The Switcheroo: Garbanzo Bean Flour

19 Oct


Bob's Red Mill Garbanzo Bean Flour

Bob's Red Mill Garbanzo Bean Flour


The first thing Tre did when he learned about his allergy to WCRS was take a mental inventory of all his favorite foods that he could no longer eat.

  • Pizza
  • Subs
  • Loaves of bread in general
  • Bagels
  • Wheat Thins

It’s difficult to tout the power of positive thinking when you’ve been deprived of something you enjoy even if it is “just food.” Tre’s allergy put a substantial bottleneck not only on his list of favorite foods, but also restaurant options, quick & easy meal options, snack options, etc. It wasn’t about losing almost a whole food group from his diet, it was the complication that comes with cutting out some of the most prominent food staples in the western world. I recall similar despair upon learning about my own allergy to pork. The only thought in my head was that I could no longer experience the glory that is bacon.

While Tre lamented and entered into the 5 stages of grieving, I took to the internet to look for a viable substitute for the most common wheat-product: flour. The most prominent result was almond flour made entirely from ground almonds. Upon locating it my local Wegamans however, it packed a powerful punch in terms of price: $9.99 for a mere 22 oz. Without thinking twice, I grabbed for its shelf mate, an unheard of “Garbanzo Bean Flour” listed at nearly 1/5 the price.

Garbanzo Flour is made entirely of stone-ground garbanzo beans, or as we affectionately refer to them, chick peas. Garbanzo beans are most famous as the base ingredient for hummus and are a staple in restaurants house salads across the country. Mild and creamy in flavor, garbanzo beans are unoffensive yet distinct. My favorite presentation, fried garbanzo beans are eaten like popcorn but have a richer weight and texture and a pronounced french fry appeal.

Price and flavor considered, garbanzo bean flour was instantly intriguing to me. 1/4 cup boasts:

  • 6g Protein                              (Compared to 3g in bleached white flour)
  • 5g Dietary Fiber                   (Compared to <1g in bleached white flour)
  • 18g Carbs                               (Compared to 23g in bleached white flour)
  • 10% Daily value of iron     (Compared to 6% in bleached white flour)

Not to mention, being WCRS-free, it’s safe for Tre’s new diet. Here was the first step in re-inventing wheat based foods.

Although garbanzo bean flour has a similar consistency to regular white flour white when dry, it needs to be manipulated in cooking in order to behave the same way. Unlike some other nut and bean flours, garbanzo bean flour can be used on it’s own without having to be combined with other flours in baking. It can also be used as a thickener or filler for sauces and stews much like wheat flour. However, as I discovered in my first garbanzo bean flour adventure, it’s not as soluble as wheat flour and takes a little effort to dissolve into water. I also have yet to see if it can be leavened into breads with yeast or eggs.

I look forward to experimenting with garbanzo bean flour and am quite pleased by my accidental discovery. Recipes ahead, stay tuned!


2 Responses to “The Switcheroo: Garbanzo Bean Flour”


  1. A New Kind of Burger -or- Making Things Better Than the Original to Nix Nostalgia « 23 and Grain Free - October 26, 2010

    […] 2 tbsp garbanzo bean flour […]

  2. Beef Stew -or- My First Battle With Garbanzo Bean Flour « 23 and Grain Free - November 11, 2010

    […] flour for pan searing the meat and thickening the sauce. My first opportunity to ease in the garbanzo bean flour had presented itself. And of course, I would quickly learn that garbanzo bean flour does not […]

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