Chickpeas are a staple food in southern Europe, India, North Africa, the Near East and the Arab world. Today, the largest quantities are produced in India and Turkey. The cultivation of chickpeas is also on the rise in Switzerland. This does have its challenges, however. The plants are sensitive to frost and suffer if they get too moist. Suitable varieties for widespread cultivation in Switzerland are currently being tested.
Peas are particularly high in folate and dietary fibre. A portion of chickpea salad with about 120 grams of cooked or canned peas provides over a quarter of our daily requirement for folate, which plays an important role in the formation of blood. As many people in Switzerland are deficient in folate, it is worth enjoying chickpeas more often. The dietary fibre in chickpeas ensures that we feel full for longer and contributes to the health of our intestinal flora.
Chickpeas are particularly suitable for Indian and Arabic cuisine. Cardamom, cinnamon, turmeric, cumin and coriander are all spices which go well with chickpeas. They are versatile and can be used in hummus, falafel, salads and much more. Canned chickpeas are handy for a quick meal. Unlike dried chickpeas, they do not have to be soaked and cooked first. Canned chickpeas can be used immediately.
The pickling water in canned chickpeas is called aquafaba. Thanks to its special properties, this can be used as a substitute for egg whites, in recipes that require whipped egg whites, for example. You can use it to make a delicious dessert like a chickpea chocolate mousse.