On this beautiful warm and sunny spring Saturday my dear friend Jessica and I decided to do some running, starting with coffee. Since we both needed groceries we made the plan- meet at Starbucks, take care of the intense need for caffeine, then plan our grocery shopping. We are both fans of Trader Joe's and Whole Foods, so it was easy to throw a plan together. Shop, then snacks on a patio somewhere. Starbucks was a nightmare!! So so so busy!! Rather than choose an over the top froo froo coffee with more calories than many lunches, peach green tea was the perfect choice. I like it with a teensy shot of mango also, and while it's not sugar free or calorie it's waaaaaay better than a 600 calorie cup of coffee.
We hit Trader Joe's first where I was able to get everything I need for some delicious recipes I have been working on and then some! I just love the fresh produce at Trader Joe's. It's very affordable, always fresh, most are organic and I always end up finding something that's not on my list, but I must have it. I grabbed what I needed for those recipes- fresh asparagus, mushrooms, zucchini, beautiful bell peppers, some beautiful cheeses and fresh herbs. I also snuck another package of that frozen kung pao chicken that I loved so much, and a bag of frozen potstickers. Whole foods was out next stop and there I found three really fun foods to play with and share it all with you- a nice thick slice of jackfruit, jade pearl rice from the bulk section and fresh garbanzo beans. This is also where we made our patio stop- since Whole Foods has such beautiful foods and a gorgeous patio. Roasted chicken for Jessica and sushi for me.
Now, let's talk about those garbanzo beans. We have all seen canned garbanzos and dried ones that need soaking and cooking, but I have never seen fresh in the store. I've only seen them on Chopped! To say I was excited was an understatement. I spied a bin of unusual looking pods and asked Jessica "Whaaaaaaaat do you think THOSE are??" as we approached them. Fresh garbanzo beans! I promptly scooped up a couple handfuls and put them in the cart.
I know nothing about cooking these guys. Like I said, I've seen them used on Chopped and more often than not, used badly. So I did my research. The cute little pods contain one or two beans. Unlike some other beans, like favas, they don't need to have the skin removed when fresh, unless you find it a little too chewy. Then a quick rub in a clean towel will usually do the trick. Nutritionally they are pretty good for you. At about 17% protein they also bring lots of healthy fiber to the table. They are also a good source of magnesium and folate (one of the B vitamins).
I learned I can cook these little goodies lots of ways. Steaming or boiling like a shell bean is quite common but they can also be roasted, deep fried or left in the pods and steamed/charred and served as a snack just like you do edamame. I think for this relatively small amount of beans I'll shell them, steam them, and just snack on them. I should have bought more! Next time I'll know better!
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