Thursday, September 15, 2011

You Snack Like a Chick!

by Kris Pitcher

Sometimes I just get excited about things. Like chickpeas! Who doesn't love a legume?! If you're going to snack, and I hope you should snack smart. And chickpeas are a smart snack.

Chickpeas, or garbanzo beans, are associated with lowering our risk for coronary heart disease. How smart would that be? They are full of soluble fiber which helps lower cholesterol. Chickpeas are also chick-full of potassium and omega 3 fatty acids.

Soluble fiber is soluble in water just like it sounds. It actually absorbs water in our gastrointestinal track making a gummy, sticky substance. Stick with me here (I couldn't help that one! Ha!) This sticky fiber binds with lipids in the digestive system to help eliminate it with our waste.

See why I'm so excited? A can of chickpeas will run you under .89. Once you open it rinse the beans. This helps to reduce sodium, and washes away whatever that liquid is they're packed in. OK, they're packed in water, but it gets a little gummy. Wash that off.

You can eat them just like that, or throw them in your food processor with some lemon juice and parsley. You can get fancy and make your own hummus too. Just throw in some tahini (peanut butter if you can't find tahini), some sesame oil, I throw in olive oil for good measure and you are snacking away. It's so easy!

Add them to a salad, a stir fry, or virtually any dish. Spice them up for a side dish to replace your boring old rice. You get the idea. You've got a fiber and protein packed snack to take on the road, to work, or where ever you are going. Snack like a chick!

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