Garbanzo Beans vs. Chickpeas - What's The Difference

Garbanzo Beans vs. Chickpeas

If you have ever wondered what the difference is between chickpeas and garbanzo beans, there are none. They are the same bean but are known by different names - chickpeas a.k.a. garbanzo beans.

A chickpea seed produces this type of legume that is akin to kidney beans, lima beans, and peanuts. Garbanzo beans/chickpeas have a buttery, nutty flavor with a starchy or pasty texture. Around the world, chickpeas are one of the most popular beans to cook and eat. 

Chickpea Origin

Its origin is believed to have emanated in the Middle East many centuries ago. To show its popularity, if you have the opportunity to travel to any part of the Middle East, Africa, or parts of Europe, outdoor markets feature organic chickpeas/garbanzo beans in large open baskets.

On the flip side, if you order any of their delicious dishes like salads, curries, soups, hummus, and more, you will enjoy the many flavors of this legume. Okay, if they are the same bean, then why are they called by different names?

One theory is that the name chickpeas stemmed from the early Romans and garbanzo beans stemmed from the Spanish culture ("garbantzu"). Chickpeas are now the English term, while garbanzo is the term that is still used today among the Spanish speaking population.

Types of Chickpeas

Both terms chickpeas and garbanzo beans are used interchangeably but they refer to the same legume. At the grocery store, you will notice that many canned garbanzo beans also include the term chickpeas. Chickpeas/garbanzo beans have a large round shape.

They are commonly beige or yellowish in color called Kabuli Chana. But other varieties are called Desi Chickpea. They are dark green, brown or brownish-red and black. Each type features its own distinct flavor and nutritional profile.

Nutritional Value

Their nutrient value is the highest in the world as is its various health benefits. Like most beans, chickpeas are highly enriched in fiber, protein, vitamins, and minerals. These popular legumes help to prevent many health conditions.

Chickpeas/garbanzo beans are loaded with nutritional value and are considered to be one of the richest sources of protein. Overall, just a simple cup of chickpeas provides nearly one-third of the proteins that are needed in an adult's daily needs.

This nutritious legume is good for preventing heart diseases by lowering cholesterol levels. Chickpeas are a naturally powerful antioxidant. It staves off several types of chronic diseases including cancer.

Physicians suggest that individuals with a history of cancer in their family should include chickpeas as part of their daily dietary requirements.

Chickpeas are high in potassium that helps to lower cholesterol levels. Excess cholesterol can block the walls of your artery. Being low in sodium, garbanzo beans/chickpeas are very safe and healthy for pregnant women and the unborn baby.

One of the best benefits of Garbanzo beans is its ability to reduce your blood sugar levels. Eating garbanzo beans regularly can also help in lowering the risk of diabetes. In addition, if you need dietary help to lose weight, include chickpeas.

Chickpeas are a great way to lose weight without compromising on nutrition. This legume is packed with fiber. As you know, fiber is very filling. Fiber naturally slows the release of sugar into the bloodstream from the foods we eat.

This is good for your waistline and our health. A cup of chickpeas has 13 grams of fiber. This represents more than half the fiber needed by women each day and about one-third of the daily requirements needed by men.

In addition to its antioxidant properties, chickpeas are a natural source of vitamin A and vitamin K. Both these vitamins help to improve the body's immune system, strengthens our bone health, and helps maintain the health of our eyesight, skin, and mucus membranes.

How To Cook Canned and Raw Chickpea/Garbanzo Beans

A.  Canned Garbanzo Beans/Chickpeas

Before you ask, yes, canned chickpeas are pre-cooked. Canned chickpeas can be served straight from the can. But before you throw them on a plate straight from the can, drain them over the sink.

Rinse the chickpeas/garbanzos then add them directly to your dishes. Mixing chickpeas with other healthy ingredients can also make their taste more appealing, like sautéing them or pan-fry them with various seasonings.

B.  Raw Garbanzo Beans/Chickpeas

The first thing you will have to do before cooking dried chickpeas is to soak them. This process helps to soften the skin. All organic chickpea recipes call for soaking them up to 12 hours or overnight, which is preferable.

When cooked, chickpeas triple in size. It is estimated that 1 cup of organic chickpeas makes about 3 cups of cooked chickpeas. Canned chickpeas can be cooked in just a few minutes, but the raw or dry varieties require more time.

Cooking them on top of the stove can take about 3 hours. If you use a slow cooker, your cooking time is about 4 hours on high heat or 8 hours on low heat. In a pressure cooker, chickpeas/garbanzo beans will cook for about 1 hour. Health and deliciousness are combined in this popular legume.

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