Ways to Enjoy Garbanzo Beans

Garbanzo beans, also known as chickpeas, are a nutritious legume grown all over the world and popular in many cuisines. Garbanzos are a great source of protein, fiber, and healthy fats. They are very inexpensive and can be found canned or dry. They can be used in many dishes and can be swapped for other beans or lentils in your favorite recipes.

Try them:

Here are some ways to cook dried chickpeas:

  • In a large pot, using 3 cups of water for every 1 cup of chickpeas, bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer until desired tenderness (usually anywhere between 1 hour to 2 hours)
  • In a slow cooker on high for 3-4 hours or low for 6-8 hours
  • In a pressure cooker with a sealed lid (12 minutes if pre-soaked or 50 minutes without pre-soaking), and naturally releasing the pressure for 10 minutes

My favorite way to prepare garbanzos is to cook them until soft and mix them with a stew made of pureed carrots, onions, peppers, and garlic. The veggies can be cooked (without chopping them) with the garbanzos and then pureed separately to make the stew. You can add whatever spices on hand to the stew such as salt, pepper, cumin, and turmeric to taste. I then add the garbanzos to the stew and serve over rice.

I encourage you to give garbanzo beans a try!

Written by: Paula Gutierrez, ISU Dietetic Intern

Jody Gatewood

Jody Gatewood

Jody Gatewood is a Registered Dietitian who enjoys spending time in the kitchen baking and preparing meals for her family. She does lots of meal planning to stay organized and feed her family nutritious meals.

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Fuel Your Body with the Right Snack

hummus veggies snacksLiving on a college student’s budget is difficult and planning meals ahead of time is not easy with so much of my time going to work and school. When I have lots of school work to do, I usually eat more snacks than meals. I am prepared for those busy weeks! I have stocked my apartment with a supply of nutritious snacks that I can easily grab and enjoy throughout the day. The right snacks give me the energy I need to get me through my busy schedule and keep me feeling good all day long.

This past summer I did a pricing project as part of my work on the Spend Smart. Eat Smart. team. I compared the prices of healthy fruits and vegetables to the prices of less nutritious but more traditional snack foods. As you might expect, sugary fruit snacks, cookies, and chips were often less expensive when compared to, whole wheat crackers, cheese sticks, and fresh fruits. But, when I stepped back to think about what I was getting for my money I realized that the healthier foods were actually a greater value!  I need the protein, vitamins, and minerals that they provide. The other snacks were really inexpensive, but also didn’t really contain the things I need to stay alert and keep my energy up.

For example, I could purchase whole grain crackers and peanut butter for $0.44 per serving. I could purchase chocolate chip cookies for $0.16 per serving, but I would miss out on the whole grain, protein, and fiber that keeps me full. The cookies would cost me less, but it seems to be a case of “you get what you pay for!”  When I see a week coming up on my schedule with lots of exams or projects due, I will stock up on snack foods that include whole grain, protein, vitamins, minerals and fiber. I will also try to make sure each of my snacks includes two food groups. Here are some ideas to get your healthy snack stash started!

  • Bananas and peanut butter
  • Cheese slices and whole grain crackers
  • Sliced Turkey and pretzels
  • Carrots and hummus
  • Yogurt with fruit
  • Apple slices and string cheese


ISU Dietetics Student

Christine Hradek

Christine Hradek

Christine Hradek is a State Nutrition Specialist with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach. She coordinates ISU’s programs which help families with low income make healthy choices with limited food budgets. Christine loves helping families learn to prepare healthy foods, have fun in the kitchen and save money. In her spare time, Christine enjoys cooking, entertaining and cheering on her favorite college football teams with her family and friends.

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After School Hummus

Hummus is an inexpensive treat to make at home, and it is easy, tasty and good for you!  The main ingredient is garbanzo beans (also called chickpeas).   Hummus contains iron, protein and fiber, plus other nutrients depending on the ingredients you include.

Hummus can have many different flavors.  Our After School Hummus recipe does not include tahini (ground sesame seeds), which can be expensive, or oil, which adds calories. Instead, plain yogurt is added to make it light and smooth.  Other tasty ingredients to try in hummus are paprika,  peanut butter, curry powder, Worcestershire sauce, salt, ground pepper, chili paste, olives and artichokes.  Roasted red pepper hummus is often sold in delis—you can make this at home by grilling a halved red pepper until blackened, then pulling off the skin and blending the flesh into the hummus.

If you do not have a good food processor, a blender will work.  You will need to turn the blender off and open the top to mix the beans with a spoon inside the blender a couple of times to make sure the hummus is smooth. You may also need to add a little oil or yogurt to thin the hummus.

Hummus can be served with sliced vegetables (carrots, celery, radishes, peppers) as a dip.  It can also be used to fill pitas, eaten on crackers or Pita chips, or spread on bread in place of peanut butter.

After School Hummus


  • 1 can (15-ounce) reduced-sodium garbanzo beans (chickpeas)
  • 2 medium garlic cloves, minced or ¼ teaspoon
  • garlic powder
  • 1½ tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil or vegetable oil
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ cup plain nonfat yogurt


  1. Use a blender or food processor. Combine garbanzo beans, garlic, lemon juice, cumin, oil, and pepper. Blend on low speed until the beans are mashed.
  2. Stir in yogurt with spoon.
  3. Refrigerate for several hours or overnight so the flavors blend.
  4. Serve with pita chips, crackers, or fresh veggies.

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