Chickpeas are a legume or pulse where one seedpod contains two or three peas. We stock two types – the brown chickpea known as Desi and the white chickpea Kabuli or ‘Garbanzo beans’.
As a high nitrogen crop chickpeas are often grown by organic farmers in between their wheat crops to restore nitrogen to soil. Conventional farmers would normally restore soil nitrogen through adding urea or other fertilisers.
Chickpeas are one of the earliest cultivated legumes – 7500 year old chickpeas remnants have been found in Jericho and Turkey, while in southern France the remains of wild chickpeas have been carbon dated to around 6800 BCE. The classical Greeks enjoyed them in desserts or ate them raw while they were still young peas. They were even mentioned in the Old Testament’s Book of Ruth.
They are a rich source of iron, and an excellent source of calcium and molybdenum. They are also high in manganese, folate, copper and phosphorus. Chick peas make an ideal complete protein meal especially when combined with grains like brown rice.
The darker-colored “desi-type” chickpea (our chickpea splits) may have greater concentrations of antioxidants than the larger and more regularly shaped cream-colored chickpeas.
Recent studies have shown that chickpea fibre can be metabolised by bacteria in the colon to produce relatively large amounts of short chain fatty acids (SCFAs), including acetic, propionic, and butyric acid.
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