Celebrate National Bean Day!

January 06, 2016

SupermarketGuru wanted to highlight Chickpeas or Garbanzo Beans because they are the most widely consumed legume in the world. Read about these powerhouse beans!

Today is the day to celebrate beans! Yup it’s National Bean Day, and we’re celebrating beans not least because they are one of the longest cultivated plants dating back to the early 7th millennium BC. We know today that beans are an important source of protein, great for those meatless meals! Beans are an excellent source of fiber (one cup provides between 9 and 13 grams), and are high in complex carbohydrates, folate and iron. 

There are approximately 40,000 bean varieties in the world, but only a fraction of these varieties are mass-produced for regular consumption.

SupermarketGuru wanted to highlight Chickpeas or Garbanzo Beans because they are the most widely consumed legume in the world. Originating in the Middle East, chickpeas have a firm texture with a flavor somewhere between chestnuts and walnuts. Like most beans, they are rich in fiber; both soluble fiber, which helps to eliminate cholesterol from the body, and insoluble which acts like a “broom” in the intestinal tract. They are a rich source of folate, vitamin E, potassium, iron, manganese, tryptophan, copper, zinc and calcium. As a high-potassium, low-sodium food they may help reduce blood pressure.

Chickpeas are the basis for hummus, the bean spread spiked with garlic and olive oil, great for a healthy satisfying snack. They're an imperfect round, and beige in color, and give a nut-like flavor and firm texture.

Curb your appetite: studies have reported more satisfaction with foods when garbanzo beans were included; less calories and processed foods were also consumed.

Full of antioxidants! Researchers have also found that many of the antioxidants present in garbanzo beans are especially concentrated in the outer seed coat that gives the beans their distinctive color. Darker-colored "desi-type" garbanzo beans appear to have greater concentrations of antioxidants than the cream-colored garbanzos, the "kabuli-type" that are regularly found at salad bars and in canned products. Antioxidants are found in both types as well as many minerals and other health promoting nutrients mentioned above. If you have previously stayed away from darker-colored or irregularly-shaped garbanzo beans, now’s the time to try them!

Garbanzo beans can be purchased dried or canned and sometimes fresh. Always rinse canned beans before using and dried beans should be soaked for at least 4 hours before cooking. Read package specific labeling for further details. There are also chickpea snacks on the market, that will leave you feeling full and satisfied – check labels for allergens, etc.