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What Do Chickpeas Taste Like? (And The Benefits)

Quick Answer: What Is The Flavor Of Chickpeas?

Chickpeas have a distinct flavor despite their boring appearance. They have earthy notes and a nut-like flavor that will suit a plethora of palates. Because they are a member of the legume family, chickpeas have what you might call a bean-like taste. Because the flavor is also subtle, they can be paired alongside a number of other foods.

Chickpeas have become a very popular food throughout much of the world and have been eaten for many centuries.

They can be eaten raw, roasted, dried, or mashed and in many different contexts. This diversity gives chickpeas (or garbanzo beans as they’re sometimes called) a high degree of usefulness.

It does not matter if you are vegan, vegetarian, or class yourself as a ‘meat eater’, chickpeas are enjoyed by everyone.

What Do Chickpeas Taste Like?

They have also been around for hundreds and thousands of years. This means that they have gone through several different name changes too. From Ceci beans and Garbanzo beans, to Indian beans. 

Now they are widely known as chickpeas! However, what do chickpeas taste like? Because of chickpeas having a distinct yet not overpowering flavor, many cuisines around the world use them within their dishes.

The likes of Italy, the Philippines, and India use chickpeas quite heavily. This is because chickpeas have a wonderfully nutty flavor that has earthy undertones. This suits many dishes around the globe.

So, if you are interested in finding out more about chickpeas, then read on to find out all you need to know about this member of the legume family.

What Are Chickpeas?

Chickpeas are a legume grown throughout many parts of the world and eaten as either a main or side dish. They are also known as garbanzo beans, primarily in America, and come in many colors.

These colors include red, green, black, and brown and are often used in many different dishes.

For example, many Americans eat hummus and falafel, two dishes that use many chickpeas. You may also find chickpeas in salads and mashed as a topping in other India dishes.

Other names you may find chickpeas sold under include Indian peas, Egyptian oea, Bengal gram, and chloe.

What Hints Of Flavor Do Chickpeas Have ?

Chickpeas taste may vary depending on how you prepare and eat them. Raw chickpeas have a nutty flavor with hints of earth and an undertone of beans.

Mashed chickpeas have a slightly smoother flavor that is a bit more palpable for many people.

Roasted chickpeas have a similar base flavor but also add a slight smokiness that gives them a denser overall taste.

Many people add things like salt and pepper to their roasted chickpeas, and they are very easy to flavor in this way when making them.

What Do Chickpeas Look Like?

Chickpeas are small balls that lack the bean shape common with other legumes. They look more like small globes and have varying colors. Most are likely to look slightly gray or even white, but they can also be red, brown, and even slightly tan.

When mashed, chickpeas retain the same basic color but become far smoother and creamier.

Most chickpea recipes use a mashed base, such as when cooking hummus or making falafel. However, you can also put whole chickpeas on salads, burgers, and sandwiches.

What Texture Do Chickpeas Have?

Chickpeas have a fairly buttery texture and are fairly soft even before cooking.

They are easy to smash between your fingers or mash with a masher, making it easy to prepare them in several ways. Undercooked chickpeas may have a slightly tough texture and need to be cooked longer to eat.

Overcooked chickpeas taste rather bland and are overly mushy. This texture is usually unappealing to most people and should be avoided.

When you overcook chickpeas, you may want to blend them with other ingredients to mask their taste and boost their flavor.

RELATED: Red Beans vs Kidney Beans: What’s the Difference?

Does The Chickpea Taste Change When Cooked?

If you cook chickpeas, then the flavor can change, however, they are still nutty and earthy without being overpowering to other flavors. 

They are very versatile to use within cooking, and have a similar texture when mashed to that of potatoes. This is because chickpeas are quite grainy and stodgy. 

Because of the delicate flavor, chickpeas pair well with other food items. This is one reason why chickpeas are very popular when it comes to vegan cooking. They are very, very versatile to use.

Not only are they great to eat and use within cooking, but chickpeas have a lot of nutritional benefits for those that consume them. We shall take a look at that next. 

Where Do Chickpeas Come From?

Chickpeas originate in the Far East in India, where they are still a primary staple food in the region. India produces about 80-90% of all chickpeas in the world.

Other countries that heavily produce chickpeas include Australia, Turkey, Russia, the United States, Argentina, and Canada.

Chickpeas require an environment similar to India’s to grow, which is why it is so easy to grow there. When grown in the United States, they are commonly produced in California. Canadian chickpea production is primarily in Saskatchewan.

Are Chickpeas Healthy? Or Dangers Of Eating Chickpeas?

Chickpeas are incredibly healthy and are often considered a superfood. For example, they have just 210 calories per cut and only 3.8 grams of fat, which is all healthy fat.

