Garbanzos touted as low-cost protein source

May 14, 2008

The Fresno Bee's ag savvy food writer, John Obra, wrote an article for today's Life section on fresh garbanzos, with information gleaned at a recent UC Cooperative Extension garbanzo bean field day at the UC West Side Research and Extension Center.

High-protein garbanzo beans, also known as chick peas, are most familiar to consumers as dried bagged beans or cooked canned beans. Obra says the green fresh beans will be harvested during the next few weeks and make their way into the produce section of grocery stores.

The article said young, fresh garbanzo beans are so highly sought after, they can be a poacher's quarry. At the field day, UC Davis Cooperative Extension specialist Steve Temple told stories of garbanzo farmers camping on their fields to prevent thieves from ripping up garbanzo plants for prized young, green legumes, Obra wrote.

In addition to offering recipes for using garbanzo beans, Obra's story noted that the legume adds nitrogen back to the soil as it grows.

These and other winter legumes "will definitely have a role 10 to 20 years from now in California agriculture because of low water requirements and nitrogen fixation," Temple was quoted. 


By Jeannette E. Warnert
Author - Communications Specialist