First, açaí had its moment. Then kale, followed by cauliflower and the universal love for avocado. There are many healthy foods of years past that each got their moment in the spotlight. In 2020, it’s chickpea’s time to shine. Chickpea-swap recipes have been popping up all over the internet and for a good reason.
A staple in many diets through the Middle East, chickpeas aren’t new. However, until recently, their most popular form in the West was hummus. Now, there’s so much more, and healthy eaters are catching on.
Chickpeas Surge in Popularity
It’s no secret that consumers are becoming more health-conscious. The organic food market is projected to reach $323 billion globally by 2024, and 64% of consumers report that the nutritional value of their food is a driving force behind purchasing habits.
Cue the rise of chickpeas, the food that online search volume, is said to have more than tripled in recent years. The 2020 Topics and Trends Report from Facebook IQ named* chickpeas as a rising trend for the new decade.
Highly Nutritious and Low on Calories
For decades, humans have been searching for the perfect food. One that meets most dietary recommendations, packing protein, vitamins, minerals, and fiber, yet low in calories. A dream food of sorts that until recently seemed elusive.
But now chickpeas are all the buzz. They’re the answer to many consumer demands. Their nutritional value is virtually unrivaled. A 28-gram serving has only 46 calories, yet has 3 grams of protein, 2 grams of fiber, and virtually no saturated fat.
Meanwhile, they serve as a notable source of folate, vitamin B6, calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, zinc, copper, manganese, and more. They’re an excellent food to add to vegetarian recipes due to the many nutritional benefits.
Chickpeas Protect Your Health
According to experts, chickpeas do wonders for your health. They help regulate blood sugar, which is crucial for those with diabetes. Since they’re full of soluble fiber that gets fermented by the colon, they promote a balanced and healthy gut. Fermented foods are the key to maintaining gut health, another hot topic in 2020.
Additionally, chickpeas help protect your heart, fighting high cholesterol. They provide a sense of fullness, meaning that you eat less and feel satisfied longer, due to the fiber and protein content. This makes them a GR8 food to incorporate in weight loss plans.
A Food of Versatility
Açaí and avocado might be difficult to fit into many different dishes, but that’s not the case with chickpeas. They can be used in stews and soups, as meat substitutes, to create delectable desserts, and more.
The classic known dish, hummus, has gotten a makeover. You can now find endless recipes for dessert hummus, with chocolate chips and natural sweeteners packed with flavor.
Chickpeas can top salads, make omelets, create pizza crust, roast for crunchy roasted snacks, and so much more. It seems there’s nothing that chickpeas can’t do.
Chickpeas Pack Flavor
Due to the versatile nature of the food, chickpeas don’t have a bland, boring taste. They complement many spices and can be added to spicy, hearty, and sweet recipes alike. Chickpeas themselves provide a rich, nutty flavor to dishes. While you’ll be consuming fewer calories, you won’t be sacrificing taste. They’re truly a must-try.