Chickpeas are an excellent source of nutrition and are widely used in some of the most famous dishes from around the world. They might look small, but they certainly pack a punch in terms of flavor and have a taste that is unique and comforting.
But if you are yet to try chickpeas for yourself, you might be wondering what do chickpeas taste like and asking yourself a variety of other questions like how you should cook them and what they pair well with. In this guide, we will be introducing you to the chickpea and all of the wonderful things you can do with this diverse food.
Table of Contents
Are Canned Chickpeas As Good As Fresh?
Chickpeas are from a family of legumes that also contain kidney beans, black beans, peanuts, and lima beans. But this connection is where the similarities end, chickpeas are certainly a food within their own right.
These small legumes are extremely versatile and can be used in many dishes; which we will explore a little later on in this article. They can be eaten fresh or, if you prefer, they are available in a can. There is some debate over whether canned food will ever be as good as fresh and in terms of the chickpea, most fans would agree that the fresh option is always a little better.
This is typically because the texture is much creamier whereas those found in a can can be a little grainy in comparison. But that isn’t to say that canned chickpeas aren’t good, because they are and in terms of convenience, they are ideal.
What is the liquid in canned chickpeas?
When you open your can of chickpeas, you will notice that there is a thick, gloopy liquid inside. This is known as aquafaba and is the result of the chickpeas soaking in water for a long period of time. But it wouldn’t do you any harm if you wanted to consume it. In fact, there are now many vegan recipes that use aquafaba as a replacement for egg whites when making dishes such as meringue.
Can you eat chickpeas straight from the can?
The convenience of serving chickpeas in a can means that you can simply crack it open and eat the chickpeas as they are. They have already been prepared and cooked and unless you want to heat them up or cook them in another dish, feel free to dig right in.
That being said, if you are going to be using raw chickpeas, you should always prepare and cook them as eating them raw puts you at risk of ingesting certain toxins that your body won’t be able to break down. Even when they are cooked, chickpeas and other legumes may be more challenging in terms of digestion and could cause a build-up of gas.
But that isn’t to say that you shouldn’t include them in your diet; chickpeas are very good for you. The key is to introduce them gradually and allow your body to get used to them.
What Do Chickpeas Taste Like?
Chickpeas have a very unique flavor but their texture is one of the most interesting things about them. They have a creamy texture that breaks down very nicely as you chew them.
The chickpea has a very nutty taste and this is likely in relation to its connection to other legumes like the peanut. That being said, they have a flavor all of their own and when used in other foods, you will likely notice their texture over their taste which is easy to overpower.
Do Chickpeas Taste Like Hummus?
You may notice upon first trying chickpeas that they have a very similar taste to hummus and that is because they are one of the main ingredients in this dish. But being such a versatile little food, chickpeas often feature in many other recipes.
Things like falafel and veggie burgers commonly contain chickpeas and despite being small, their density makes them rather filling. They can also be included on pizzas and are frequently used as a substitute for tuna fish for those following a vegan diet.
What Are Chickpeas Similar To?
We have already looked at the family of legumes to which chickpeas belong so if you wanted to substitute them for any of these things, you would get pretty close. One of the most common things that could be used in place of a chickpea is the Great Northern Bean which is similar in texture and color and can be used in soups, salads, and various other dishes.
What Do Bad Chickpeas Taste Like?
One of the main concerns with any type of food is that it is suitable for eating. Some foods may not give you many clues as to their condition and quality and it may be the case that you have to get a mouthful of something off tasting before you realize that the food needs to be thrown out.
Fortunately, chickpeas are not one of these foods. It is pretty simple to tell whether they are off or not by checking out the visual clues and using your olfactory senses. When chickpeas are cooked, they will give off a very unpleasant odor if they have gone bad and this is one of the first signs that you should source a fresh batch.
What’s more, it isn’t uncommon for chickpeas to develop visible mold when they go bad so simply looking at them will tell you everything you need to know.
Chickpeas are a type of legume that has a nutty, earthy flavor. They are often used in dishes like hummus or falafel. Chickpeas can also be roasted or fried and eaten as a snack.
Chickpeas are a legume that come from the same family as kidney beans, peanuts, and lima beans. However, they have their very own unique taste and are incredibly versatile.
They are used in things like falafel, hummus, and in salads to name a few things and are frequently used in a vegan diet to substitute animal products.