Chickpea Flour Is Underrated
Have you ever heard of chickpea flour (also known as garbanzo flour)? To some of you, it might sound yucky, but it’s actually a staple ingredient in many Indian, Pakistani, Nepali, Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisine where it’s transformed into a variety of crepes, crusts, breads, sauces and battered dishes. I may even be a little shy from the versatile uses of this super-flour!
Made from dry ground chickpeas, it’s a fantastic alternative to wheat and soy flour since it’s naturally gluten free, vegan and grain free. It’s definitely a must have flour for baking and cooking and always stocked in my cupboard! Admittedly, it sometimes gets forgotten because of my love affairs with coconut flour and almond flour. However, chickpea flour is just a resourceful and you can use it in almost anything savoury and sweet. The taste is not as sweet as coconut or almond flour, but I do find it’s easier to substitute it in a recipe that may call for wheat flour.
One of my favourite baking brands is a Canadian company called Cuisine Soleil. They carry a wonderful selection of gluten free flours that promises to be 100% organic, allergen free and a quality you can count on! Did I mention they were Canadian? 🙂 Their chickpea flour is an excellent source of protein (compared to other flours), high in dietary fiber and perfectly suitable for vegans and vegetarians like myself.
The most common thing to make from chickpea flour is socca bread. It’s simple, easy to make and a perfect introduction to chickpea flour. But the other day, I had a major craving for flavourful falafel balls. My problem is that whenever I order it from restaurants, it’s smothered in what’s probably a ton of canola oil (yuck!) and heavily fried in table salt. And there’s also a chance that it’s not gluten or wheat free. So like most comfort food, I make a healthier version of my own so that cravings are satisfied and arteries aren’t getting clogged! Haha!
What you’ll need:
1 cup of organic chickpea flour (Cuisine Soleil Chickpea Flour)
1/2 tsp of sea salt or Himalayan salt
1/4 teaspoon of baking soda
2 tsp of parsley flakes
1/2 tsp of cumin powder
1/2 tsp coriander powder
1/2 tsp of garlic granules or organic garlic powder
1 tsp of onion powder (you can use chopped and finely minced onions if you have the time)
1 tsp of cilantro (flakes)
1/2 cup of HOT water
2 tablespoons of lemon juice (squeezed)
2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil or organic cold pressed coconut oil (for frying or drizzling)
Combine all the dry ingredients in a bowl. Make sure you get all of the clumps. Add the hot water and lemon juice to mixture. Stir and combine, Let sit for 10 minutes or so.
The ones I made were deliciously baked. You can fry them too in falafel ball shapes with olive/coconut oil on medium high heat if you want. If baking, preheat oven to 350 F. Using your hands, take some batter and form into desired patties. Place on parchment paper and lightly and evenly coat with oil. Bake for 13 minutes. Flip and bake the other side for another 13 minutes or until brown, crisp and solid.
Serve with greens. Pair with healthy tahini, chutney or hummus!