Can I Eat Chickpeas Out of a Can? [Nutrition & Cooking TIPS]

Can I Eat Chickpeas Out of a Can

Chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans, are a great nutritious option for any diets. But that said many people struggle with how to cook or incorporate them into their diets,

Ever wondered if you could just take a spoon or fork, tear off the lid of a can of chickpeas, and scarf it down for lunch?

Is eating a whole can of chickpeas straight from the can even a good idea!?

The good news is that yes, you can eat chickpeas straight out of the can.

Canned chickpeas available at the grocery store are generally precooked and readily eaten right out of the can.

You can take some small safety precautions to make sure they are extra safe, like washing them or draining them, as chickpeas are generally preserved in a salty solution.

Some canned chickpeas will be labeled low salt, or be canned in kombu seaweed, which actually helps in the digestion of the beans.

But be aware that a can of chickpeas has the potential to be different from eating fresh chickpeas. This may lead you to wonder

  • How big is the difference, really?
  • Can you do anything to change that?

Different cooking methods can change vegetables, and not cooking them at all can be different.

  • Is eating a can of chickpeas safe for your body?

A can of anything offers a potential meal or snack, but is there any science behind the amount and way of eating garbanzo beans?

We will dive in and offer some detailed information about the safety and uses of chickpeas, especially out of the can, and how else you can use chickpeas.

Are Canned Chickpeas as Good as Fresh?

Are Canned Chickpeas as Good as Fresh

Fresh chickpeas are almost always preferable.

Dried, cooked chickpeas are almost sodium free while canned chickpeas can contain a large amount of salt, especially if not drained then washer before eating, whether in a recipe or alone.

Uncanned

Uncanned chickpeas a creamier taste from not being preserved and some way canned chickpeas can tasty a bit grainer.

Nutritionally, both are good for you if approached while removing any salt from the canned chickpeas.

One Study

While not a scientific study, some users preferred dried chickpeas soaking in their own liquids to a variety of other methods which produced slightly different flavors.

Reading their example can help you determine which flavor you like, as this is mostly preference.

Are Canned Chickpeas Healthy?

Are Canned Chickpeas Healthy

Like many legumes, eating chickpeas are generally healthy and offer a variety of health claims related to their abundance of fiber and nutrients balanced with their low calorie count.

Chickpeas offer some of the best plant based protein available and are great for those who do not eat animal products.

They also provide amino acids, which are essential to your body though your body cannot produce them naturally.

Fiber

Given chickpeas are water soluble, they form a nice gel in your digestive tract and are quite friendly to people with possible digestive issues.

Possible Issues

The primary issues arising from canned chickpeas are with the preservation method.

Shipping chickpeas to the grocery doesn’t come without some disadvantages, even for a legume as healthy as the chickpea.

Some less expensive varieties have an excess of salt to keep them edible in the can.

Others also include excess sugar to make the product taste sweeter.

Rust

Metal lids and cans do rust, and this applies to almost everything canned food. Rust and bad metal has the potential to leak into food in small amounts. This problem is by no means specific to chickpeas.

Variety

While canned chickpeas are healthy, eating a large can of anything including chickpeas on a regular basis is not recommended as part of a balanced diet.

Is It Safe to Eat Canned Chickpeas?

Is It Safe to Eat Canned Chickpeas

Yes, canned chickpeas are generally safe to eat. Be sure to eat the can of chickpeas before the expiration date and inspect it for any obvious issues like a bad smell or metals within the preserving liquid.

Curiously enough, the lack of salt or sugar within some chickpea cans can breed botulism, which can cause major health issues, but is also rare.

Using canned chickpeas in a recipe after draining out salt and washing them should be safe in most all instances.

The primary health risk with eating canned chickpeas comes from eating an excessive amount of salt or sugar on a regular basis, and is a risk presented by other foods too.

What are the risks?

Too much of anything can be bad for you, and chickpeas are no exception. Chickpeas contain a lot of potassium which is great for some people and not great for others.

Rising potassium levels can cause kidney damage in people who are at risk, such as those who use beta blockers.

Otherwise, people who are sensitive to excess salt should still just wash the beans to get the most nutritional benefit possible.

Is Eating a Whole Tin of Chickpeas Bad?

Is Eating a Whole Tin of Chickpeas Bad

Eating too much of one thing can cause issues, and doing so on a regular basis can throw your nutritional balance off.

As mentioned, people with issues related to potassium might not want to eat a can of chickpeas every day.

Campers and hikers who want a protein-filled and filling meal shouldn’t worry about eating a can of chickpeas while out and about, and will probably highly benefit from the meal.

So not eating a can of chickpeas once in a while is not bad.

We need to reiterate that both for your taste preferences and health, that washing and draining a can of chickpeas is better for you to remove excess salt and sugar.

How do I drain it?

If every strainer is dirty or you don’t want to use more dishes, opening a can of chickpeas and draining can be as simple as replacing the lid, pushing down, and turning the can upside over a garbage can or sink.

The juice will flow right out and keep the peas safely inside. This avoids having to wash anything later.

What do Chick Peas Taste Like?

Chickpeas are a fairly mild flavor and are similar to kidney beans in their ability to blend into a recipe while adding nutrition.

Mashed chickpeas can take on a soft creamy flavor with a grainy texture.

They generally taste a bit nutty with what can be described as an earthy flavor, since the beans are grown from the earth.

You can try a variety of recipes with chickpeas, and we begin that now!

How Can I Cook with Chickpeas?

How Can I Cook with Chickpeas

Chickpeas are very useful in the kitchen and quite easy to add to most anything. Open the can or boil your bagged chickpeas.

Naturally, fresh is always great right from the produce section or your backyard.

Note that following the recipes is the best way to determine how you should cook your chickpeas, as you can simply bake them too.

Not Always the Main Course

Chickpeas can be blended into a sauce and are commonly used to make many forms of hummus.

Blended chickpeas are nice and creamy, and really good for you!

Soups and Others

Ever wonder what the round parts of curry, stew, or soups are? They could be kidney beans, small onions, or chickpeas.

Chickpeas add a nice protein to soup, especially if you are a vegetarian.

Tacos and Wraps

Chickpeas make a delicious addition to a vegetarian friendly taco or wrap. Rather than using chicken or beef, chickpeas can be rolled in and flavored just the way you want.

A Snack

Ever eaten something that was unexpectedly good when baked to a crisp, like Chex Mix?

Adding some spices or oil or chickpeas and baking them makes them as addictive as popcorn and way better for you.

Add some salt, chili powder, cinnamon or whatever you want.

Stir Fry

Amongst other vegetables, chickpeas make an easy addition to stir fry and cook right along with the other items in your pan. Best of all, their flavor blends right in and adds even more minerals and protein.

Check this video for quick and easy meals using your can of garbanzo/chickpeas

Conclusion

Whether you are eating them right out of the can at a campfire as a snack, throwing them into a soup, or making your own creative dish with chickpeas, they are generally safe to eat.

Like most any other food that comes out of the ground and is transported, we always recommend washing them first.

Now that you know a bit more about chickpeas, we hope you use the information to feel safer eating chickpeas and legumes.

You should feel confident about your food, especially when they are as good for you as chickpeas can be.

Chris Watson

I'm the founder of EatForLonger.Com. I'm an enthusiast researching and sharing foodstuff and lifestyle based insights. Simple food based concepts for optimising your Healthspan, nutrition and all-round well-being. I hope it inspires you to make tiny changes and add some life to your years. Read more About Me here

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