The once humble chickpea is on the rise due to the popularity of Greek and Mediterranean cuisine. Chickpeas are also known as Garbanzo Beans and were first cultivated around 3000 BC in the cultures bordering the Mediterranean Sea. As the pea became popular with the Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans, it spread to India and Africa.
HUMMUS and FALAFELS
When combined with rice and pasta it becomes the perfect protein, as good as meat but without the fat. The most popular form of the chickpea is in hummus but is also the main ingredient in falafels. The chickpeas are soaked, then ground up, and seasoned with onions, scallions, and spices like parsley, garlic, cumin, and coriander. The mixture is then shaped into balls and deep-fried. In falafel form you can eat the fried balls, served as a sandwich on a warm pita or add them to any of the salads we have on our Greek Mediterranean menu.
HEALTH BENEFITS of CHICKPEAS
High protein, low fat, low calories. That’s all you really need to know. These are especially good for those who are concerned about heart health. A study in Archives of Internal Medicine claims garbanzo beans decrease coronary heart disease and cardiovascular heart disease. If you are looking to keep your blood sugar levels low—garbanzos are also a go-to food for diabetics. They can prevent blood sugar levels from rising after a meal.
Aybla Grill has recently opened a new Greek Mediterranean restaurant in Portland. Not only do we offer some of the best Greek food in Portland, but we are also one of the few halal restaurants in the city. Please check out our food carts and call 971-328-2041 for catering.