Beans are an ideal source of vegetable protein. If you have a healthy, balanced diet, your body will get all the essential amino acids. In this article, we will learn the most popular types of beans, why they are healthy and what meals you can use them for.
Chickpeas are one of the most popular ingredients in vegetarian food. But if you want a substitute for chickpeas, what are the best options? One of the best substitutes is cannellini beans, but also you can choose lentils, peas, soybeans, and even some nuts.
Surprised? Then find out the perfect ingredients that can be substituted for chickpeas!
Substitutes for Chickpeas
If you are looking for a substitute that is undetectable in terms of taste and texture, you’re fighting a losing battle. But what’s to say that your substitution won’t be even better than chickpeas? The best way to find a perfectly matching substitute is to experiment once you understand the characteristics of each type of bean.
1. Green pea
Is it possible to replace chickpeas with ordinary peas? Green peas will be an excellent alternative in a meat or fish dish. They are suitable for use in fresh, canned, and frozen form. They can be added to salads, and you can also make porridge from them.
If you are making soup, green peas will be the best alternative to chickpeas. Also, this product is considered to have many useful dietary properties. However, you need to remember that peas have a specific taste that will differ from chickpeas.
2. Cannellini beans
100 grams of these beans contain 25 grams of easily digestible protein. This is comparable to red meat! The potassium, magnesium, and calcium components are responsible for the normal functioning of the heart and blood vessels, so regular consumption of beans can regulate blood pressure. Iron inhibits anemia and supplies oxygen to the cells of the body.
Due to their neutral taste, beans can be used to prepare a variety of dishes. They are extremely nutritious, suitable for cooking with vegetable, fish, and meat meals. There are many recipes where you can use beans. These beans will be a good alternative if chickpeas cannot be used for some reason.
3. Black beans
Black beans are also known as turtle beans. They are common in Mexican and Caribbean cooking, but still, you can find them in many supermarkets all over the world. They have a mild, earthy flavor, which is also sweet. They have a smooth texture, making them suitable for chilies, soups, salsas, and dips.
These two types of beans are interchangeable. Maybe your dish will taste a little bit different, but why not try? While cooking, remember that black beans are often seasoned with cumin, chili peppers, cilantro, oregano, and garlic. Chickpeas go well with cardamom, ginger, curry, cumin, and garlic, plus many different herbs including mint, parsley, and rosemary.
Green lentils are a champion of soluble fiber. Soluble fiber not only cleanses the intestines but also creates favorable microflora. Green lentils in combination with cereals (rice, bulgur) will provide the body with all the necessary amino acids.
Red lentils are high in iron and folic acid. They can lower blood sugar and cholesterol, and support heart and digestive health. This product, as well as beans, has a lot of different varieties. Lentils have many useful properties and a gentle, thin taste.
Some varieties can be already spicy, and you need to remember that when adding spices. Lentils can act as a substitute for most products, including chickpeas. Red lentils cook quickly, so don’t need to be pre-soaked.
Lentils are suitable for use in their boiled form. Depending on the variety, cooking them takes from 15 to 40 minutes. Lentils can be used for soups, salads, puree and sometimes even in baking.
Soy also refers to beans and can act as an alternative instead of chickpeas.
Soy also has a lot of protein: 15 grams per 100 grams of the product, which is higher than pork! Soy protein digests very well, and the absence of cholesterol has a good effect on the heart and vessels. Soybeans are rich in vitamins (B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B9, C), minerals (calcium, phosphorus, iron, magnesium, potassium, and zinc), indispensable fatty acids Omega-3 and Omega-6.
If you soak the soybeans for the night, you can prepare homemade soy milk. It’s a raw material for tofu and vegan cheese. However, it is necessary to take into account that this product has many negative qualities and with the wrong use of soybean, it can seriously harm the health and provoke serious diseases that can increase the load on the functioning of the whole body.
Tofu can be a great replacement in many different dishes. It tends to work with all flavors and cuisines, as you can dice it, bake it, crumble it, etc. There are plenty of variations!
6. Mung beans
Mung, or mung beans, is another popular vegetarian product. They contain a lot of protein, vegetable fats, slow carbohydrates, B vitamins, and fiber. And people love and appreciate mung beans for their high iron content.
Bean products aren’t generally recommended for germination, but mung beans are an exception. The seedlings will restore strength after an illness, fill the body with vitamins, and give a boost of living energy.
Mung beans go well with rice – and in fact this is how they are cooked in many countries. Of course, everyone adds their own spices, making the taste of the dish original and unique. Mung beans are easily digested and serve as the basis for a nutritious vegetarian soup. They are a perfect replacement for chickpeas!
Beans and…PEANUTS? It seems to be a weird choice, but did you know that peanuts aren’t nuts at all? They belong to the family of legumes.
Peanuts consist of useful fatty acids, and they also have a lot of melt-protected protein and antioxidants. Peanuts improve memory and attention and are useful for the normal functioning of the nervous system, heart, liver, and other internal organs. They stimulate blood coagulation and enhance the formation of platelets.
They have a high nutritional value, but be careful – peanuts can cause allergy!
Have you ever thought that chickpeas can be replaced with hazelnuts? Sounds unbelievable but in some cases, they can be a good replacement for chickpeas, since they have a similar taste. They are low-fat but sweet with excellent nutritional benefits – and this makes the hazelnut the most popular nut.
The taste qualities and appearance of these nuts are quite similar to chickpeas, so they can be used as an alternative. However, if possible, it’s better to replace them with another option, as despite all the useful properties of the hazelnut, they have a different flavor which may affect the meal.
By the way, if you have a nut allergy – use sunflower seeds instead!
A positive mindset is key to figuring out your best substitute. You know what you like so you can figure out what will work best for your taste buds, just trust your taste and feelings.
What’s the most common meal that we can make from chickpeas? Hummus and falafel. These two are great as a dip or as a standalone dish.
Although chickpeas are the authentic choice, there’s no point in using them if you don’t like them. And what do you do if you can’t find chickpeas or you are allergic to them? Should you just forget about meals that contain chickpeas? Not really, because you can substitute them with any other beans as a chickpea alternative!
The best thing about beans – they are versatile. One type of bean can be substituted for another in a wide variety of recipes – especially soups, stews, and salads.
“Where from do you get protein?” – Probably the most common question for vegetarians and, especially, vegans. Many people used to think that meat is the only possible source of protein.
Chickpeas are the king in vegan cuisine. Not many bean products can compete with him in protein content: almost 100 grams of protein is hidden in 100 grams of chickpeas. This, by the way, is almost the same as a chicken egg!
Also, chickpeas contain a large number of B vitamins, as well as potassium, magnesium, and calcium. All this has a beneficial effect on the functioning of the heart and helps the normal course of redox reactions. The amino acid lysine is involved in building muscles without accumulating unnecessary fat. That is why you can find chickpeas in the diet of athletes and all those people who care about their health.
Find A Balance
All vegetarians and those who care about their health should add beans to their diet. However, it should be remembered that they need to be pre-soaked. Do not eat them for breakfast or dinner. The digestive tract takes time to digest them, so the perfect time to eat them would be for lunch.