Introducing Fresh Garbanzo Beans: The New Edamame

by Dorothy Reinhold on June 10, 2012

Print This Post Print This Post Fresh Garbanzo Beans: The New Edamame

You heard it here first: Fresh garbanzo beans are the new edamame. Fresh Garbanzos in handVibrant green, a little fuzzy, fun to pop out of their thin, papery, puffy little shell and downright cute, fresh garbanzos are going to be your new favorite healthy snack, I predict. They can be eaten raw (they are reminiscent of a fresh pea), or added to stir fries along with other veggies, boiled like edamame, roasted or fried and seasoned. You may be familiar with canned cooked garbanzos (also called chickpeas), or dried garbanzos that must be rehydrated and then cooked before you use them. These are entirely different! Where to get them   Fresh  Garbanzo BeansIf you live in Los Angeles, you can drive on Alameda Street in downtown L.A. and they are sold by vendors on the side of the road, still attached to their branches. Buy a branch, take it home, and proceed. Or look in the fresh produce section of your grocery store. Melissa’s Produce distributes them in wrapped 6-ounce packages, for about $2.49-$2.99. They’re available year-’round and grown in Mexico, although they are starting to be grown in California. If you don’t see them, ask the produce manager to order them for you. 10 things to do with fresh garbanzo beans

  1. Pop them raw out of their shells (they have one or two green beans per pod), spritz with fresh lemon juice and sprinkle lightly with salt. Eat for a snack! TV time was never so healthy.
  2. Boil them like you would edamame, in the pod, for a couple of minutes, remove from heat, drain, salt the pods lightly and eat as you would edamame in the pod, by sucking on the pod and squeezing the beans out with your teeth.
  3. Rinse them, shake dry, put in a sauté pan with a little olive oil, put a lid on and cook for 5-8 minutes, stirring once in awhile so they don’t burn. They’ll char a little. Salt them and serve for a cocktail snack. Be sure to provide a little bowl for the pods.
  4. Shell them and use the beans in a stir-fry with other vegetables.
  5. Shell them and steam them like you would English peas.
  6. Mash/blend them into hummus (instead of using canned garbanzos).
  7. Mash (or not) and add them to guacamole for added fiber and protein. (They’re about the same color as avocado flesh.)
  8. Lightly coat the pods with olive oil, salt and pepper and place in a foil packet and onto a hot grill. Shake the packet a few times during the 10-minute cooking. When done, open the packet and eat them like you would edamame, by popping them out of their shell.
  9. Stir-fry them with Indian spices: salt, chili powder, turmeric, garam masala, etc.
  10. Try them in the savory snack below!

Addictive? Oh yeah. Spicy Fresh Garbanzo Beans

Recipe: Spicy Fresh Garbanzos

Spicy Fresh Garbanzo BeansSummary: Seasoned with warm spices, these vibrant green fresh garbanzo beans are a world apart from the canned variety, and will be your new favorite healthy snack. Vegan cocktail snacks anyone?


  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 6 ounces fresh garbanzo beans in the shell (about 2.2-2.5 ounces shelled beans)
  • Sprinkle of chili powder
  • Sprinkle of ground cumin
  • Sprinkle of salt


  1. Heat oil in a small frying pan. Add shelled beans and stir-fry for 3-5ish minutes, adding seasonings at the end of the time. Stir to mix everything well and coat the beans with the seasonings, and serve in a little bowl.
  2. Serves 2-4, depending on appetites.

Quick notes

Salad: You can use these Spicy Fresh Garbanzos instead of croutons to jazz up a salad!

Storage: Store them in the package in the refrigerator vegetable crisper for a week or so. Much longer than that and they might grow cashmere.

Fresh Garbanzo Beans from Melissa'sA sample of the fresh garbanzos was sent by Melissa’s Produce.


Instead of chili powder, cumin and salt, sprinkle with truffle salt once you remove them from the heat.

Shelling time: 15 minutes Cooking time: 5 minutes Diet type: Vegan, Vegetarian Number of servings (yield): 2-4 Culinary tradition: Mexican

{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

Cory James September 15, 2016 at 11:44 am

These make the best hummus! A lot tastier than the dried version IMO.


Arturo May 27, 2013 at 1:28 pm

Unless your Hispanic. Not that new for us.


Karen April 26, 2013 at 4:51 pm

I had some dried garbonzos I couldn’t eat bc a mouse got into them. I soaked them overnight and planted them in my garden a few weeks ago. They’ve sprouted, and now I have my fingers crossed that they’ll actually mature fruit. If it works, it will be a cheap way to have an almost endless supply. (which is why I’m looking up recipes! I’ve never had a fresh garbonzo before.)


Karen April 26, 2013 at 4:54 pm

Btw, I live in Virginia, in the Fredericksburg area.


Ally @ A Girl and Her Fork September 29, 2012 at 12:49 pm

I love fresh garbanzo hummus. I buy the beans at the Mexican market, they’re super cheap there.


kristy @ gastronomical sovereignty July 6, 2012 at 9:59 am

i wonder what the status is re garbanzos and GMOs? I know edamame (soy beans) are very scary and so i always look for certified organic soy beans = no GMO. at least in canada anyhow. any ideas?

your recipe looks great!

thank you for sharing with Fresh Foods Wednesday – hope to see you back next week!

p.s. if you don’t mind linking back to us in your post, that would be wonderful darling…xo!


Lentil Breakdown June 20, 2012 at 3:38 pm

Oooh…Za’atar would be good on them too. May be worth a trip downtown to nab me some!


Dorothy June 20, 2012 at 9:03 pm

That’s a really good idea!


Faye Levy June 11, 2012 at 8:02 pm

Also available in Middle Eastern markets.


Rashmi from June 11, 2012 at 1:47 pm

oh and forgot to mention try your recipe with small sauteed ginger pieces and squeeze some lime juice on top of them. It will taste divine.


Rashmi from June 11, 2012 at 1:35 pm

Here’s my version for the kids (minus the chilli)–


Dorothy June 11, 2012 at 1:45 pm

I am so glad to know that young kids like them, too! My kids are 10 and 14 and they enjoyed them. The little ones can start early on getting their taste buds opened up!


Julie June 11, 2012 at 8:59 am

I’ve grown these for a couple of years and thought I was the only one who knew how good they are straight out of the garden.


Faye Levy June 11, 2012 at 8:03 pm

Wow, Julie, where do you live?


Sprigs of Rosemary June 10, 2012 at 8:57 am

I love endamame. I love dried garbanzo beans, soaked just like any other dried bean. But I never have seen fresh garbanzos. But if I do, I’m sure to become an addict. Roasted chickpeas are a great snack!


Dorothy June 10, 2012 at 9:34 am

Yes! They are hard to put down!


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