You Should Be Adding Chickpeas To Your Baked Goods. Here's Why

We're always happy to find baked goods that taste delicious and are packed with nutrients. While your classic idea of a dessert might not include chickpeas, you better be ready to try something new because you will be pleasantly surprised by the versatile legume. Vegan bakers have long been known to save the liquid from their canned chickpeas — aka aquafaba — because it works as a binder and can be whipped into a meringue-like texture that is completely egg-free, according to America's Test Kitchen. Another variation of the legume is chickpea flour which can be used for sweet and savory dishes and is a staple in many international cuisines, such as Indian, Pakistani, Bangladeshi, and Italian.

However, we're most excited about the humble chickpea in its cooked form. Healthline notes that chickpeas are packed with protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals. They also help manage blood sugar spikes and weight, which is more than you can say about most ingredients in baked goods! While haters might describe the bean as dry and chalky, when blended with other ingredients it is overwhelmingly creamy (via Prevention).

What should you bake with chickpeas?

First of all, chickpeas are a great substitute if you eat a gluten-free diet because they can be used instead of flour in many recipes, as Brit + Co reports. Compared with almond flour, which is a common gluten-free option, they are lower in fat and definitely cheaper (via Healthline). Some recipes use additional oats to make the texture a bit denser but there are plenty of ideas that use chickpeas as the main ingredient. Thanks to their neutral flavor and hint of nuttiness, the legume is generally unrecognizable once baked into a sweet treat.

Whether you are craving cookies, blondies, brownies, cake, or muffins, Brit + Co gathered dozens of chickpea recipes for you to try. For cookie-dough lovers, dessert hummus is the perfect invention to avoid raw eggs and loads of butter while still getting your fix. Besides being grain-free, most of the recipes steer clear of refined sugars by using sweeteners such as maple syrup, honey, or dates. If you want to bring out the nutty flavor of the chickpeas, add your favorite nut butter to the mix. We probably don't have to convince you, but chocolate chips make all of these desserts exponentially more decadent.

So grab a few bags or cans of chickpeas and get baking. Remember to save the aquafaba if you want to add a meringue topping!