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Chickpeas: Excellent Survival Food

Chickpeas, also known as Garbanzo beans, are a proven survival food. Cultivated since 3000 B.C., eaten by the armies of ancient Egypt, Greece, and Rome. They have a good track record as a staple food.

Chickpeas are an excellent survival food. 1/2 cup of chickpeas provides 160 kcal, high protein, and fiber, and they are an excellent source of folate, calcium, magnesium, and potassium. Dried Garbanzo beans will store 30-years with oxygen absorbers sealed in a Mylar bag, food-grade pale, or #10 can.

I say chickpea, and you say garbanzo bean. It doesn’t really matter what you call this edible little legume. There are billions of people from East India to the Middle East that eat this protein-packed bean every day for survival.

Chickpeas provide excellent nutrition, are flexible in what you can make with them, eaten cooked or sprouted, and pair well with other foods with a long shelf life, definitely worth considering for emergency preparedness.

5 Reasons Legumes are Excellent Survival Food

#1 Chickpeas: A Healthy and Nutritious Survival Food

Garbanzo beans are an excellent source of protein, folate (B6), calcium, magnesium, and potassium. They are considered an excellent replacement for meat or dairy if eaten with a whole-grains to make a complete protein.

Nutritional Profile of 1/2 cup of Cooked Chickpeas

MacronutrientsUnitDaily ValueChickpeas BoiledHummus
Sugarg4.8Not Recorded
Information provided by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Nutrient Database (see link under sources)

Minerals 1/2 Cup of Cooked Chickpeas

MineralsUnitDaily ValueChickpeas BoiledHummus
Calcium mg1300 49 38
Iron mg18 2.89 2.44
Magnesium mg400 48 71
Phosphorus mg1000 168 176
Potassium mg4700 291 228
Sodium mg2300 7 379
Information provided by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Nutrient Database (see link under sources)

Vitamins 1/2 Cup Of Cooked Chickpeas

VitaminsUnitDaily ValueChickpeas BoiledHummus
Vitamin C mg60 1.30
Thiamin mg1.5.116 .180
Riboflavin mg1.7.063 .064
Niacin mg20.526 .582
Vitamin B6mg2.139.200
Folate (B9)ug
400172 83
Vitamin A IU5000 27 30
Information provided by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Nutrient Database (see link under sources)

#2 Garbanzos For Long-Term Storage

If you store chickpeas for long-term storage you want the dried version with less than a 10% moisture content. If repackaged they will store for 30+ years.

To get the 30-year shelf-life from dried chickpeas, you will want to repackage them with Oxygen absorbers in sealed 5 mil+ Mylar bags, food-grade buckets, or purchase professionally packaged in hermetically sealed #10 cans.

Many preppers store dry goods like chickpeas inside Mylar bags and place the bags inside food-grade buckets for optimum protection.

Mylar bags are an excellent Oxygen barrier, but they are easily damaged. Buckets are tough but don’t provide the best seal. Together Mylar bags and buckets are the best DIY options to store dry goods like chickpeas long-term.

Canned Garbanzo beans are worth looking into for short-term emergency storage. You can get at least a 5-year shelf life from the “best by” date on the can.

The downside of wet-canned chickpeas is a significant loss, up to 45%, of Vitamin B9 (folic acid) in the canning process.

Warning: Chickpeas stored in an Oxygen-free environment should contain less than 10% moisture content, or you risk food poisoning from botulism.

#3 Garbanzo Beans Are Flexible In Meals

Chickpeas can be used to make many satisfying dishes that provide excellent nutrition. Garbanzos fill you up and compliment white rice, hard wheat, and other survival foods that store long-term.

17 Ways To Use Garbanzo Beans From Long-term Storage

  1. Chickpeas on salad greens from your survival garden
  2. Chickpea Salad with mint, cucumbers, and tomatoes with a vinegar-based dressing
  3. Mash Garbanzos and eat them on fresh-baked bread with produce like onions, cucumbers, and tomatoes.
  4. Mash Chickpeas and form them into hamburger patties, fry and eat like a hamburger
  5. Add Garbanzos to pasta dishes and pasta sauces.
  6. Mix chickpeas into a paste, add fetta cheese and olive oil. Eat on bread with a side of fresh garden produce.
  7. Blend chickpeas into a puree with root vegetables, like parsnip, and make soup
  8. Bake with garden squash
  9. Roast chickpeas and eat them like a nut or as a trail-snack for bugging out.
  10. Make Hummus
  11. Falafel: Chickpeas ground and deep-fried in a patty. Usually eaten with a flatbread like a pita.
  12. Chickpeas are combined with curry powder, turmeric, coriander, and coconut milk and eaten with white rice.
  13. Minestrone
  14. Use in soups or stews.
  15. Sprout them for a hit of chlorophyll during the winter months or sprout anytime for fresh produce
  16. Grind chickpeas into flour and use them in dishes like
    1. Farinata/Socca: An unleavened flatbread made from chickpea flour, originated in Genoa, Italy
    2. Papadums: Thin Flatbread made from Garbanzo bean flour, originated in India
    3. Pakoras: Chickpea flour is used to make a batter, meat or vegetables are then dipped and deep-fried, originated in India
  17. Grind Chickpeas and use in gluten-free baking

#4 Chickpeas Are Inexpensive

Dried chickpeas are inexpensive and readily available. Compared to foods with similar nutrition like meat and dairy, they are super cheap. A significant amount of calories and nutrition can be stored at a low cost.

If you combine Garbanzos with inexpensive whole-grains you can get a protein similar to meat or dairy.

Purchase 1lb of chickpeas for a $1.00 or less if you buy in bulk, compare that to the price of premium beef or cheese.

#5 Garbanzo Beans Are Filling

Beans are high in protein and fiber, so they are filling and give a sense of contentment. Garbanzo beans are no exception.

When you are in a survival situation, feeling full helps you stay positive. Fullness after eating is an important aspect of survival morale.

How Do You Cook Dried Chickpeas?

Soak For 8 Hours In Clean Water, put your beans in a big bowl or a large pot and cover with 3″ of water. Dried chickpeas triple in size as they rehydrate so make sure your container is big enough.

Cook Your Chickpeas, after soaking your beans, drain them in a colander, add them to a big pot, cover with 3 ” of water and bring to a rapid boil. Once your beans are boiling, reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 1 1/2 to 2 hours.

As a side note, don’t forget to store enough clean water to process the whole foods you store for emergencies.

If you want to learn more about dry beans for long-term storage check out Ready Squirrel’s video on dry beans.


U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agriculture and Research Service, Food Data Central, Chickpeas

The Nutritional Value and Health Benefits of Chickpeas and Hummus, PMC US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health, link

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