As I was doing my morning news overload, I came upon this article about hummus. Firstly, this got me a bit hungry, since I am a big fan of hummus. This also got me to thinking about chick peas in general, and how they are very close to a perfect food item. Chick peas (garbanzo beans) are a low fat, high fiber, high protein snack. They are also low in sodium if you make them yourself (the canned chick peas may have some added salt, but I’ve seen some low sodium varieties lately). They are also a good source of calcium.

Nutrition Facts (1/2 cup cooked chick peas, canned):

Grams % Daily Value
Total Fat 2.0 g 2%
Saturated Fat 0 g 0%
Trans Fat 0 g 0%
Cholesterol 0 g 0%
Sodium 280 mg 12%
Total Carbohydrate 18 g 6%
Dietary Fiber 6 g 26%
Sugar 1 g
Protein 6 g

I also thought I’d share two of my favorite chick pea recipes. Both of these are quick and easy to make, and are delicious. On second though, they are actually not recipes; they would more aptly be described as guidelines, as there is a lot of room for personal experimentation. I really like to experiment with food, be my guest to do the same.

Hummus:
1 can cooked chick peas
Tablespoon olive oil
1-2 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon tahini (can use peanut butter as an alternative)
Juice of ½ a lemon
Directions: -Place garlic cloves in food processor and chop up.
-Drain can of chick peas, but keep the liquid.
-Place chick peas into food processor with garlic; start processing. Keep the processor running until the chick peas are fairly well mashed.
-Add olive oil, tahini (or PB), process all ingredients.
-At this point, the mixture should be a very thick paste. Add a little bit of the chick pea liquid and turn the processor on. If it is still too thick, continue to add liquid until it is the right consistency for your liking.
-Squeeze the lemon juice on top.

I add hummus to just about any food I make, from chicken, to sandwiches, to pasta. I think it tastes that good.

Roasted chick peas:
1 can cooked chick peas
1-3 tablespoons of olive oil
Spices to taste
Directions:-Preheat oven to 390F.
-Drain chick peas.
-Place drained chick peas on an oven tray.
-Sprinkle olive oil.
-Season with spices (I use cumin, chili powder, garlic powder)
-Place in oven.
-Cooking time will vary based on how crunchy you like them. The longer you leave them in, the more crunch.

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