The chickpea is a wonderful little legume. They’re so incredibly versatile. As such, they’ve become a pantry staple. I wouldn’t be surprised if you have a tub of them in your fridge right now and a can in the cupboard. I know I do.
Thanks to companies like Banza, we all have even more ways to enjoy chickpeas. The company started with chickpea pasta. Chickpea pasta is gluten-free and loaded with protein and fiber, plus a serving of it contains nearly half the net carbs of traditional pasta. Unsurprisingly, it was an instant hit, and many other manufacturers jumped on board with alternative pastas. And all of the health benefits you get from chickpea pasta? Those same things are true for Banza’s newest product — new chickpea rice.
Unlike pasta, regular brown rice is naturally gluten-free and nutritious. So you might be wondering, why swap it for chickpea rice at all? Well, if you have a rice allergy, it’s a no-brainer. But it’s also a good choice if you want more protein and fiber packed into your “rice.”
According to the Banza Instagram account, “our goal at Banza is simple: make nutritious eating more accessible… So that’s why we’re beyond excited to turn rice into a powered-up, protein-packed, mealtime hero!”
But how does it taste? Scrumptious, yummy and downright delicious! That is if you ask one of the many fans who’ve already posted recipes, beautiful photos and rave reviews about the rice.
If you’ve tried other chickpea pastas before — from companies like Banza, Barilla, Chickpea Organic, Explore Cuisine and others — the flavor of chickpea rice is very similar. And the shape and size of the chickpea rice are identical to that of real rice. If you whip it up in a burrito or rice bowl recipe, you’ll barely recognize a difference. The texture, however, is a bit closer to pasta, sort of like orzo.
When you start cooking the chickpea rice, you’ll also notice some differences in how you’re advised to prepare it, as chickpea rice absorbs less water than traditional rice. Before you get cooking, check out the #banzabowl hashtag for ideas and recipe inspiration. Banza has used the hashtag to challenge home cooks to share photos of their favorite recipes with the new product.
There are also tricolor rice variations available from the brand. It’s a triple threat with riced chickpeas, riced green peas and riced red lentils.
And Banza isn’t the only brand dabbling in alternative rices. Know foods also offers a rice made of chickpea flour, known as KNOW Better Rice. Could this be the beginning of a chickpea rice revolution?
Try it out and decide for yourself!