Okay everyone, this week its all about garbanzo beans!
And I know what you are all gonna say: "Beans, beans, they're good for your heart...the more you eat, the more you--"
I will end it there. But these particular beans - really all beans - are an amazing, healthy addition to your diet that many of you may not consider as anything especially nutritional. But I am going to help change your views on that.
Garbanzo beans, or chick peas as they are also known, are among my family's favorites. I can seriously eat them right out of the can - they are that good.
But aside from the taste, they are very much what I call my "power foods."
First of all, they are an excellent source of vegetarian protein. This protein found in abundance in chickpeas also has the wonderful component called tryptophan, which is needed for us to produce our two very important things: serotonin, the happy hormone; and also the much needed sleep hormone, melatonin.
They are also so high in calcium that they are comparable to dairy foods, but are also contain much needed minerals as manganese, iron,magnesium, phosphorus and zinc.
The chick peas are also well known for being the main ingredient of hummus. Hummus is staple in our house now, and my kids and I eat it with pretzels, pita chips and my favorite personal favorite raw veggies.
But another of my absolute special recipes for the chick peas is roasting them. And I find you can never make too many. They disappear fast, so use at least 2 large cans! Preheat your oven to 450 degrees.
I absolutely swear by my cast iron pans for roasting anything, but use any nice sturdy pan you have.
Drain the beans well - almost let them dry a bit - but don't worry about them being too dry. Toss them in the pan and drizzle a little bit of olive oil over the beans, enough to cover.
I use garlic powder, sea salt (if I have it of course, sometimes just a little kosher salt because I love that but not TOO much!!) and a little pepper. Use your creativity here though guys. Any spices that you love would taste delicious on here.
Roast them until they start to brown, or about 20-25 minutes, but toss them a few times in between. I promise these will become one of your favorites fast snack recipes because even my kids love them. And they are so good for you!
Oh, sometimes I even toss a wee bit of Parmesan on them just for fun, but again, just a little!
Aside from roasting them, or eating the hummus, these beans - really almost any canned beans - can be tossed into so many dishes, just to add some extra protein and minerals.
Salads are one of my favorites to toss any beans into, but also my famous roasted veggies may get some black beans for color. Or if you make some brown rice, any beans added to that are delicious.
Sometimes I find myself just not in the mood to eat meat. I am one of those partial vegetarian that feels that meat sometimes grosses me out. That's one of those times where the beans come in handy again to replace the protein that we all need in our diet, especially those of us into fitness involving strength training. Gotta feed those muscles!
That's it for now about the amazing garbanzo bean. Hopefully you will use these and some of your own ideas to add this tasty and nutrition packed morsel to your healthy new lifestyle!