Do You Know Your Chickpea ABCs?

updated May 1, 2019
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(Image credit: Kelsey McClellan)

We love beans in all shapes and sizes, but the ever-versatile chickpea is special. Whether you call them garbanzos, chana, or ceci, these pale yellow beans are so delicious and useful in the kitchen that we’re devoting a whole month to helping you sing the alphabet.

Welcome to the ABCs of Chickpeas.

The ABCs of Chickpeas

These nutty, wholesome little beans are more than just a good source of protein and fiber. Look at them from every angle and they’ll surprise you — not simply the bean itself, but also the liquid that’s lurking in the can and the flour made from the bean.

(Image credit: Emma Christensen)

Chickpeas Are for Vegans (and Others, Too)

The bean’s versatility proves that it just might be the most powerful of legumes. For those on vegan diets, it can completely replace meat or eggs without feeling like a sad substitute. Use the beans to make kid-friendly vegetarian nuggets or a tuna-less tuna salad that’s so flavorful, anyone would be happy having it stuffed in their sandwich.

That’s the thing: chickpeas are for everyone because, while they can play the vegan card exceptionally well, they also just taste good. I mean, who doesn’t like hummus? Or falafel?

A Is for Aquafaba, C Is for Chickpea Flour

We’re running through the alphabet to prove just how multifaceted one bean can be. That means while we are talking a whole lot about the round beans themselves, we are also talking about the other forms chickpeas take. When ground, they become a gluten-free flour that makes an irresistible French flatbread, a savory Indian breakfast crepe, and the crispiest batter for onion rings.

And then there’s the startling miracle of aquafaba (the chickpea cooking liquid), which is not only a great egg replacement, but can also be whipped and dolloped onto fruit, piped like icing onto cupcakes, and even shaken in cocktails.

Not convinced? Join along and we guarantee by the time we hit Z, you will be.

Ready to begin your alphabet lesson? Let’s start with A…