When it comes to chickpea recipes, hummus is the first that comes to mind. That said, it might not be your thing. But that doesn’t mean chickpeas should be overlooked. The little legume is a windfall of nutrients for endurance athletes, and there are ways to prep it beyond the dip.
Chickpeas are 68 percent complex carbs, with a hit of protein (14.5 grams in a one-cup serving), making them a perfect recovery snack for muscle building and tissue repair. They contain almost as much potassium as bananas, which is necessary for muscle and nerve function—especially after long, sweaty workouts, says Allie Gregg, a dietitian in Kansas City, Missouri. Plus, chickpeas contain copper and iron, which your body needs to form red blood cells—a key component for building stamina.
Looking to drop a few pounds? Chickpeas to the rescue. People who eat them tend to have a lower BMI and waist circumference, according to a study in Nutrients. Their fiber content—12.5 grams per cup—gets some of the credit. And the legume’s soluble fiber even seems to pull bad cholesterol from the gut, research in the British Journal of Nutrition suggests.
Sure, you can toss the canned kind onto a salad and call it a day. But there’s a lot you can do with chickpeas and chickpea flour, transforming them into side dishes and main courses—even pizza crust. To prove it, four chefs shared recipes celebrating them.
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