Green Garbanzo Beans

 Green Garbanzo Hummus

 I love to discover a new food – and it’s even better when it’s a good value and good for you.

Photo by Lorelle Del Matto

I live near the Costco headquarters and our local store seems to be a testing ground for new products which, along with some fun eating, provide insight into food  trends.  On a recent Costco shopping excursion I found something new: a large bag of frozen green garbanzo beans.  I’m fond of the dried, cooked cream-colored garbanzo beans (cici beans in Italian) — but fresh green ones? 

Taking them to the kitchen, I substituted them for conventional garbanzos in an East Indian curry.  Then I subbed them for fava beans in a pasta dish with tarragon-pistachio pesto.   Another time I used them instead of edamame in a Thai-style noodle dish.  Green garbanzo beans passed the taste test.  They also passed the convenience test, cooking in a couple of minutes with no shelling, soaking, long cooking or can-opening.

The good-for-you test? Green garbanzo beans are not nutritional light-weights.  A 1/2 cup serving has 80 calories and 5 grams of dietary fiber, 4 grams of protein, 25% Daily Value of folate and 10% Daily Value of iron. 

The package back recipes for salads and garbanzamole™ are good ideas.  There’s a hummus recipe, too, but I preferred to make my own which I served as an appetizer on Father’s Day.  The recipe was a huge hit – sporting a cheery Shrek-green color and fresh flavor.  You can buy hummus of all stripes just about anywhere, but homemade is usually best – as you’ll note if you give this recipe a whirl.   

Nutrition Note:  Folic acid is an incredibly interesting and important B complex vitamin used by the body to make DNA and red blood cells among other key bodily functions.  Since 1988 grain products have been fortified with folic acid (the supplement form) to prevent birth defects as it is so important to normal fetal growth.  Food sources include leafy green vegetables, broccoli, asparagus, citrus fruits, cantaloupe and dried beans and peas.

Green Garbanzo Hummus

I lightly cook the garlic with the beans to diminish the raw garlic taste.  Additional flavors might be ground cumin or cayenne pepper for zip. 

Photo by Lorelle Del Matto

2 1/4 cups frozen green garbanzo beans

2 cloves garlic

1/3 cup unsalted tahini

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons water

1/2 teaspoon sea salt, more to taste

3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, more to taste

Lightly cook beans and garlic in covered microwave-safe container on high for 1 1/2 to 2 minutes.  (Or steam.) Cool.  Whirl beans and garlic in food processor with remaining ingredients, scraping bowl as needed, till smooth.  Taste and add additional salt and lemon juice, to taste. Cover and chill 1 hour or until serving time.  Makes about 2 cups.  

Copyright © Lorelle S Del Matto 2011

lorelle About lorelle

Crazy about cooking, eating and sharing good food – my work and leisure revolve around the kitchen. As a culinary dietitian my professional life encompasses nutrition counseling and education, recipe development, product development, food and nutrition writing, marketing communications, corporate test kitchen and consumer affairs management, food styling and work as a product spokesperson.


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