The chickpea, beans, peas, lentils and soybeans belong to the butterfly family (Fabaceae). This ancient cultivated plant was cultivated in Asia Minor 8000 years ago. The original form of the chickpea can still be found in Turkey. From Turkey, the chickpea then spread throughout Europe. It reached Germany in the first century AD. In the Middle Ages, the chickpea made a name for itself as a foodstuff and medicinal plant. The herbaceous plant of the chickpea can grow up to one metre high. It flowers in white, purple or red. Within dry and warm climates, the plant thrives best. However, the chickpea can also be grown in Switzerland. Nevertheless, most chickpeas available in shopping centres come from the Mediterranean region.
Chickpeas are an essential ingredient in many oriental and Mediterranean dishes. Falafel and hummus are well-known, as are curry dishes. The slightly nutty-tasting chickpeas are also suitable as a main ingredient in stews. Chickpea flour can be used in baked goods as an alternative to wheat flour. Roasted chickpeas also make a fine aperitif snack.
Legumes are healthy when cooked well.
Chickpeas are about one-fifth protein. The rich fibre content aids digestion. So, the high-calorie content (dried: 300 kilocalories per 100 grams) is less of a problem. The rich content of vitamins A, B, C and E, iron, zinc and magnesium is remarkable. As are the essential amino acids lysine and threonine, which help the body build proteins.
Chickpeas contain the dietary fibre raffinose. In small amounts, that is. Raffinose is a carbohydrate or a trisaccharide. Raffinose occurs in plants and comprises galactose, glucose and fructose. Sensitive people, therefore, react with flatulence after consuming legumes.
Supplement legume dishes with caraway seeds. Drink a strong peppermint tea with or after the meal.
Raw chickpeas also contain the toxin Phasin, which belongs to the group of lectins. These protein compounds are found in many fruits and vegetables. They protect the plants from invading bugs. Raw beans have high levels of this toxin, especially raw kidney beans. Cooking breaks down phasing. Cooked chickpeas and other legumes are, therefore, safe.
Like all pulses, dried chickpeas will keep for years if stored dry, away from light and in a cool place. Do not cook canned pulses or eat them after the expiration date.
Stirnrunzler’s lukewarm chickpea salad with fennel, broccoli, cucumber and date tomatoes
- 1-2 Nostrano cucumbers or one jar of well-drained mini cornichons
- Two fennel
- One bowl of date tomatoes
- One broccoli
Dried organic chickpeas
Wash, peel and seed the cucumbers. Halve and cut into thin slices. Prepare the fennel, wash, halve and cut into thin pieces. The fennel is used raw in this recipe but can be steamed or simmered briefly in boiling water. Wash the broccoli and pluck off the broccoli roses. Wash and halve or quarter the date tomatoes.
Mustard-lavender honey dressing for four people
Mix 3-4 tbsp apple cider vinegar, 3-4 tbsp linseed oil, and 1-2 tbsp heaped Dijon mustard. Add 2 tsp lavender honey, chives and parsley dried. Season with some dried chilli pepper or cayenne pepper generously.
Mustard dressing with balsamic vinegar for four people
- 3-4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar, 3-4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil. Add 1-2 tablespoons heaped Dijon mustard, chives and parsley. Mix it well with a bit of dried chilli pepper or cayenne pepper.
- Cook 4-5 large cups of chickpeas soaked overnight in cold water.
- Prepare the vegetables and the dressing. Season with sea salt and some dried peperoncini until al dente in water. Place the filter in a bowl, drain and leave to drain on kitchen towel. Place in an ovenproof glass dish in a warm (not hot) oven.
- Return the drained chickpea water to the pan, boil, and cook broccoli roses until al dente. Drain and also cover with a kitchen towel.
- Add the fennel, broccoli, cucumber, date tomatoes, and 2-3 large cups of chickpeas to the sauce. Remember to stir. Mix well, arrange on warmed plates, garnish and serve immediately.
Tip: Sprinkle caraway seeds over the salad.
Serve with a cup of nettle tea with lavender honey.