This popular snack from India is flavorful, filling and good for you! This snack restores sexual energy – and who doesn’t want that? Keep some stocked in your kitchen at all times!
Eastern View: Garbanzo beans, also called chickpeas and may be better known when made into hummus, have been the mainstay of the Mediterranean and Indian diets for thousands of years. Only recently have the health benefits been more fully understood.
Garbanzo beans are one of the most common beans in Ayurveda because they are easy to digest compared to other beans.
Most beans have a very hard shell composed of hard-to-digest anti-nutrients that require soaking, par-boiling, slow cooking and a good, strong digestive system. As Vatas have a sensitive digestive system, it’s important for you to eat easily digestible foods.
The light, astringent qualities of baked chickpeas make them a great snack for Kapha and Pitta types.
Ayurveda always puts a strong emphasis on foods that are easy to digest and good for the intestines. The two top, easy-to-digest beans are garbanzo beans and split yellow mung beans, which we use in our Cleanses either alone or in the Ayurvedic superfood, kitchari.
Western View: As with all beans, chickpeas are LOADED with fiber and high in protein – but garbanzo beans have some special nutrients on board such as quercetin, which supports healthy circulation and immunity, and chlorogenic acid, which is the antioxidant that has made coffee famous. Vatas are affected the most by poor circulation and immune problems.
Chickpeas are also rich in vitamins like folate, riboflavin, niacin, thiamin and beta-carotene and minerals such as magnesium, potassium and manganese. They are an excellent source of health-promoting fatty acids like linoleic and oleic acids, which are the main ingredients in olive oil. These fatty acids are important for you to keep you grounded, stable and constipation free.
Garbanzo beans are rich in both soluble and insoluble fiber. Insoluble fiber acts as roughage to scrub the intestines and support healthy and efficient bowel function while feeding beneficial microbes. As you have a tendency towards digestive problems – eating good fiber is key to great gut health. The Journal Nutrients reports that soluble fiber, makes the bean a bit slimy and allows it to attach to bile acids in the intestines and escort the bile, cholesterol and toxins attached to the bile to the toilet.
Garbanzo beans are also rich in resistant starches like oligosaccharides and amylose, which are sugars that are not digested into the small intestine and are delivered to the large intestines where they can feed the good gut bacteria helping to promote good gut health – a Vata problem.
The British Medical Journal reported on one study where a group of volunteers were split off into three groups: a high-fat diet, a low-fat diet and a high-fat diet with garbanzo beans. The group that ate a high-fat diet along with garbanzo beans saw a 15 percent reduction in cholesterol and a significant increase of bile acids (which carry toxins and bad cholesterol) in the stool. The garbanzo-eating group outperformed both the high- and low-fat diet groups.
Crunchy Spiced Chickpeas
- 1 cup dry chickpeas or 2 cups canned chickpeas
- 1 tablespoon curry powder
- Salt to taste
- Sunflower Oil
If using dry chickpeas, soak overnight, rinse, and boil till tender. About 40 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In a large bowl, toss the cooked chickpeas with the curry powder and salt until thoroughly coated.
Spread out the chickpeas in a baking pan, lightly oiled with the sunflower oil. Bake until brown and crunchy, about 30-40 minutes. Avoid burning as it’s easy to do.
For more ideas on keeping quick, healthy foods at hand, download my free guide on stocking your Ayurvedic kitchen below!