Chickpeas also have 10.7 grams of protein and 9.6 grams of fiber, making them one of the most nutrient-dense foods of their type.

The only real danger of eating chickpeas is in allergic reactions. People who are allergic to chickpeas may experience many problems, including closing windpipes.

Chickpeas may also cause diarrhea when eaten too heavily at first because of their high dietary fiber content.

Are There Any Benefits To Eating Chickpeas?

Chickpeas are full of nutrients that are essential for the body to work properly. From micronutrients and vitamins, to different minerals – chickpeas have a lot going for them.

Protein

If you are a vegetarian or a vegan, it may be beneficial to eat chickpeas. This is because they are full of protein, which is something you may struggle to consume – especially if you are the latter.

In fact, by eating a cup of chickpeas, you may consume the adult recommended daily intake of protein. 

If you have never thought about protein before, then you will want to know why it is so important. A person needs protein to maintain their muscle, skin, and bone health. 

Fiber

Chickpeas are high in fiber, which is needed to make sure the digestive system is working as it should. If you are struggling with being regular when it comes to the toilet, then you may be lacking in fiber.

A cup of chickpeas (164g) has around 12.5g of fiber. That is a big dose of your adult recommended daily intake of fiber. 

It is said that women should be consuming either 21 to 25g of fiber every day, and men should be consuming 30 to 38g of fiber every day. 

Minerals And Compounds

Chickpeas include a number of minerals, as well as compounds. The minerals within chickpeas are said to help with improving the health of bones which can make them stronger as we get older.

This means chickpeas could potentially help if you are worried about suffering with something such as osteoporosis, which can make bones fragile and weak.

Chickpeas also includes a compound called selenium. This compound is said to be an antioxidant which can help the body to reduce some of the risk of developing certain cancers and diseases. 

Chickpeas also include the likes of zinc, copper, potassium, iron, and magnesium.

Vitamins

It may be surprising, but chickpeas do include vitamins. In fact, they include vitamins B9 and B6, but what exactly do they mean?

Vitamin B9 (or folate) is beneficial for those who are pregnant due to it helping both iron and red blood cells to work correctly within the body. It does this by working alongside vitamin B12.

This means that it is also important for those who are in infancy, as well as adolescence, because vitamin B9 plays an important role in the body’s tissues and cells as they grow. 

Vitamin B6 on the other hand plays an important role when it comes to the nervous system and the brain development as a whole. 

This means you will want to eat the likes of chickpeas, bananas, fish, poultry and so on to consume plenty of vitamin B6. 

Low GI

Chickpeas are considered to be a low GI (glycemic) food, meaning they will not raise your blood sugar levels rapidly. 

There have been studies to show that those who eat low GI food can maintain better blood sugar levels. This means that a low GI diet could intervene before diabetes 2 takes hold – among so much more. 

Is There Anything Bad About Eating Chickpeas?

Is There Anything Bad About Eating Chickpeas?

When it comes to bad things about chickpeas, it is very limited. That is because they have more benefits than negatives. 

The negatives are only apparent if you eat them raw, and you should not eat raw chickpeas anyway. If you do, while it will not harm you so much that you will need medical attention, it may make you feel unwell.

Raw chickpeas contain a number of toxins and different substances, some of which include complex sugars. These are particularly difficult for the body to try and digest.

This will cause a lot of discomfort, as well as bloating and gas which may feel painful. 

For your information, you may think that canned chickpeas are raw. They are in fact not raw, and can be eaten without cooking them. However, you may find that eating chickpeas within a cooked dinner is much more pleasant and tasty.

How Can I Store Chickpeas?

You can store dry chickpeas in your cupboard or pantry in a dry and room-temperature location. Roasted chickpeas should be stored in a container with the lid slightly ajar to keep them fresh and last around 3-4 days before you should throw them out.

Canned chickpeas can be stored in your pantry for as long as their expiration date suggests. This may be a week or more, depending on their production date.

Refrigerating your opened or cooked chickpeas can keep them fresh for two weeks or more, depending on your refrigerator’s quality.

Can You Freeze Chickpeas?

You can easily freeze chickpeas if you soak them or slightly undercook them for later thawing. Doing so helps to keep them from becoming mushy or too soft after you defrost them.

You can keep chickpeas up to six months in the freezer without experiencing major problems.

Don’t freeze-dried or roasted chickpeas because they usually lose much of their flavor and crunch in this way.

You may freeze chickpeas with or without liquid, depending on whether you want them to retain their dense liquid texture.

How To Tell If Chickpeas Are Bad?

