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You can live on chickpeas and fresh vegetables
- billions of people do!

Genesis 508 Australian desi chickpeas Desi chickpeas - abundant anti-oxidants

Chickpeas average 20% protein, 5% fat and 55% carbohydrate.

Chickpeas provide zinc, folate and protein. They are an ideal source of carbohydrates for people with insulin sensitivity or diabetes. One hundred grams of cooked chickpeas contains 164 calories, 2.6 grams of fat (only 0.27 grams saturated fat), 7.6 grams of dietary fiber and 8.9 grams of protein. Chickpeas also provide dietary phosphorus (49–53mg/100g - about the same as yoghurt).

    Recent studies have shown that:
  • chickpeas help to lower cholesterol
  • ⅓ cup a day for a week will improve blood sugar and insulin secretion
  • eat chickpeas and you'll snack less
  • your colon loves chickpeas which help it make essential short chain fatty acids
  • chickpeas reduce heart disease

Bachar Haikal talks about the benefits of hummus

Chickpeas are a great source of protein and dietary fibre with links to a reduction in colon cancer


Chickpeas are a 'complete' protein. A single cup of boiled chickpeas provides all the essential amino acids the body requires every day. As they are high protein and low GI they make the ideal fuel for a day of activity.

The human body needs a regular supply of amino acids, provided by protein, to build and maintain cells and to produce enzymes for the body's chemical processes. A regular supply of protein is vital because the body can not store excess protein. Not all sources of protein are 'complete' - rice and beans are an 'incomplete' protein individually but provide all the essential amino acids when combined.

Dietary Fibre

Chickpeas are a great source of dietary fibre (especially the desi variety). The fibre in chickpeas makes you feel full for longer.

70% of chickpea fibre is insoluble so it travels through your intestine all the way to the colon where it helps produce large amounts of short chain fatty acids(SCFAs). SCFAs feed your intestine walls reducing colon problems including colon cancer.


Chickpeas, particularly desi-type, provide a suite of anti-oxidants from small amounts of vitamin C, E and beta-carotene to large amounts of phytonutrients (nutrients that plants provide in a way we can absorb with cancer fighting properties). A cup of chickpeas has more than 80% of the daily requirement of mineral manganese which feed the mitochondria that energize the body's cells.

The manganese in chickpeas helps cells produce energy and fight free-radicals. The molybdenum in chickpeas helps to remove sulfites, a common food preservative. Chickpeas also contain lots of folate, a B vitamin that helps provide the fuel that cells need to repair damage.


A recent study showed that eating ¾ of a cup a day for a month will help lower your LDL-cholesterol, total cholesterol, and triglycerides.


The ancient romans fed chickpeas to their stallions. Chickpeas contain fatty acids (omegas 3, 6 and 9) which helps blood flow. They are also very good sources of Potassium and Calcium which is supposed to help amplify orgasms. We recommend that you eat lots of hummus and have lots of sex to test this.



In 1793 a German writer noted that ground-roast chickpeas were a good coffee substitute in Europe. During the First World War, chickpeas were grown for coffee in Germany.
(No relation to Chickory coffee - made from the root of a salad vegetable).

roasted chickpeas

Chickpea Coffee Recipe:
Roast chickpeas at 300° until dark brown.
Grind the beans finely.
Percolate, or boil and strain.


hummus, hummous houmous, hommos, humos, hommus, hoummos
- from Arabic حمّص ḥummuṣ
but the hummus really only refers to the chickpea. The full name of the dip is hummus bi tahina - chickpeas with sesame paste.

paprika = chilli

Chickpeas are sometimes called garbanzo beans chickpeas or chick peas = garbanzo beans

Hummus in Australia

Bachar Haikal talks about Australia and hummus


Growing Chickpeas

A Palestinian farmer, Ali Salah, harvests chickpeas near Efrat

Chickpeas have been grown in the Middle East for thousands of years. You can plant dried chickpeas in your own garden and grow your own. In Australia chickpeas are grown by farmers from Queensland to Victoria and across the South to Western Australia. In Queensland they are typically planted in May and earlier as you travel south

Grow your own hummus!

