By Lisa Elaine Held
Chickpeas are delicious, nutrient-dense, and extremely versatile. There are dozens of ways (at least) to turn a can of chickpeas into dinner. You can also turn them into hummus, throw them into salads, or roast them for snacking. And you can also turn them into better-for-you sweet treats. You can use the chickpeas themselves — which works best in recipes like brownies or blondies — or you can use chickpea flour.
This gluten-free flour delivers fiber, protein, and important vitamins and minerals, while cutting the need for processed white flour. It also “lends itself to baking because it’s dense and sturdy, so it holds things together in a good way,” explains pastry chef Karen DeMasco.
Taste-wise, DeMasco adds that “it’s sort of rich and nutty and has a warm flavor to it.”
Ready to, ahem, go garbanzo? Here are a few tips for baking with chickpea flour.
How to Bake with Chickpea Flour
1. Blend it.
“When you use it straight on its own, it can be grainy, and you might not get the texture you like,” DeMasco warns. Try subbing in chickpea flour for 40 percent of the flour the recipe calls for, leaving the other 60 percent as all-purpose flour. You can also blend it with other healthier flours, like rye flour, depending on the recipe. Another option? Look for pre-blended flours
2. Pair it with strong flavors.
Chickpea flour has a robust flavor that can overwhelm more delicately flavored ingredients. For this reason, DeMasco explains, it “pairs best with strong flavors like chocolate and molasses, so the nutty flavor doesn’t take over.”
Get a recipe: Double Chocolate Chickpea Flour Cookies from Occasionally Eggs
3. Go savory.
Baking with chickpea flour isn’t just for dessert. When you combine it with water, it forms a golden yellow batter. Bake it, and the result is a gluten-free, protein-rich flatbread. It’s addictive on its own, but also sturdy enough for toppings — like this feta pizza.