In honor of the Wonder Woman movie release this weekend, here's a post on a wonder pulse: the chickpea.
Have you ever heard of a low-nickel diet? It's yet another dietary restriction in our house, this time for me because of my severe metal allergies that lead to infections when I blister after metal contact. Knowledge and research about low-nickel diets are not as clearcut as for some other food eliminations or replacements. And, I feel, it's harder to see the benefit of reducing food contact with metals, too. Still, I give it a decent effort; I've changed a lot of food choices, from canned tomatoes for sauce to boxed, from canned black olives to glass mixed olives or giardiniera. I try to balance my fiber intake so that I rely less on supposedly high-nickel foods like figs. As food avoidance goes, it's not too bad.
I only bring up low-nickel eating because it's been a surprise factor in a new food allergy favorite: aquafaba. We have a lovely group of supportive friends across the country. When the wonders of aquafaba---the liquid that suspends canned chick peas---appeared in media last fall, many people sent the articles to me for use in baking for my egg-free daughters. I got excited; then I got realistic.
So, I love chickpeas. My mother would laugh at that---I hated them when I was younger. I worked my way backward from hummus to falafel to the actual bean (scientifically, a pulse). I like them raw, with lemon juice in salads, roasted with smoked paprika. I use the chickpea flour to coat our chicken, thicken my sauces, and make homemade sesame-free hummus (still working on that one).
Also, I hate food waste, so the idea of using the liquid with the chickpeas sounded great as a healthier egg replacer than root starches. But this is where I drew my nickel-diet line; using the liquid that coated a can (probably for awhile) just seems like a bad idea for me, especially after being diagnosed with an immune/allergic esophageal condition last year.
The garbanzo truly is a wonder pulse, though: full of fiber, protein, iron, calcium, magnesium, potassium, and more. Mashable, toastable, spreadable, easy to pop a few into your hands for a snack---portable, even. Also firmer than a lot of similar bean alternatives, which is nicer for picky kids. You can probably guess that I make an exception to my no-canned-food diet for---copiously rinsed---canned chickpeas. It's just too convenient, and they're just too healthful and tasty to avoid.
It's hard for anyone to balance eating carefully with enjoying the food, and that's especially true for people with any kind of modified diet (#customeaters!). Allergies and immune conditions have long existed, but we're more connected now than ever before. You might be surprised who, even in your small circle, might be avoiding or replacing foods for health reasons.
Today, instead of a dairy-free/egg-free/nut-free recipe, I'd like to connect you with some great resources on using pulses in general, and chickpeas in particular, with whatever diet you follow.
We can't use aquafaba, but we can maximize our creativity with the legume itself---one of the oldest cultivated foods on the planet. Try a few of these ideas for your summer cookouts, or start with some hidden flour to get the nutrition in for picky eaters.
And don't forget to share your ideas, recipes, and successes with me on Instagram or Twitter!
Hi, I'm Nicole.
ABOUT THE BLOG
An apothecary is a person or a place. Either one implies healing and relates to pharmacy in its truest sense, as a source of treatment and advice.
This blog is my way of uniting my pharmacy training with my efforts to provide a healthy and safe lifestyle for my family. In true apothecary form, I research and prescribe alternative ingredients that work just right in each specific recipe, and I would like to share the results with anyone who needs help making their own family’s kitchen allergy safe and heart healthy.
Nicole Van Hoey's books on Goodreads
Bakery Bites: Breads and Treats Without Dairy, Eggs, Nuts, Seeds, or Soy
ratings: 1 (avg rating 5.00)
Kitchen Adventures With Multiple Food Allergies: A Recipe Collection for Celebrations Without Dairy, Eggs, Peanuts, Tree Nuts, Seeds, or Soy