Topic Tuesday: All About Chickpea Flour
Hi friends! Lately, I started to use chickpea flour in some of my baking recipes. I thought it would be helpful to explain why chickpea flour is an exceptional gluten free flour and some of the health benefits.
Chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans, are a legume and have a mild nutty taste. They are high in protein, fiber, and include vitamins and minerals like thiamine, magnesium, folate, and iron. It is also a low glycemic food with chickpea flour glycemic index (GI) ranging from 28-35. Regular flour has a GI of 70. Chickpea flour, made from dried and ground up chickpeas, is one of the most nutrient packed gluten free flours out there.
Since chickpeas are a legume, they are not paleo. Legumes are not allowed on the paleo diet because they contain Phytic Acid which binds to nutrients in food which prevents you from absorbing them making it less nutrient dense. They also contain a type of carbohydrate called galacto-oligosaccharides that can cause unpleasant digestive problems for some people, especially those who have IBS or other autoimmune diseases. Personally, when I was in the thick of my health issues, I stayed away from all legumes, mostly because of serious digestive problems and they hurt my stomach. Now, depending on the legume and the amount, I am able to tolerate them.
Chickpea flour has a notable binding power. It is extremely hard to find a gluten free flour capable of holding together, especially when not using eggs.
Now although this may seem new to us, it actually has been used for centuries in parts of Asia and Europe. If you can not find chickpea flour in store it is extremely easy to make at home.