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Chickpeas, properties and nutritional values. In this page we will see what are the properties of chickpeas, the benefits, the nutritional values (proteins, calories, micronutrients ...) and some hints for the cultivation of the chickpea plant. How to cook chickpeas.
Everything about chickpeas, from the plant to soaking, from cultivation to proteins.
Chickpeas, seeds of a plant belonging to the Fabaceae family, have significant nutritional properties and provide proven benefits to the body. There are many varieties of chickpeas but the two most popular and widespread are the Kabull chickpea and the Desi. On this page we will see which are theproperties of chickpeas, inutritional values(proteins, calories, micronutrients ...) and some hints for the cultivation of the chickpea plant.
Thechickpeais a legume of the Fabaceae family, subfamily Faboideae. In many cultures the chickpea is calledEgyptian pea for its origins: it is one of the first cultivated legumes and there are testimonies in the Middle East that see it used since 7,500 years ago. Thanks to the carbon test they weredatedchickpeas from 6790 to 90 BC, found in Mesolithic layers of the French caves of Aude.
Therechickpea plantreaches a height of 50 cm. It has small, feathery leaves on both sides of the stem. The plant produces white flowers with veins ranging in blue, purple or pink.
Chickpeas, nutritional properties
Chickpeas contain moderate amounts of protein, dietary fiber and minerals such as potassium, calcium, phosphorus and magnesium, sodium, iron, zinc, copper, manganese and selenium. There is no shortage of vitamins: B1, B2, B3, B5, and B6, folate, vitamin C, K and J and finally vitamin E.
Chickpeas, nutritional values
For completeness we propose inutritional valuesreported for 100 grams of product.
Calories: 164 kcal per 100 g of product. Referred to fresh, ripe, salt-free chickpeas.
- Carbohydrates: 27.42 g
- Fat: 2.59 g
- Protein: 8.86 g
It is important to specify that 75% of the fat content is given byunsaturated fatty acids of which linoleic acid makes up 43% of the total.
- Vitamin A 1 μg
- Thiamine: 0.116 mg (Vitamin B1)
- Riboflavin: 0.063 mg (Vitamin B2)
- Niacin: 0.526 mg (Vitamin B3)
- Pantothenic acid: 0.286 mg (Vitamin B5)
- Vitamin B6: 0.139 mg
- Vitamin B9: 172 μg
- Vitamin C: 1.3 mg
- Vitamin E: 0.35 mg
- Vitamin K: 4 μg
- Calcium: 49 mg
- Iron 2.89 mg
- Magnesium: 48 mg
- Phosphorus: 168 mg
- Potassium: 291 mg
- Sodium: 7 mg
- Zinc: 1.53
Fresh chickpeas or chickpeas dried and re-hydrated by soaking contain 60.21 g of water. About 60% of the weight of the food is made up of water.
Cooking is also the treatment ofsoakingto rehydrate dried chickpeas, they can cause variation in thenutritional valuespreviously reported. In particular, cooking chickpeas can induce changes to protein fiber complexes. It does not lower the quantity but modifies its structure.
With cooking, the crude fiber content increases and protein digestibility increases by improving the efficiency ratio of the proteins themselves.
Proteins make up almost 9% of the product weight. The amino acids mainly expressed in the protein chains contained in chickpeas are: aspartic acid, glutamic acid, leucine, lysine, phenylalanine, arginine, serine, valine, isoleucine and tryptophan.
Before buying chickpeas it is good to check the drying date; the old chickpeas lose some of their properties. In this regard, it is always better to consume chickpeas that are no older than a year.
How to cook chickpeas
Dried chickpeas require a fairly long preparation time ranging from 12 to 18 hours, a period necessary for the pre-cooking soaking.
An earthenware pan is recommended for cooking: they should be cooked for two hours over medium heat. The chickpeas, after soaking and cooking, practically double in volume
Cooking must begin in cold water brought to a boil over low heat and with a lid. In order not to run into digestion problems it is necessary that the chickpeas are well cooked, after two hours, if the chickpeas are still hard, continue cooking for the necessary time.
Do chickpeas contain gluten?
No, chickpeas do not contain gluten.
Chickpeas, beneficial properties
According to research that appeared in the Annals of Nutrition and Metabolism, chickpeas have the property of lowering the levels of "bad cholesterol", thus playing a protective role against the heart.
The reasons are due to the good presence of magnesium and folate in chickpeas; the latter in fact seems to have the property of lowering the levels of homocysteine which, when present in excessive quantities in the blood, increases the possibility of heart attack and stroke.
The high magnesium content would benefit circulation and the moderate presence of unsaturated fatty acids, better known as Omega 3, would help lower triglycerides, thus bringing benefits to the heart rhythm: this would prevent the onset of heart arrhythmias
They would also have the property of regulating the functions of our intestine and at the same time help keep blood glucose levels balanced.
How to grow chickpeas
After seeing what thepropertyand ibenefitsbrought by chickpeas, let's move on to some hints on cultivation. Not all Italians know this but, in many places in the world, in addition to the seed that represents the legume (chickpea), the green leaves of the chickpea plant are also consumed.
The green leaves of the chickpea plant can be collected and then cooked. The leaves of chickpeas have even more nutritional properties than those seen for spinach or kale.
For the cultivation of chickpeas you need to get fresh seeds to germinate. It is not possible to use dried seeds.
The chickpea plant is grown very well in the home garden: it has no particular needs and is also suitable for the driest soils. If you have particularly poor soil, do a deep tillage and bury some mature manure or compost.
At this point, you can sow in the garden, in the open field. When to sow chickpeas? In spring, when temperatures are stable above 10 ° C.
For sowing, make holes 3 cm deep and bury the seeds at a distance of 30 cm between one plant and another and 40 cm between one row of plants.
Where to find chickpea seeds?
At agricultural consortia or on Amazon, where you are spoiled for choice on the variety to choose. On Amazon, in fact, there is no shortage of varieties of black chickpeas or green chickpeas.
For all information I invite you to visitthis Amazon page.The chickpea seed sachets are very cheap and germinate quite easily.