The chickpea is a cool-season annual that requires about 100 days (3 months) to reach harvest. Sow chickpeas about the date of the average last frost in spring or slightly earlier. They need a long growing season; to get a head start on the season, sow chickpeas indoors in a peat or paper pot for a few weeks, until the plant is 4 to 5 inches tall, before transplanting outside.

Chickpeas are not a bean nor a pea. The chickpea is a tender annual legume, a bushy plant that grows to about 18 inches tall with pairs of dark green, compound leaflets. Chick peas have swollen, oblong pods to about 1 inch long and nearly as wide with one or two large, cream-colored, pea-like seeds. Flowers may be white or violet colored depending on the variety.

Grow 4 to 8 chickpeas plants per each household member.


Plant chickpeas in full sun for a good yield. They like loose, well-drained soil rich in organic matter so dig lots of compos into the beds before plantingt. Don't plant chickpeas where green manures have just grown or in soil high in nitrogen or you'll get lots of leaves and not many seeds. Adding potassium and phosphorus to the soil will help. Like other legumes, chickpeas work with soil microorganisms called nitrogen-fixing bacteria to produce the nitrogen compounds they need.

Sow the chickpeas 1½ to 2 inches deep, spaced 8 to 16 centimeters apart. Thin successful plants to 16 centimeters apart; cut away thinned plants at soil level with scissors so as not to disturb roots. Space rows 46 to 60 centimeters apart. Do not soak seed before sowing and avoid heavy watering after sowing to keep seeds from cracking. Chickpeas allowed to grow a bit crowded will offer each other support.


Keep planting beds evenly moist until chickpeas have pushed through the soil. Water regularly during flowering and pod formation. Avoid overhead watering which can cause flowers and pods to fall off. Mulch when the weather warms to conserve soil moisture. Side dress chickpeas with aged compost at midseason.

Avoid handling chickpeas when they are wet or covered with heavy dew; this may spread fungus spores. Keep planting beds weed free but be careful around chickpeas base - don't disturb the plant's shallow root system. Chickpeas and other legumes are good to use with crop rotation as they fix nitrogen in the soil so fruit or vegetables are a good.

Companion Planting

Chickpeas likes to grow with potatoes, cucumbers, corn, strawberries, celery but, like other legumes, not garlic and other members of the onion family.

Container growing

Chickpeas can be grown in containers 8 inches deep, the space required for a useable crop makes chickpeas a poor choice for container growing.


Chickpeas can be attacked by aphids, bean beetles, flea beetles, leafhoppers and mites. Aphids, leafhoppers, and mites can be sprayed away with a blast of water from the hose or controlled with insecticidal soap. Look for eggs and infestations and crush them between your fingers and thumb. Pinch out and remove large infestations. Aphids can spread bean mosaic virus. Keep the garden clean and free of debris so that pests can not harbor over-winter in the garden.


Chickpeas are susceptible to blight, mosaic, and anthracnose. Plant disease-resistant varieties. Keep the garden clean and free of debris. Avoid handling plants when they are wet so as not to spread fungal spores. Removed diseased plants; put them in a paper bag and throw them away. Chickpeas are susceptible to many soil-borne diseases; rotating beans so that they do not grow in the same location more than every three years will reduce soil-borne diseases.


Chickpeas will be ready for harvest about 100 days after planting. Chickpeas for fresh eating can be picked when pods are still immature and green; they can be eaten like snap beans. For dried chickpeas, harvest the entire plant when the leaves have withered and turned brown; place the plant on a flat, warm surface and allow the pods to dry. Collect the seed as the pods split. Seeds that will barely dent when bitten are sufficiently dry.

Storing and preserving

Unshelled chickpeas will keep in the refrigerator for up to one week. Dried, shelled chickpeas will keep in a cool, dry place for up to a year. Chickpeas can be frozen, canned, or sprouted.

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