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I adore garbanzo beans, but it wasn’t always so. My first introduction to these was in the brand of canned Minestrone soup my mom used to give me growing up. Minestrone is a vegetable soup in a thin tomato-like soup that tastes more like Italian tomato sauce than tomato soup. I think its best with tubed pasta in and grated Parmesan on top. Anyway, the only thing I HATED about this particular soup were the garbanzo beans. These offending vegetables were harder than the lovely mushy ones, and still had the skin on, which made them semi-hard balls with this gross thing that looked like onion skin.
In my 20s, though, I discovered falafel’s courtesy of Mahmoud’s Falafel, down the block from my apartment on Bleecker St., where I could get an AMAZING falafel dinner for less than 5 bucks (back then, anyway). When I discovered they were made with garbanzo beens – as was my beloved hummus – I changed my opinion on this unsuspecting vegetable.
My next encounter was when we went gluten free and garbanzo bean flour was a healthy option for my kids.
It was also QUITE yucky, unless make with very dark chocolate.
Finally, my husband and I took to making homemade garlic hummus from a recipe that came with our food processor. From there, I learned to roast these suckers (NO skin, thank you very much), coated in cayenne and salt. Yummy!
So when I pushed my husband to choose a bean to put in our chili, he objected flatly to my favorite (kidney) and let me try garbanzo. He loved it – and so did I. We use Eden Organic because they have the safest cans I believe. From their website:
Eden Organic Beans are packed in steel cans coated with a baked on oleoresinous c-enamel that does not contain the endocrine disrupter chemical, bisphenol-A (BPA). Oleoresin is a natural mixture of an oil and a resin extracted from various plants, such as pine or balsam fir. These cans cost 14% more than the industry standard cans that do contain BPA. The can maker, Ball Corporation, confirms that this oleoresinous lining is not corn-based. Ball Corporation also tells us that Eden is the only U.S. food maker to date to use their oleoresinous, non-BPA, lined cans, which we have been using since April 1999.
Your other option is to cook dry beans and that is not happening around here any time soon. I have bought such beans, and either let them sit unopened forever, or let them soak for too long.
Benefits of Garbanzo Beans
The World’s Healthiest Foods claims that these beans have these benefits:
- Not only are they high in fiber, one study links them to “better blood fat regulation, including lower levels of LDL-cholesterol, total cholesterol, and triglycerides.”
- Improved blood sugar and insulin production.
- Provide digestive support.
They are also low in saturated fat, sodium and cholesterol, yet have high levels of folate and manganese, as well as a host of other nutrients and protein, according to Mercola.com.
Without further ado, here is my recipe that is healthy, filling and will warm your belly on these cold, winter days!
Crockpot Beef Garbanzo Chili
- 1 lb. grass fed chopped meat
- organic onion powder
- 1 lb. organic whole white mushrooms
- 1 can Eden Organic Garbanzo Beans
- 1 jar organic salsa
Brown the chopped meat and season with onion powder and salt to taste. While the meat is browning, slice the white mushrooms in half lengthwise and line the bottom of the crockpot. This is especially important if you are cooking in a VitaClay.
Next, drain the beans and add a layer on top of the mushrooms.
Once the meat is browned, add that to the top. Then, add a 1/2 jar of salsa with a little water. The heat of the salsa will determine the heat of your dish since the longer it simmers, the spicier it gets. Close the lid(s) on your crockpot. For a VitaClay, set to Stew for 2 hours.
How to Serve:
Day 1, serve it over white rice (I recommend Lundberg’s Jasmine) and cover with organic cheese or Daiya Cheddar or Pepper Jack Shreds.
On Day 2, serve it over organic spring mix with a dressing. I made:
- Add a little organic Sriracha to balsamic vinegar.
- Add a drop of honey and squeeze in a bit of orange to cut the acidity.
- Crumble Pinto Beanitos over the salad, if desired.
My preferred slow cooker is the VitaClay VM7900-8 Smart Organic Multi-Cooker/Rice Cooker, Brushed Stainless Steel and Black, because it’s ceramic interior ensures a toxic free environment for your food: