Discover Green Garbanzos
Updated: Jul 17
I was introduced to green garbanzo beans through Sophia Roe - who I admit I totally girl crush over. She's amazing at what she does, which includes being chef, wellness advocate, and bomb storyteller.
Fresh and dried garbanzos (chickpeas) are both part of the legume family, although dried garbanzos are specifically referred to as pulses.
Increasingly, you can buy them green garbanzos frozen at well-stocked supermarkets. But if you're a strict seasonal eater, look for them in the late spring to mid-summer at your farmers' markets.
As with all legumes, garbanzos have nitrogen-sparing characteristics . Farmers consider them a high-value crop because, when planted correctly, they capture nitrogen directly from the air and enrich the soil with it [1,2]. And nitrogen helps plants to grow.
This is also good news for us non-farmers, because nitrogen-sparing abilities make garbanzos protein-dense. And while they may not be a complete source of protein, they're still an amazing source with almost 40 grams of protein per cup!
There's more good news. Both green and dried garbanzos contain several macro- and micro-nutrients including fiber, iron, magnesium, B-6, and B-9 or folate. But here's where green garbanzos take the lead over dried: you'll have a better chance of benefiting from antioxidants that normally would be diminished or destroyed by processing and drying .
If you're wondering how to cook green garbanzos, here are some ideas:
Shell the garbanzos and throw away the pods. Boil or steam for 5 - 7 minutes until tender. You can use now use them in another recipe, like Green Garbanzo Hummus. Or season with your favorite seasoning and enjoy solo.
Char them in the pods in a skillet or on the grill, covered, on medium-high for 3 - 5 minutes. Allow the bottom of the pods to blacken undisturbed. Serve simply with salt or with a tangy vinaigrette drizzle.
Herridge DF, Marcellos H, Felton WL, Turner GL and Peoples MB. Chickpea increases soil-N fertility in cereal systems through nitrate sparing and N2 fixation. Soil Biology and Biochemistry. 1995;27(4–5): 545-551.
Takemura A. How Chickpeas Can Fix Soil and Feed Farmers. National Geographic. 2016. Accessed from https://on.natgeo.com/2HzJANf on March 20, 2019.
Xu B and Chang SKC. Effect of soaking, boiling, and steaming on total phenolic content and antioxidant activities of cool season food legumes. Food Chemistry. 2008; 110(1):1–13.