Chick Peas are one of earliest cultivated vegetables in the world, with at least 7,500-years of culinary history in the Middle East. Chick Pea flour can be used as a healthy substitute for wheat flour in a surprising number of gluten-free dishes. Unlike other gluten-free flours which tend to contain more calories and carbohydrates, chick pea flour instead offers more fiber and protein.
The particular type of beneficial fiber that chick pea flour provides is called “resistant starch”. As the name suggests its a starch that resists digestion in the small intestine. As a result, it does not raise glycemic (blood sugar) levels but will actually constrain both blood sugar and insulin responses after a meal.
Better yet, since it is not digested and absorbed in your stomach, this “resistant starch” continues happily on its way to your colon where the clever bacteria residing there ferment it into more friendly compounds called “short chain fatty acids” or (SCFAs), that have been shown to prevent colon cancer.
One of the most famous uses of Chickpea flour is in the preparation of Socca, the thin, flat bread made of flour, water, olive oil and salt, served hot by street vendors at open-air markets in France.
According to MFK Fisher, the French still associate chickpeas with Mary Magdalene. She points to the legend of Mary’s cohorts Les Saintes Maries, who upon fleeing to Provence from Jerusalem were miraculously saved from starvation by a bottomless pot of, you guessed it, Pois Chiches or Chick Peas.