Despite their small stature, chickpeas pack the heaviest of punches. Believed to increase satiation and support healthy bowel function, they’re a good source of carbohydrates and protein and feature important amino acids, unsaturated fatty acids and vitamins.
But did you know they could also support our microbiome, our body’s very own ecosystem of microbes that support our immune and digestive system health?
It’s believed chickpeas promote intestinal health by modulating our intestinal microbial composition. Not bad for something so small, but is there a challenger to its crown?
Well, another small seed that packs a punch is quinoa; rich in proteins, lipids, fibre, vitamins, minerals, and an extraordinary amount of essential amino acids. It’s known to have a positive influence on metabolic, cardiovascular and gastrointestinal health, while it may also possess potential prebiotic effects. Prebiotics seek to improve microbiome health by means of non-digestible dietary fibre. Prebiotic foods act as fuel for the microbiome, supporting gut health by feeding and encouraging useful bacteria.
The combination of chickpeas and quinoa can thus provide us with a magnitude of health benefits, so why not consider our chickpea and quinoa salad:
Chickpea and quinoa salad
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
½ cup quinoa
1 cup of water (for cooking quinoa)
½ cup well drained tin of chickpeas
60g Lebanese cucumber, roughly diced
2 radishes, thinly sliced
130g of cherry or heirloom cherry tomatoes, chopped roughly, or some whole
2 tablespoons pepita seeds
2 large handfuls of mixed lettuce mix
3 teaspoons of olive oil
1 teaspoon of white vinegar
Optional - chopped herbs ie: parsley / mint / coriander
- Put the quinoa into a mesh sieve and run under water until the water runs clear. This step removes the saponins from the quinoa. Drain and put into a saucepan with 1 cup of water. Cover and bring to the boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes and then keep covered for an additional 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and fluff quinoa with a fork.
- Put the olive oil, vinegar and herbs (optional) into a bowl
- Chop and mix salad ingredients
- Add salad ingredients to the quinoa and chick peas and dress to serve