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Chickpeas are one of the most versatile ingredients you can use for any healthy meal because they go with pretty much anything! Chickpeas are also packed with nutrients.
As a dry or canned food, they last for ages making them perfect to use for meal prep meals during the week. While most chickpea recipes will be warm, this unique chickpea salad is served cold, which lets you pair it as a healthy side to a warm main dish or eat on a warmer day when you want a touch of summer from the mint, lemon and yogurt!
The added benefit of this cold chickpea salad recipe is that the ingredients retain more of nutrients because they haven't been cooked. The red onions, mint and any extra plant-based ingredients you choose to add will be raw and so have the most nutrients for you!
This quick healthy easy meal gives a touch of tanginess, a bit of coolness (from the mint) and savouriness from the chickpeas and red onion. The yogurt is bonus that gives you extra protein and nice smooth texture that goes down easy by the mouthful!
Make this recipe exactly as it is or add your own flavor to it! Extra ideas include chopped red peppers, bite-sized cucumber or fresh cherry tomatoes.
This chickpea salad can be stored in the fridge and used over a few days. The flavors get better if you let the salad sit in them for a day!
Makes: 4 servings
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Chickpeas have been a main ingredient in many healthy vegetarian recipes and healthy vegan recipes because they are filling and offer many of the vitamins, minerals and macronutrients (protein and complex carbs) that the body needs to run well.
In just one ounce of chickpeas (28g) you get 8 grams of carbs, 2 grams of fiber, 3 grams of protein and a boost of folate and iron.
You'll notice first the high amount of carbs but don't get scared! Your body needs healthy complex carbs in order to operate efficiently - especially if you are an active person. Carbs like those in chickpeas are ideal to pair with other protein and veg sources to fuel an active day!
Next, you'll notice the high fiber content. High fiber foods are extremely valuable to your diet because they help regulate the appetite and ease the digestive process. When you have sufficient fiber in your diet you'll feel fuller for longer and have less digestive issues.
You'll also see that there's a good amount of protein in chickpeas. More on this in the next section because it's extremely important!
Finally, chickpeas contain healthy amounts of folate and iron. These nutrients are helpful to the body for growth and development.
Chickpeas have lots of protein. Specifically, Chickpeas have 3 grams of protein per 1 ounce (28g) serving.
Because chickpeas contain so much plantbased protein, they are the perfect choice for those avoiding or reducing meat in the diet but still looking to keep up protein levels.
Protein is essential for any diet but especially for those working towards fitness goals as it provides that feeling of fullness, maintains muscle strength and promotes bone health.
The quality of the protein you eat is also important. For example, cheese is high in protein but it also contains a significant amount of saturated fat. Legumes, like chickpeas contain less saturated fat but still a high protein level making them a fantastic choice for those seeking a balanced diet. The quality of protein in chickpeas is comparable to that in Black Beans or Lentils.
Note that chickpeas are NOT a complete protein source. (Chickpeas do not contain all amino acids but they are close!) If you are on a plant-based diet then you should pair chickpeas with another protein source such as nuts or tahini (this is why hummus is such a great healthy snack!)
Chickpeas are not considered part of the paleo diet because they are from the legume family. They contain a high amount of protein however they also contain a significant amount of carbs. If you're on a strict paleo diet, chickpeas will not be recommended.
However, a more balanced diet can include legumes such as chickpeas. As long as you don't have any digestive issues with chickpeas, they are a great source of protein and there is no reason to avoid them, especially if you lead an active lifestyle.
One of the best secrets to eating chickpeas is to remove the outer skins. If you experience bloating or discomfort after eating chickpeas this could be a solution for you.
Simply soak canned chickpeas in a bowl of water with 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda or baking powder for ten minutes. Then slide the skins off of each chickpea. They'll come right off the chickpeas without any difficulty! This can be a time consuming process but it's definitely worth it if you want a smoother texture, especially for any hummus recipes!