Chickpea flour: what it is, benefits and properties
Chickpea flour is a type of flour obtained from grinding dried chickpeas, ideal for its nutritional benefits within a healthy diet and by its properties is unique for celiac for not containing gluten.
If you follow a vegetarian diet or a vegan lifestyle you are quite likely already have heard or even tried the chickpea flour, a food not so usual as other varieties of flour but equally useful and nutritious, while highlighting precisely because extremely delicious. It is also known by the names of gram or chana, and basically consists of fine flour made from ground chickpeas.
It is part of Indian cuisine, where in fact known for having a leading role, being very easy to find in India with a wide variety of dishes and recipes where chickpea flour turns into the excellent ingredient.
What are their characteristics and why it is so revered in Indian cuisine? Undoubtedly for its texture, which becomes creamy when mixed with liquid, and its tremendous binding power when it is cooked to the fire. Moreover, chickpea flour is ideal as a substitute for egg, by helping to bind, unite and cake dough in the same way as for example egg would do it.
What is chickpea flour
As noted briefly in the above lines, it is flour obtained from grinding the chickpeas. To achieve dried chickpeas, that crush becomes a kind of fine yellow powder and with a characteristic flavor to chickpea.
The nutritional benefits of chickpea flour
From a nutritional standpoint chickpea flour is constituted as a very nutritious food, especially rich in vitamins of the B group among which we can mention the vitamin B1 or thiamine, B2 or riboflavin, B3 or niacin, B6 and folic acid or B9 (a vitamin that is incidentally during pregnancy for the formation, development and growth of the baby).
Also provides other vitamins, among which distinguish the vitamin A, C and E. Did you know that it also provides interesting amounts of Omega 6 fatty acids? But its nutritional qualities do not end here, as it stands out for its high content of iron, to the point that it’s can double the supply of iron found in meat.
On the other hand it contains optimal amounts of fiber, as discussed below becoming an ideal food for constipation.
Properties of chickpea flour
Unlike wheat flour in common of chickpea flour stands out as a type of flour that has nothing of gluten, mainly due to something very simple: it is made from chickpeas, and this delicious food has no gluten in its composition.
If we take into account that the chickpea flour is often used for cooking masses, such as sweets, breads and pies, no doubt becomes an excellent alternative to common wheat flour, ideal especially for those with intolerance or allergy to gluten (celiac disease).
Ideal for vegans: good egg substitute
Moreover, it becomes an ideal ingredient to make omelette without eggs, replacing chickpea flour, water or beer, allowing a consistency, texture and juiciness rather like that possesses a common omelette.
Of course, from a nutritional point of view must not forget that the egg is rich in proteins with high biological value (considered also as of good quality), while chickpea flour brings interesting amounts of vegetable proteins.
Useful against constipation
Chickpea flour is extremely rich in fiber, which gives useful benefits against constipation, either to treat it naturally and help in the healing process or just as a preventative.
Moreover, when we consume chickpea flour regularly it helps us regulate intestinal transit.
Helps to lose weight
Chickpea flour is rich in lecithin. Lecithin is a type of fat that helps the body to eliminate and get rid of those fats that are not really useful for our body, helping us to dilute them better with fat.
Therefore, its consumption is suitable whether a diet is followed in order to reduce weight, as if you follow a healthy diet in order to maintain it.
Reduce high cholesterol
In case of high cholesterol chickpea flour is a food as useful as appropriate (and also recommended). Why? Very simple: it helps reduce high levels of blood fats.
Moreover, it becomes an excellent substitute for the egg when the existence of high cholesterol is medically inadvisable consumption.
Interesting for diabetics
Chickpea flour is rich in complex carbohydrates, a carbohydrate that stand out as being slow absorption, which means it takes longer to be digested and do not cause sudden changes in glucose levels.
Therefore it is useful in the case of people with diabetes who need to monitor the imbalances of glucose.