What am I?
You might think I'm a bean, but I'm actually a seed, or a legume.
Not long ago, I wasn't found in as many dishes as I am now, well in the US that is. I've been an important food across the world for thousands of years. I started growing in the Middle East. Now, India grows the most crops.
Where I grow
I grow on a plant on the ground in warm and dry climates. I can pull nutrients and water from the ground all summer long. But before harvest, farmers actually want me to dry out, so I am not watered!
I also keep bugs away with a natural acid on my pod. When I am dried, the acid goes away.
After I'm picked
I grow in a green pod all summer, and I'm ready for harvest (picking) in September.
Farmers are looking for a unified (one) color, because most of me will be canned and blended into hummus.
Did you guess... Chickpeas
Do you like chickpeas? What about hummus? By the way, you may hear "garbanzo" for chickpeas. Garbanzo is the Spanish name!
Go to the next slide to learn more about chickpeas!
Chickpeas (also called Garbanzo beans) are seeds, not a bean! It's a plant from the pea family. It's an important plant used in main dishes across the world and can grow without a lot of water.
HOW IT GROWS
Chickpeas grow on a bushy plant. It grows small white or reddish flowers. The seed then grows in a pod, just like a pea. The pods release acid (chemicals) through tiny hairs on the pod and stems of the plant. This protects it from insects, but it can also put holes in your clothing! A fresh chickpea is green, but this isn't a common way to eat it. Instead, the plant is naturally dried out from the heat of summer. By September, the plant is ready to harvest.
DID YOU KNOW
HOW TO EAT IT
At the grocery store, you will find canned or dried chickpeas. You can blend it (like hummus), add it to salads, roast it, and bake it. It can even be used to make desserts!
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