The chickpea flour market tops the cooking and baking industry. The increasing demand for chickpea flour is based on its high nutritional value, it is known as an excellent source of protein and fiber, as well as being cholesterol-free. It contains vitamins and minerals such as folate, manganese, amino acids, complex carbohydrates, and proteins.
Chickpeas are grown in tropical and sub-tropical countries such India, Myanmar, Australia, Turkey, Pakistan, African countries, the United States of America, and Canada.
Chickpeas in Argentina
There is an estimated 2.3 million tons of chickpea being exported annually, with Canada, Australia, and Argentina being the top exporters of chickpea globally. Argentina is the largest supplier of chickpeas in Europe, specifically Italy, which exported 6.9 thousand tons in 2019.
Argentina is the fifth global exporter, not only of chickpeas but of pulses as a whole. The exports estimate to over 600,000 tons annually, making a 4.1% share in the global market. The country’s domestic consumption of chickpeas is only at 10%; hence, most of the local produce is exported in the global market.
The climate, ideal soil, and moistures make Argentina an exceptional place to grow pulses that competes enormously in the global market. Argentina’s main pulses are chickpeas, beans, peas, and lentils. The Kabuli variety tops the production of chickpeas, which are exported primarily in Pakistan.
Health Benefits of Chickpea Flour
Chickpea flour is an excellent ingredient to include in your meal plans to boost your protein and fiber intake while reducing your calories and carbohydrates. It is best consumed for vegetarian, vegan, omnivorous, and gluten-free menus. Chickpea flour contains 150 milligrams of magnesium or 36% of the Daily Value (DV). Furthermore, it has 4 milligrams of iron or 25% DV, 400 micrograms of folate or 101% DV, and 2.6 grams of zinc or 24% of the DV. Additionally, chickpea flour is also a good source of manganese, thiamine, copper, and phosphorous.
A cup of chickpea flour (92g) contains the following nutritional information provided by the USDA:
– 356 Calories
– 53g Carbohydrates
– 6g Fat
– 10g Fiber
– 21g Protein
– 59mg Sodium
– 10g Sugar
Chickpea Flour 100gr
Incorporating chickpea flour in your diet results in the following health benefits:
- It is suitable for a gluten-free diet as it is made up of legumes, not grains. Chickpea flour is the best substitute for standard grain flours to prevent celiac diseases or those that have gluten intolerances.
- It curbs the development of neural tube birth defects called spina bifida for pregnant women.
- The fiber present on chickpea flour, along with the low glycemic index, aids in the slow absorption of dietary sugars, thereby controlling the blood sugar levels.
- The protein and fiber in chickpea flour products make you feel full longer so, you won’t binge on snacks in between meals; thus, helping you lose some weight.
- Chickpea flour contains a beneficial bacterium that lives in the large intestines. It shields the body from any metabolic diseases like diabetes, obesity, and colon cancer.
- It contains phytosterol compounds that help lessen the bad cholesterol levels of the body promoting a heart-healthy diet. By reducing the bad cholesterol, consequently lowers the blood pressure preventing stroke and heart attack.
- It builds the immune function and reduces inflammation as it contains polyphenols like flavonoids. It neutralizes the acidity of poor diet; thereby stabilizing the body’s pH level.
- Chickpea flour contains calcium and iron that aids in a healthy bone structure and helps in the prevention of osteoporosis.
- Selenium and beta carotene present in chickpea flour are antioxidants that can remove free radicals in the body. These free radicals can damage the cells and lead to several health issues, including cancer.
- Integrating amounts of chickpea flour in your daily meals helps in mental health. Chickpeas have 69.7mg of choline that aids in the function of the brain and nervous system. Choline is the main element that controls muscle cells, mood, memory, learning, and metabolism.
- It prevents iron deficiency or anemia. Consuming a cup of chickpeas contains 4.7mg of iron, which is enough for an individual’s daily requirement.
Cooking with Chickpea Flour
Chickpea flour is easy to prepare, and has a nutty flavor. Although it is not recommended for yeasted bread, it is perfect for making your favorite muffins, cakes, banana bread, cookies, and brownies.
You can also add chickpea flour in pancakes, high-protein wraps, flatbreads, or even incorporating it in your vegetarian dishes to increase the protein content. Chickpea flour does not only give flavors to menus. It is also a powerful binder. The density of chickpea flour makes most veggie burger patties stay solid. It is also an excellent protein thickener to gravies, sauces, and soups.
Chickpea Flour vs. White Flour
Using a certain flour in your diet plans is important as all flours differ from their health and nutritional values. If the consumer has grain allergies, it is best to use chickpea flour, which is made from a legume, rather than white flour, which is made from grains. Chickpea flour is more nutrient-dense as it contains more folate, potassium, and fiber than most flours, including white flour. The processing of white flour is highly refined, removing some natural vitamins and minerals. As a result, white flour has more iron and calcium.
Some consumers also have health conditions that require gluten-free products on their menus. Chickpea flour can be integrated into their meal plans as it is gluten-free, compared to white flour, which has a high amount of gluten. Additionally, white flour has a chewy and fluffy texture on baking goods than chickpea flour.
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