Gluten is a protein found in wheat and some other grains. Legumes make the list of healthy choices if you’re on a gluten-free diet. Beans, chickpeas, peanuts, and lentils are gluten-free foods you should be adding to your meals.
Foods that contain gluten are completely off-limits for people living with gluten intolerance or gluten sensitivity. It is no wonder that people with any of these conditions carefully scrutinize everything that goes into their meals.
This article considers chickpeas and their safety for people with celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivity (NCGS).
What Are Chickpeas?
Chickpeas are legumes of the species Cicer arietinum. Other names for these legumes include garbanzo beans, gram, garbanzo, or Egyptian peas. They are rich in protein and fiber but low in carbs. This makes them good for people who are trying to lose weight.
Furthermore, chickpeas are rich in folate, iron, vitamin B6, and phosphorus. Eating these peas also provide you with numerous health benefits. They can help regulate blood sugar levels, improve blood flow and reduce your risk of getting cardiovascular diseases, and prevent constipation.
You can eat chickpeas directly from the can, boiled, as part of salad dressing, have them muddled into hummus, or dried and milled into chickpea flour. Chickpea flour makes a good substitute for wheat or barley flour when baking or cooking.
Beige, black, and tan chickpeas are the common varieties. However, they are also available in red or green.
Are Chickpeas Gluten-Free?
Yes, chickpeas are gluten-free. They are legumes, unlike wheat and barley, which are grains that contain gluten. Snacking on chickpeas is a healthy alternative to chips.
However, you still need to be careful because when processing these legumes into other foods, gluten can be introduced. For instance, a chickpea burger may include bread crumbs as a binder. The bread crumbs in the burger no longer make chickpeas gluten-free.
In essence, when you’re purchasing processed foods that contain chickpeas, read the label to be sure it’s completely gluten-free.
Are Black Chickpeas Gluten-Free?
Black chickpeas or Kala chana are also gluten-free. These chickpeas have a very high fiber content compared to regular chickpeas. However, they retain the same protein content.
Kala chana aids weight loss and improves digestion. Moreover, eating black chickpeas helps to detoxify the body and keep you healthy.
Is Chickpea Flour Gluten-Free?
Chickpea flour or gram flour is gluten-free. It is, therefore, safe for celiacs and people with non-celiac gluten sensitivity. The flour is a healthy alternative to wheat flour in a gluten-free diet.
You can mix chickpea flour with other flours for cooking and baking. Because chickpea flour is gluten-free, it doesn’t have the protein to hold baked goods together. To solve this, you should add binders like xanthan gum, guar gum, or agar agar to keep your baked goods together.
Is Canned Chickpea Gluten-Free?
Canned chickpeas are gluten-free. However, if they are processed into other foods, they may contain gluten. The only way to be sure is to look at the label and check the ingredient list for gluten ingredients.
Do You Need Chickpeas in Your Diet?
Yes, you do. Eating chickpeas can do you a lot of good, especially if you are on a gluten-free diet. Chickpeas are healthy and very nutritious. Regular consumption of legumes can help relieve gluten sensitivities and make the symptoms better.
Furthermore, chickpeas are a rich source of fiber. They aid digestion and ease bowel movement, thereby reducing frequent constipation. Moreover, eating chickpeas regularly may reduce the risk of having chronic diseases like cardiovascular diseases, type 2 diabetes mellitus, and colon cancer.
Are There Side Effects of Gluten-Free Chickpeas?
People with legume allergies may experience slight inconveniences after eating chickpeas. These inconveniences could be nausea, vomiting, abdominal pains, and itchy skin.
These symptoms range from mild to severe. Therefore, if you are allergic to legumes, you should seek a doctor’s counsel before you eat chickpeas
Gastrointestinal problems are more common with eating raw chickpeas. Raw chickpeas contain a toxic compound called lectin which is also difficult to digest. Cooked chickpeas also contain complex sugars that are difficult to digest and absorb into the body.
excess consumption of chickpeas (raw or cooked) can cause gastrointestinal problems which manifest as overproduction of gas and bloating. It is advised that people who currently have or have suffered digestive tract problems should stay off chickpeas.