Chickpeas can last a long time before they start to spoil, which is both good and bad. It’s good because you can use them for a long time but bad because you might miss obvious signs of spoilage. Watch of these issues to catch bad chickpeas:

  • Softness: When your chickpeas start to become mushy or excessively soft, it is probably time to throw them away.
  • Flavor Changes: If after tasting some old chickpeas you notice a bad taste, throw them away to avoid getting food poisoning.
  • Odd Odors: Smell your chickpeas before eating them and throw them away if you notice a rank or pungent odor.
  • Mold: Mold on your chickpeas is a clear sign that they’ve gotten too old, so throw them away and buy some more.

How Can I Pick Chickpeas In A Grocery Store?

You can buy fresh or canned chickpeas in most supermarkets with little difficulty. Fresh chickpeas should have a firm texture with a light color. They shouldn’t feel brittle or soft under your fingers and don’t smash easily under pressure.

Check canned chickpeas’ expiration date to make sure you buy the freshest varieties. These expiration dates will vary depending on the chickpea brand. Try to avoid buying expired chickpeas to minimize your risk of getting food poisoning.

Can You Grow Chickpeas?

If you live in the right environment, you can plant chickpeas in a small-grain stubble with aged compost at a depth of about one inch or so.

Keep about six inches between each plant, and make sure that each row has 18 inches between them to give the plants room to grow.

The ideal soil pH is between 6.8, while the plant needs 6-8 hours of direct sun and temperatures between 70-80 degrees Fahrenheit.

The soil must never drop below 60 degrees Fahrenheit, which makes growing chickpeas very challenging in many environments.

Chickpea Vs. Edamame

Chickpeas and edamame are fairly similar in taste though they have varying nutrient levels. Here are a few essential facts to keep in mind:

  • Chickpeas are much higher in Manganese, Folate, Copper, Vitamin B6, Fiber, and Iron than Edamame
  • Edamame have far less sugar than chickpeas at 2.48 grams versus 10.7 grams
  • Chickpeas have a much higher concentration of iron, potassium, and zinc compared to edamame

Generally speaking, chickpeas are a healthier option because of their high concentration of vitamins and minerals. Both can work well in many diets and provide a rich variety of flavors in a plant-based meal.

Do Chickpeas Make You Gassy?

If you have heard that chickpeas might make you gassy, then you have heard right. However, there is a good reason for this!

Chickpeas are full of fiber, which is something we need in our diet everyday to help our digestive system to function normally.

Chickpeas are high in the stuff, so if you consume a lot of chickpeas, then you are more likely to need to pass wind.

This does not mean you should avoid chickpeas, after all, there are plenty of fruit and veggies that do the same thing (broccoli, for example). 

So, do not avoid chickpeas because you are worried about a bit of gas. Chickpeas make a healthy addition to meals and your diet. 

What Ways Can You Eat Chickpeas?

There are a few ways to enjoy chickpeas. For example, you can eat them straight from the can if you prefer. This is great when added to salads, for example.

You can also cook chickpeas, as well as roast them. They are available in a can, or dry. This makes chickpeas very versatile. 

The way chickpeas are cooked all depends on how they are bought – for example wet or dry. The cooking may also change the flavor slightly, though you will always have that earthy and nut-like taste.

If you cook dry chickpeas, you may notice that they are much bigger than when you first saw them. This means you may want to be careful how many you add to the pan!

You can also just roast some chickpeas on an outdoor fire or eat them as a simple snack. Or you can add them to stews, soups and salads.

Often chickpeas are used in things like hummus, falafel and masala. If you have never eaten pure chickpeas, then no doubt you would have eaten something with chickpeas in it. You will recognize their flavor, even if you have never known what the flavor is before.

Do you like those kinds of foods? Then maybe it is time to explore the different chickpea recipes and foods that are available. 

Where Do Chickpeas Originally Come From?

Chickpeas are said to originate from Turkey when they were believed to be from a wild progenitor which can only be found growing in Turkey.

They were only available in Turkey until 6000 BC when it spread to the Mediterranean, and then to India around 3000 or so years later.

Today, most chickpeas don’t come from Turkey, and instead India. However, in Southern France, some chickpeas have been proven to have been around since 6790 BC.

Now, that is impressive!

As you can see, chickpeas have been around for a very long time. They are really simple to procure, meaning they are easy to find. You will not have to find a specialty shop to buy some – phew!

Nutritional Value Chart

Chickpeas Nutritional Value of One Cup of Chickpeas

NutrientValue
Calories210
Fat3.8 grams
Protein 10.7 grams
Fiber 9.6 grams
Carbohydrates35 grams
Sugar10 grams

RELATED: String Beans vs. Green Beans: What’s the Difference?

Delicious And Healthy Chickpeas Recipes To Taste

The diverse range of meals available with chickpeas makes them very useful to buy.

The following three recipes are among the most popular we could find online and provide you with diverse cooking opportunities.

