This chickpea salad is packed with flavor for a totally irresistible meal with high health benefits. Continue reading to discover 9 reasons why you should be eating chickpeas!
This beautiful chickpea salad combines a few fresh vegetables into one healthy and delicious meal. It's an easy chickpea salad made with colored bell peppers, pomegranate, fresh herbs, garlic, ginger, and fresh turmeric, all folded together with a balsamic vinaigrette dressing.
Lovely, I know you like simple-ready on-the-go meals. Sometimes you might not even have time to cook heavy meals while you still want to eat something super healthy!
This easy make-ahead chickpea salad recipe will keep you satiated for hours. It's a delicious and healthy salad to make all year round. It demands a little bit of cooking to add more flavors as we improve its health benefits.
This chickpea salad is composed of ingredients possessing anti-inflammatory, antioxidants, and anti-cancer properties. They are rich in vitamins, minerals, and other chemical compounds that can quite improve your health if consumed regularly.
A lot of people shun off from legumes despite their well-established healthy benefits! In this post, I'm sharing 9 reasons why you should eat chickpeas.
9 Reasons why you should eat chickpeas
Chickpeas come in different types referred to as garbanzo beans, gram, Egyptian pea, or Bengal gram. They're pulses belonging to the legume family.
Chickpeas are among the earliest cultivated legumes tracing their history in the Middle East.
Here are 9 reasons that I hope will help you consider eating chickpeas quite often;
- Chickpeas are a good source of macro and micronutrients. They're high in protein, low in carbs, and are low in Glycemic Index.
- In human studies, people who take chickpeas or hummus regularly have been shown to have higher nutrients like dietary fiber, vitamins A, C, E, as well as fatty acids, and minerals, compared to those who don't.
- Chickpeas can help in weight management because they're high in fiber, proteins, and healthy calories to keep you full for hours, thus, keeping you from snacking.
- Additionally, they may help manage and prevent diabetes. Chickpeas are low in Glycemic Index (GI), high in fiber and proteins. Components that slow glucose assimilation in the blood, especially in healthy recipes.
- In a controlled dietary study, regular consumption of chickpeas reduced cholesterol. This is because chickpeas are a good source of soluble fiber known for their effects on total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol which are biomarkers of cardiovascular disease.
- Additionally, chickpeas have considerable amount of proteins, plants proteins are associated with lower risks of cardiovascular disease compared to high consumption of animal diets.
- Moreover, eating chickpeas often could prevent cancer. Chickpeas contain some bioactive chemicals like lycopene, Biochanin A, and saponins, of which, studies have shown their potential in reducing the risk of certain types of cancers.
- Chickpeas can help in the production of butyrate, a short-chain fatty acid produced by the gut microbiome, which possesses potential properties that can suppress cancer cell growth.
- Dietary fiber promotes bowel movements, thus reducing constipation, "Human studies of chickpeas report overall improvements in bowel health characterized by increased frequency of defecation, ease of defecation, and softer stool consistency while on a chickpea diet as compared to a habitual diet" NCBI
To sum up, chickpeas are versatile and easy to include in your diet. They come with a plethora of health benefits that you can enjoy if you consume them regularly.
How to make chickpea salad
- Making this salad is quite easy. Unlike classic chickpea salads, I wanted to enhance the flavors by slightly pan-frying already boiled (you can use canned) chickpea in shallots, spices, turmeric, and ginger.
- Shallots are mild with a savory flavor than onions. They are suitable for dishes that require less high heat and long cooking periods.
- Cook chickpeas for about 5 minutes, let them cool before proceeding with the next steps of making the salad.
- While the chickpeas are cooling, work on getting the pomegranate seeds (arils). In this post, I explain how to get the arils.
- Ideally, sauté or pan-fry the chickpeas in advance to cut short time
See the recipe card below for the full recipe.
More chickpea recipes
Chickpea salad recipe
- cooking stick/spoon
- small mason type jar with a lid
- A big salad bowl
- Salad spoons
- 2-3 medium shallots
- 3 tablespoons cold-pressed olive oil
- a small piece of ginger
- 2-3 cloves of garlic
- a root of fresh turmeric
- 2 cups cooked & drained chickpeas (canned can do)
- 1 pomegranate's seeds(arils)
- a mix of colored bell peppers (get small-sized ones or use big bell peppers and cut parts of each saving the rest for future use)
- a handful of different fresh herbs. This recipe has dill, cilantro, and parsley
- some salt
- some cayenne powder/chili (optional
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
Start by pan-frying the chickpeas
- Place a saucepan on a source of heat and add diced shallots and 1 tablespoon of oil, stir and cover to cook for 3mins on medium-high heat
- Add grated garlic, ginger & turmeric. (use a vegetable grater) Stir well, cover to cook for a minute
- Bring in drained cooked chickpeas and salt, stir well then cover and cook for about 5mins.
- Give a final stir, and remove from heat. Keep aside to cool
- During this time prepare by dicing and chopping the bell peppers and the herbs
- Get the arils from the pomegranate. See how in this post
- In a small jar pour the 2 tablespoons of olive oil and 1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar
- Close the jar and shake vigorously. Set aside.
Assembling the salad
- In a large salad bowl, bring in the chickpeas, arils, bell peppers, and herbs (you can also make this salad directly in the pan/skillet/ saucepan with chickpeas
- Pour the balsamic vinaigrette all over the ingredients, add some cayenne (optional)
- Using salad spoons, delicately mix together everything to come up with a beautiful chickpea salad
- Taste and correct the seasoning. Serve and enjoy your salad.
- The cooling time is not included in the recipe as this can really depend on different factors like weather, cooking material, the amount & size of chickpeas, etc...
- Ideally, prepare the chickpeas in advance to shorten the time of making this salad.
- You can also omit the cooking, but the flavors will not be the same.