Risk of having kidney stones
Chickpeas contain a toxic compound, oxalate, that tends to accumulate in the kidney and form kidney stones. Naturally, the kidney gets rid of oxalate through urine but when it’s in excess, it forms kidney stones.
Accumulation of uric acid
Chickpeas can lead to an accumulation of uric acid. Consequently, the excess uric acid results in the formation of gout.
Gluten-Free Chickpeas Recipes
1. Roasted Chickpeas
- Chickpeas (as much as you will need)
- Olive oil
- 2-3 tablespoons of seasoning. Taco mix, cumin, paprika, or chili flakes
- Preheat the oven to 400F (200°C) while you prepare the ingredients
- Rinse the chickpeas clean and drain the water
- Pour the peas into a clean bowl
- Thereafter, add the seasoning and oil (it shouldn’t be too oily) and mix well
- Then, pour the mix on a baking sheet and bake the peas until they are golden brown
- Make sure you always turn the peas until they all bake evenly
2. Chickpea Stew
- One can of chickpeas
- A large chopped onion
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- 1 teaspoon of ground ginger, black pepper, turmeric
- A can of tinned tomato
- Diced tomatoes, pepper, and carrots
- Herbs and spices like cumin, parsley, basil, oregano, smoked paprika, or cayenne
- Wash the chickpeas clean, drain and boil until they are tender
- Then, drain the water (set the water aside) and set an empty pot or pan on the stove
- Pour the olive oil into the pot and leave it to heat
- Add the onion to the hot oil and leave it to cook until it’s soft
- Thereafter, pour in the seasoning, diced vegetables, herbs, and spices
- Stir the mixture as you add the condiments so it doesn’t burn. Allow it to simmer for up to three minutes
- Afterward, add the tinned tomato and chickpeas water or vegetable broth (if you have some)
- Allow everything to simmer for about 20 minutes so you have a thick sauce
- You can also mash some of the chickpeas to make the stew thicker
- There, your chickpea stew is ready to be served with rice
3. Chickpea Salad Sandwich
- 1 can of chickpeas
- ½ cup of sweetcorn
- Chopped green onions
- 1 chopped cucumber
- 3-4 grated carrots
- Pita bread or sandwich bread
- Some slices of tomatoes
- Bite-sized lettuce
- Rinse the chickpeas and drain the water
- Use a fork to mash the peas into small pieces
- Afterward, pour it into a bowl and add all other ingredients into the bowl and mix well
- Add more mayo if it’s not creamy enough
- Serve in between slices of bread for breakfast, a snack, or a quick meal
Can you eat raw chickpeas?
You shouldn’t eat raw chickpeas, otherwise, you’d be exposing your system to toxins like lectins. These toxins are difficult to digest and can cause food poisoning.
Additionally, you can only eat canned chickpeas because they are already cooked.
Should you wash canned chickpeas before eating them?
Yes, you should. Rinsing chickpeas before cooking them helps to reduce the sodium content and make them easy to digest. Also, chickpeas will produce less gas if you rinse them before cooking.
Do gluten-free chickpeas cause weight gain?
No, they do not. Chickpeas are rich in fiber, so they keep you feeling full, thereby preventing you from overeating. They make a great choice if you’re looking to lose weight.
Can celiacs eat chickpeas?
Chickpeas are safe for people with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity.
Chickpeas are a healthy choice of legumes for a gluten-free diet. When you process the peas into flour, it makes a good substitute for wheat flour and still supplies your body with protein and fiber. Wonderfully, you can make chickpeas into different forms to suit your meals.
It is important to note that while you’re making chickpeas into different meals, the meal may eventually contain gluten. Therefore, while preparing the meal, make sure you’re using gluten-free ingredients. Also, if you’re buying processed foods, read the labels to be sure you’re going gluten-free.
Thanks for reading.
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