Choose chickpeas for a healthy source of protein

Bring a bit of spring inside by sprouting your own chickpeas, then blending them into this tasty hummus recipe
By Julie Daniluk, R.H.N.
chickpeas, garbanzo, beans, sprouts, sprouted Julie Daniluk

Are you being hit with Farch? That’s what I affectionately call the February/March Blues. Most of Canada is sitting under a two-foot blanket of snow and we are getting tired of shovelling, de-icing and coping with the wind chill.

The nutritional solution? Create a garden in your house! It warms the heart to watch seeds, grains and beans sprout. It helps us remember that spring is only six weeks away. One of the easiest beans to start sprouting is chickpea (aka garbanzo beans). You can check out to receive a free full sprouting guide.

Five reasons to enjoy more chickpeas:
1. Chickpeas and their sprouts are a great source of protein — one cup of sprouted chickpeas can yield 38 grams! Protein necessary for all of our body functions, especially our metabolism of fats and carbohydrates. Did you know that increasing your protein intake will help you feel fuller faster than carbohydrates alone?

2. Chickpea sprouts are a great source of complex carbohydrates, which are needed to maintain a safe level of blood glucose to supply the body and brain with the energy they need. Relying on simple sugar sources of carbohydrates during development has been linked to increased risk of substance abuse in adulthood.

3. Chickpea sprouts can aid in healthy skin, hair and nails. The sprouts are high in zinc, which is a fundamental component of all connective tissue. Zinc is such a key part of our diet that patients with extreme zinc deficiencies have been shown to have damage to and mutations in their cellular DNA.

4. Eat chickpea sprouts when you’re pregnant to boost your folate levels! Folate and folic acid are proven in preventing neural tube defects in pregnancy and supporting the healthy growth of the baby’s nervous system.

5. Relax and enjoy some chickpea sprouts! These super sprouts contain 230mg of magnesium in a single cup. Magnesium and calcium are necessary for the development and maintenance of strong bones. Also, magnesium on its own can help alleviate menstrual cramps as well as skeletal muscle cramps from exercise.

Choose chickpeas for a healthy source of protein  

How to sprout chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
Garbanzo beans contain enzyme inhibitors, which are kept dormant until they are soaked and start to sprout.

1. Place 1 cup of garbanzo beans in a mason jar. Add 2-3 times as much cool (60-70°) water. Soak peas overnight, or for at least 8 hours.

2. Drain the soaking water. Rinse thoroughly with water and 2 tablespoons of peroxide to prevent mold growing on the sprouts. Drain well and secure the lids with cheesecloth and a jar ring or a rubber band. Don't completely invert the jar, as sprouts need oxygen to come through the cheesecloth.
3. Set at a 45-degree angle out of direct sunlight and at room temperature.

4. Rinse and drain 3 times a day using a mild solution of 2 tablespoons of peroxide per litre of water.

5. Continue to rinse and drain until tiny white tails (1/4 inch) sprout from the garbanzo beans, which should happen approximately 3-4 days after first soaking.

Yield: 2 cups (500 mL)


Cumin Scented Raw Hummus
By sprouting the chickpeas you reduce phytic acid, a type of phosphorous compound found in seeds, grains, beans and nuts that affect your body's ability to absorb nutrients. You will be able to digest the beans better and absorb more nutrition per serving! Cumin is a carminative spice that also assists the digestive system. Be sure to blend for longer than a cooked bean hummus to assure a silky smooth finish.

2 tsp cumin seeds, ground
2 cups sprouted chickpeas (you can also used cooked)
2-3 cloves garlic
¼ cup tahini
¼ cup chopped fresh coriander
¼ cup lemon juice
½ cup filtered water
2 tbsp wheat free tamari (or use regular soy sauce)
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/4 tsp unrefined sea salt or to taste

1.    Using a food processor and an S-blade, blend the raw sprouted chickpeas, cumin, garlic, tahini, coriander, lemon juice, tamari and olive oil together in a food processor so that it forms a smooth paste.
2.    Taste and adjust lemon, salt or spice to your personal taste. Enjoy as a dip with raw veggies.

Makes 2 cups (500 mL)

Nutritionist Julie Daniluk hosts the Healthy Gourmet, a reality cooking show that looks at the ongoing battle between taste and nutrition. Her soon to be published first book, Meals That Heal Inflammation, advises on allergy-free foods that both taste great and assist the body in the healing process.

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