I recently discovered the many amazing benefits and uses of Chickpeas and the more I find out, the more I’m amazed. Chickpeas really are a wonder food.
Chickpeas help to increase satiety(feeling full), boost digestion, keep blood sugar levels stable, increase protection against disease and more. Called Besan or gram flour, chickpea flour is naturally gluten free, and if there’s one food trend we think everyone can agree is here to stay, it’s gluten-free eating! It’s also high in protein, iron and fibre.
Look for dried chickpeas in the “bulk bin” section of your favourite health food store, where you will likely be able to find organic dried beans for sale at a very low cost. Dried beans remain fresh for a long time, so you don’t need to worry about buying too much and having them spoil.
It’s best to soak all dried beans overnight prior to cooking them, which helps to make them more digestible, to aid in absorbing their nutrients, and to decrease cooking time. Keep some dried beans in your kitchen for whenever you have some extra time to cook.
Tofu sets in about an hour and is soft and pillowy, with that slightly nutty chickpea flavour that I love.
The wonderful thing about this chickpea tofu recipe, apart from the fact that it’s a wonderful soy free alternative to tofu, is that it is also budget friendly too. Chickpea flour is relatively cheap especially if you are able to source it from an Indian grocer.
How To Make Tasty Chickpea Tofu
Chickpea flour is mixed with water to form a smooth batter. The batter thickens into a thick custard like consistency which sets and can be easily sliced.
You can use it as a substitute for soy tofu in many recipes. It does well in curries, tossed in dressing, in wraps, salads, also makes a great morning scramble, or egg salad!, breaded tofu etc.
Blend the chickpea flour water and spices into a smooth batter.
Cook over medium heat. the batter will start to get lumpy after a minute or so.
Keep stirring frequently.
The batter will eventually thicken evenly and become custard like.
Cook for another 2 minutes so the chickpea flour is cooked through.
You can taste the mix carefully at this point to ensure that the chickpea flour doesn’t taste raw and adjust salt if needed. the mixture will also start to come away from the pan
Pour the mixture into the prepared loaf pan and even it out using a spatula if needed. Let it cool, then refrigerate for at least an hour to set.
Remove the set slab from the pan.
Slice into cubes.
Store in an airtight container for up to 4 days.
The tofu can leak some moisture while it sits. drain and use.
Zero Waste Nourishing Chickpea Hair Mask
Top 10 Hair Care Benefits of Chickpeas/Besan
#1 Hair cleansing
This all-natural product is an excellent hair cleansing agent.
- Make a runny paste of besan and water, and apply it to your hair.
- Wash it out after 5-10 minutes for clean, shiny and chemical-free hair.
- Make sure the paste isn’t too thick, or else you’ll have lumps stuck in your strands.
#2 For hair growth
Besan is a chemical-free product and it helps nourish hair in ways that no hair-growth shampoo will. Use gram flour for hair that bounces with health and beauty.
- Make a thick-ish besan pack and apply it on your hair.
- Wash it off thoroughly after 15-20 minutes.
#3 To prevent hair fall
Besan is not only good for hair growth, but it also prevents and stops hair fall.
- Just whip up a hair pack using besan and half a bowl of curd
- Apply this mixture to your hair
- Do it regularly and you will notice a dramatic reduction in hair fall.
#4 For Healthy Hair
If you want nourished, healthy hair and do not believe in off-the-shelf treatments, try besan.
#5 For Long Hair
If hair is healthy and strong, it will grow long. By using besan regularly, as a cleanser or as a hair pack, you can get the long hair that you’ve always dreamed of but didn’t manage because of damaged strands.
- You can make a deep-nourishing hair pack with besan, almond powder, curd, and 1 teaspoon olive oil.
- Coat your hair with this mask and wash off after it dries.
- Do this twice a week for quick results.
#6 To fight dryness
Besan and curd is also a good way to beat dryness. Use this mask regularly for softer hair.
#7 For shiny hair
You can’t beat the result of hair coated with besan and washed with water drained from cooked rice. The shine that you get is unbeatable.
#8 As a natural conditioner
When you wash your hair with the besan runny paste, you don’t need to use a conditioner. The natural properties of besan will leave you with soft, manageable hair.
#9 To control frizz
If most shampoos and conditioners leave your hair frizzy and dry, opt for a besan wash instead to control frizz.
#10 To fight dandruff
Besan fights and controls dandruff, making it an essential component of your regular beauty regime. You can also use Head & Shoulders Smooth & Silky Shampoo for severe dandruff and then continue to use besan.
To Make The Hair Mask
Make a besan hair pack by mixing 1 egg white, 2 teaspoons besan, 1 teaspoon curd and ½ a teaspoon lemon juice.
Apply this paste to your hair all the way to the tips.
Wash it off with water after it dries. It may take several rinses to remove all the residues.
If any residues remains,it will brush out easily once the hair is dry.
How To Make Fabulous Flax Milk
1/2 cup (150g) flax seeds, any colour
4.5 cups (~1L) cold water
Maple syrup, vanilla, or dates for sweetening (optional)
Rinse flax seeds.
Place the seeds and cold water into the blender.
Blend seeds on high for 1 minute, rest for 1 minute.
Blend for 2 more minute, rest for 5 minutes.
Blend for 30 seconds.
Pour liquid through cloth or sieve and into large bowl, separating the pulp and the milk.
Be sure to squeeze the pulp by hand or using a spoon to ensure you extract all the milk out of the cloth/ strainer.
Rinse out blender and pour strained liquid back into blender.
Pulse milk for 30 seconds.
If you wish to sweeten the milk, add a dash of maple syrup, vanilla, or 1-2 dates to the milk and blend together until well combined.
Using a funnel, pour milk into an airtight glass container and store in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.
Shake bottle well before each use
No Waste!! To Use The Pulp left over:
Spread the flax seed pulp onto a metal cookie tray.
Bake the pulp in the oven on low heat (~150° F/ 65° C) until dry, between 1-2 hours.
To make flax flour, transfer dry pulp to a food processor and pulse for 30 seconds – 1 minute.
Store flax flour in airtight jar in a cool, dark place.
Add to smoothies, cereals, or baking recipes for a great source of fibre!
I will be making sensational Chickpea Cream, Homemade Hummous and talking about Aquafaba: a revolutionary tale in the world of veganism! 🙂