Garbanzo beans can be purchased dried or canned. If you are purchasing dried garbanzos, look for whole beans with less than 10% moisture content. Canned beans are a convenient way to purchase garbanzos, but with a much shorter shelf life. Garbanzo beans nutritional components hold up well to the canning process. Their protein and fiber content are only lowered slightly when canned. However, canned garbanzos do have significantly lower levels of folate than the dried beans. The canning process can deplete folate levels as much as 45 percent.
Garbanzo beans are a tasty legume with a large variety of uses. They can be mixed into salads, stirred into stews, roasted or mashed into hummus. They also offer a lot of nutritional value. If you don’t already have garbanzo beans as a staple in your storage, you may want to consider adding them
Garbanzo beans are an excellent source of protein. When balanced with whole grains, garbanzo beans provide a source of protein similar to that of meat or dairy products. One cup of garbanzo beans supplies approximately 27 percent of your daily protein requirements.
Garbanzo beans are rich in dietary fiber. Garbanzos contain both soluble and insoluble fiber. Soluble fiber works in the digestive tract to move excess cholesterol from the body. Insoluble fiber helps to prevent digestive disorders including constipation. There is almost half of the recommended daily allowance of dietary fiber in one cup of garbanzo beans.
Garbanzo beans contain significant amounts of the trace mineral manganese. Manganese plays an important role in energy production. It’s also an important component in the body’s antioxidant activity.
Garbanzo beans are also a good source of folate. This nutrient is vital for women of childbearing years. One cup of garbanzo beans contains 70 percent of the RDA for non-pregnant adults.
Garbanzos beans are a good source of iron. Iron is important for energy production, iron deficiencies can result in fatigue.
Dried garbanzo beans are best stored in an airtight container. Place the container in a cool, dry place, away from sunlight, and they will keep for well up to a year. Once cooked, garbanzo beans may be placed in a container and stored in the refrigerator for 3 or 4 days.
For long-term storage, place your dried garbanzo beans in Mylar bags with oxygen absorbers. Seal the bags and place in food grade five-gallon buckets. They should then store for up to twenty years if kept in a cool, dry place.