Chickpeas changing the allergen-friendly food game

From gluten-free to vegan, chickpeas are changing the allergen-friendly food game. Chickpea flour is a great gluten-free option, while aquafaba makes a vegan egg substitute.

photo credit: smiteme Chickpeas [flickr] via photopin (license)

If you’ve been gluten free for any length of time, you’ve probably already come across chickpeas in some odd places. One of the more popular gluten free flour blends from Bob’s Red Mill lists chickpea (garbanzo bean) flour as the first ingredient. And if you’re vegan too, you may already know that aquafaba, the leftover water in the can with chickpeas, can be used as an egg substitute. We know chickpeas are high in protein, and are not considered an allergen, but why do they pop up in so many strange places? I found out!

Chickpeas for many uses

I came across this article from the Richmond Times-Dispatch about a local business doing innovative things with chickpea flour. The article notes that “chickpea flour can be used in baked goods, while the protein concentrate can be used to fortify food and beverage supplement products and to replace soy, dairy and eggs.” Indeed, the flour is used pretty widely already in baked goods. In fact, we use the Bob’s Red Mill gluten free flour in Gluten Free Grandma T’s flour tortilla recipe.

From gluten-free to vegan, chickpeas are changing the allergen-friendly food game. Chickpea flour is a great gluten-free option, while aquafaba makes a vegan egg substitute.

photo credit: barnimages.com Fusilli plate via photopin (license)

You’ve probably also seen Banza Pasta on the shelves at your local health food store; if you haven’t tried it yet, I recommend it! It’s pretty easy to cook without melting and has a nice texture without too much of an odd flavor. I tend to buy it more than the corn and quinoa blends these days, and I like that extra bit of protein it provides (14g per serving, versus 3-4g for other gluten free pastas.)

Of course, chickpea flour has been used for ages in the Indian fried snack pakora. Pakora were widely available from little shops in my old neighborhood in Glasgow, and were a favorite takeaway snack after a night of drinking once I figured out they were safe to eat!

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Aquafaba

From gluten-free to vegan, chickpeas are changing the allergen-friendly food game. Chickpea flour is a great gluten-free option, while aquafaba makes a vegan egg substitute.

This is vegan though?! photo credit: H is for Home Cakes & Bakes: Vegan lemon meringue pie via photopin (license)

I first came across aquafaba in a vegan cookbook – specifically, Vegan for Everybody: Foolproof Plant-Based Recipes for Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, and In-Between. It was an ingredient in a recipe for vegan mayonnaise, which was used in the recipe for vegan ranch dressing. Pretty soon, I started noticing it more and more – usually used as an egg replacement in vegan baking. Upon further research, I found this vegan list of 20 amazing things you can do with aquafaba and now I kind of want to try them all! If you’ve got an egg allergy, this is game-changing information.

Have you discovered the many uses of chickpeas? What’s your favorite dish? Tell me in the comments!


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