For MOMS & MOMS-TO-BE and BABIES 2+*
Chickpeas (aka, garbanzo beans) have long been one of my go-to protein sources. From salads, to stir-fries, to pasta dishes, and of course hummus, chickpeas are an extremely versatile food that are also super healthy for you.
However, I will admit that, besides in hummus, chickpeas aren’t exactly a food that I would just want to snack on. That is until I discovered Chic-a-peas and their line of baked chickpeas that are so good you can eat them straight out of the bag.
THE PRODUCT: Chic-a-peas is the creator of the latest and greatest “invention” to chickpeas – baked and slightly seasoned. Available in both plain and falafel flavors, Chic-a-peas are a perfect snack when in the mood for something both crunchy and savory.
NUTRITION-WISE: Made of nothing but chickpeas, safflower oil, seasonings, and sea salt, Chic-a-peas are perfectly baked to satisfy your savory cravings, while also giving you a healthy boost of nutrients.
Like most legumes, chickpeas have long been valued for their fiber (and protein) content. In fact, two cups provide the entire Daily Value of fiber! However, research has proven that the fiber benefits of garbanzos may go beyond that of other foods. It seems that the fiber in these beans can actually be metabolized by bacteria in the colon to produce relatively large amounts of short chain fatty acids (SCFAs): including acetic, propionic, and butyric acid. These SCFAs provide fuel to the cells that line the intestinal wall, helping to lower the risk for colon problems, including that of colon cancer.
Furthermore, the safflower oil that is used in Chic-a-peas is emerging as a new health superstar. Made from the seeds of safflowers, which are similar to sunflowers, this oil contains monounsaturated fat, which may help protect against heart disease. Unlike saturated fats from meat and dairy, which are linked to unhealthy cholesterol levels, monounsaturated fat may help reduce "bad" LDL cholesterol in your bloodstream that can lead to plaque buildup in the arteries, narrowing the passageway. Sometimes, the plaque can break open, causing a blood clot that completely blocks the artery, potentially leading to a heart attack or stroke.
Safflower oil is also an excellent source of vitamin E, containing 4.6 milligrams per tablespoon, which is ¼ of the Daily Value. Vitamin E is an antioxidant that helps protect cells from free-radical damage from sun exposure, cigarette smoke and other pollutants. You also need vitamin E for a healthy immune system and cell signaling, and it may even play a role in maintaining plaque-free arteries.
*Nutritionally speaking, Chic-a-peas are great for people of any age. However, they are pretty hard and would be difficult to chew for children who don’t yet have molars. I would suggest waiting until your child gets at least one full set in before you introduce these snacks to him/her, because you definitely don’t want your child swallowing them whole.
WHERE TO BUY: Chic-a-peas are mainly sold on the East Coast, although their territory is vastly expanding. To find a retail location nearest you, please visit their Store Locator. Or have them shipped anywhere by ordering through their Online Store.
FINAL THOUGHTS: I’ve been a fan of chickpeas for as long as I can remember, putting them on salads, mixing them in stir-fries, and of course, eating them as hummus. I’ve even played around with chickpea flour before, although I must admit that it has a fairly pungent taste and needs to be mixed with other flours if you want a good flavor and consistency.
However, I’ve never really craved chickpeas as a snack, with the thought of it kind-of weirding me out a bit. That is until I tried Chic-a-peas baked chickpeas and realized how tasty a baked chickpea can be. Full of protein, as well as fiber, these are the perfect little savory snacks to add to your trail mix, or to eat straight out of the bag.
And remember, Contact Healthy.Fit.Fab…Moms today to create a personalized plan so you and your family can live a healthy, fit, and fabulous life!