's great to keep colds and flu at bay.
#20. Lemon roast chickpeas
#21. Lemony orzo, kale and chickpea salad
You can serve this Mediterranean style salad for lunch or dinner any day of the week – it's packed with protein so it's perfect after a boxing training session. Add the feta cheese or leave it out; it;s up to you. Leftovers of this salad can be taken to work for a healthy meal.
#22. Mexican cauliflower, quinoa and chickpea salad
Cauliflower is an underrated vegetable, often found smothered in cheese sauce. Try something different and lightly roast it then combine with quinoa and chickpeas for this tasty warm salad. What gives it a Mexican kick? The zingy jalapeño lime dressing – lovely!
#23. Savoury chickpea walnut parfait
Sure, parfait is usually sweet, but who says you can't shake things up a bit? For lunch on the go, this savoury recipe is one of our favourites. It uses full-fat Greek yogurt, chickpeas, mineral-packed walnuts and cucumber for a refreshing, healthy option.
#24. Channa masala
Indian cooking is definitely something which takes some skill, but this recipe is fairly easy even for beginners. Delicious served with roti bread, this beats the takeaway hands down and is packed with spices, onions and garlic for immune-boosting goodness.
#25. Crunchy chickpea and roasted radish tacos
Mexican food gets a makeover with this tasty taco dish. The chickpeas are crunch and the roasted radishes fiery – they help detoxify your body too. There are good fats from the avocado and plenty of zing from the coriander and lime yogurt. Serve this with crunchy taco shells or soft flour tortillas.
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