Feel free to try any of these options out to create a rich meal you’re family will enjoy.

RecipesCalories (per serving)Preparation Time
Crunchy Air Fryer133 Kcal20 Minutes
Chocolate Covered Chickpea Brownies120 Kcal14 Minutes
Flavored Chickpeas100 Kcal 35 Minutes

1. Crunchy Air Fryer Chickpeas

This recipe uses an air fryer to produce crunchy chickpeas that can work well as a snack or for various meal recipes. 

You simply add dried chickpeas to the air fryer, set it at the highest temperature, and cook them for 20 minutes or so to air fry them quickly and effectively.

Sprinkle whatever herbs or spices you want on top, including oregano, sea salt, or even thyme. 

The choices you make here will vary depending on your preferences. 

You can then add these chickpeas to multiple dishes, including salads, sandwiches, and much more.

Calories (per serving): 133 Kcal

Preparation Time: 20 Minutes

2. Chocolate-Covered Chickpea Brownies

Here’s a great chickpea recipe that goes above and beyond hummus and falafel! 

It uses one can of chickpeas, two tablespoons of coco powder, Dutch cocoa, flour, milk, nut oils, and other baking ingredients to produce rich, creamy, and tasty brownies.

This option is a great choice for people who want healthier snacks for their children or themselves. 

Simply put, the high protein concentration makes these brownies surprisingly healthy and will make them a great option for people trying to get in shape or lose weight.

Calories: 120 Kcal

Preparation Time: 14 Minutes

3. Flavored Chickpeas

Roasting chickpeas lets you flavor them in various ways, particularly when you bake them in an oven. 

Sprinkle cinnamon and sugar on top to create a rich and surprisingly sweet dessert. 

You can also add Mexican spices to use your chickpeas in tacos and other similar dishes.

You may also try sprinkling them with cheeses, tomatoes, and other pizza-friendly ingredients to produce a very light pizza-flavored meal. 

Chickpeas easily absorb many flavors, which makes them as useful a cooking ingredient as chicken for many meals.

Calories: 100 calories

Preparation Time: 35 Minutes

Final Thoughts

Chickpeas are a tasty legume. While they do not look very interesting (they are a neutral color after all), they have a distinctive taste.

Despite having notes of nuts and an earthy undertone, they cut through food without overpowering any other flavors around them. One good example is hummus. While it is obviously chickpeas, you can often taste the other flavors too.

They are also easy to eat, and can be bought either in a can or dry. Often they are precooked and safe to eat as-is, so it is possible to eat them straight from the can or dry.

So, the next time you are looking for an interesting flavor and snack, why not try chickpeas? They are also great roasted by an outdoor fire.

Frequently Asked Questions

If you are interested in chickpeas, it is important to understand several important questions before buying.

These simple concepts can help you better understand what you’re getting from this food and how you can integrate them into your life. In this way, you can feel comfortable trying them out for the first time.

Are Chickpeas A Superfood?

The concept of a superfood is fairly broad but typically applies to foods that pack a lot of nutrients in a few calories.

Chickpeas likely count as a superfood because they contain both high levels of protein and fiber and a shocking amount of other minerals.

For example, they contain over 100% of your daily intake of copper and 800% of your manganese. This makes a single cup of chickpeas a powerful meal to eat.

However, the nutritional level may vary depending on how you prepare them so be careful with this process.

May Chickpea Products Trigger Allergies?

Chickpeas may be an allergy trigger for some people, like beans and other similar foods may be for some.

That said, chickpeas are not as common of an allergen trigger as nuts or tofu, meaning they’re usually easier for more people to enjoy.

If you are allergic to chickpeas, chickpea-related products may also trigger reactions. For example, hummus and falafel can cause varying reactions.

It is best to stay away from these products if you do have an allergy or to get tested by your doctor to make sure you’re safe.

Will I Get Sick Eating Spoiled Chickpeas?

You can easily get sick eating spoiled chickpeas because they can grow mold, bacteria, and other dangerous items.

As a result, it is better to pay attention to the warning signs of spoiled chickpeas, such as mold, bad smells, or a pungent taste.

Even frozen chickpeas can go bad by experiencing freezer burn. Freezer burn can rob them of taste, soften their texture, and make them hard to enjoy.

Freezer burn also strips nutrients from your chickpeas, so make sure to freeze them for no more than six months.

Delicious And Healthy Chickpeas Recipes To Taste!

5 from 1 vote

 From traditional dishes to modern twists, we have something for everyone. So what are you waiting for? Start cooking today!

Directions

  • Pick a recipe from the list above
  • Click the recipe name and visit the website
  • Collect the ingredients and cook the food
  • Enjoy – don’t forget to leave a review

Recipe Video

Jess Smith