Banza: the pasta made of chickpeas

It’s great new to does on a gluten free diet, but the chickpea-pasta more healthy in general, and some say it’s even tasty.

Banza is a line of pasta products from a company with the same name, operating in Detroit, Michigan, since 2013. They manufacture pasta in a few standard forms, such as Fusilli, Conchiglie, Pene, and more.

But what makes their pasta special is not form or color, but that it is made not from chickpeas ruther then wheat flour.

Why should anybody want to eat pasta made of chickpeas? Well, besides the apparent advantage for gluten-sensitive people, it’s also a good choice for people with other health issues in mind.

Banza chickpea pasta

In an interview they recently gave to The Hafingtons’ Rick Camilleri, founders Brian and Scott Rudolph, explain that their product is more nutritious and healthy in any way.

It contains twice the protein, four times the fiber and half the carbohydrates regular pasta has – which makes it healthier for people diabetes and hear disease risk factors (which makes most people in developed countries).

Under the Our mission page in the company’s website, inventor Brian Rudolph explain that the chickpea pasta was a solution to his own gluten sensitivity. He made the first prototype in his home kitchen and when he tasted it he realise he had a billion dollar product.

That’s a good story, but does Banza really tastes as good as regular pasta? To be perfectly honest, and with all our love to chickpeas, it sounds a bit too good to be true.

Moreover, durum wheat from which quality pasta is made, is actually pretty healthy for most people, has a high contents of protein, iron, magnesium, thiamin, B6, and other things your body needs.

Sabra issues nationwide recall of 30K Hummus cases

Sabra had to recall some 30,000 cases of its Classic Hummus due to possible contamination with Listeria. 

Hummus manufacturer Sabra (Sabra Dipping Co., co-owned by PepsiCo and Israeli food manufacturer Strauss) announced earlier this week that it is voluntarily recalling some 30,000 cases of its “Classic Hummus” due to possible contamination with Listeria.

Prior to the announcement, Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development officials reportedly learned about the risk of contamination andthen informed the company and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Hummus Sabra

Listeria monocytogenes is a bacteria which usually attacks children, pregnant women, elderly people, and people with weakened immune system. Human infection is rare but may be fatal, and lead to meningitis, blood poisoning or death (morality rate is around 20%). Healthier individuals may suffer from high fever, severe headache, abdominal pain and diarrhea. Listeria infection can also cause miscarriages among pregnant women.

Listeria does not survive cooking or pasteurizing, but may infect cooked or pasteurized food, especially when surface sterilization is lacking.

 

The Hummus Challenge

“The Hummus Challenge”, inspired by the Ice Bucket Challenge, involves rubbing hummus on your face. If it wasn’t an industrial packaged hummus, we might considered participating.

The Hummus Challenge is the the more comic, somewhat less coherent, version of the Ice Bucket Challenge which ןד a campaign aimed to raise awareness to ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease).

Initiated by IDF reserve soldiers stationed near Gaza, the Hummus Challenge is aimed to raise awareness to the fact that hummus is delicious and hamas is evil (much like our favorite Elon Gold sketch “Voting for Hummus“). So instead of dumping a bucket of ice on your head, it involves rubbing hummus over your face while explaining the cause – or contributing a sum of $100 to an NGO that supports Israeli soldiers.

Hummus-challenge

One might ask how come an annual defense budget of nearly $20 Billion is not enough to support the needs of man who risk their lives for their country. Many time, regardless of their own political opinion, which differs from those who sent them to fight. Read more

An FDA official standard for Hummus?

Sabra, the Israeli-American manufacturer of packaged hummus, has filed a citizen’s petition with the FDA to establish a standard of identity for hummus. Not a bad idea, but one may wonder what is Sabra’s real motivation.

Sabra Dipping (owned by PepsiCo and Israeli hummus manufacturer Strauss) has asked the FDA to establish an official standard for hummus, in order to assure the quality and nutritional value of hummus products.

In a press release that was sent to the media last week , Sabra claims the market is flooded with hummus imitations, which has little to do with the original paste. The company asked the FDA to make sure that foods will be allowed to be called “hummus” only if they’re made mainly from chickpeas and have at list 5% raw tahini in them.

מדפי חומוס בסופר אמריקני

Great PR work, no doubt, for Sabra and for Hummus as well. And it’s not a totally bad idea, considering the fact that so many Americans think “hummus” is a generic word for pastes or semisolid foods in general.  Read more

RMDLO: the Best for my Chickpeas

RMDLO is an innovative collapsible colander, which may change the way people drain their soaked chickpeas – among other things. The inventors are having a Kickstarter campaign to take it into mass production, and they need your help.

Don’t know about you – I own three to five different colanders and strainers at any given time.

There are the large ones, of course, which I use for chickpeas, pasta and other foods in relatively large quantities which are soaked or cooked then drained. I usually have two of those and 2-3 smaller colanders, for teas, herbs, gravies and such.

cooking-on-gas RMDLO colander

 

So the advantages of having a collapsible colander like RMDLO (in the photo) – which may be the only kind I’ll ever need – is pretty clear to me, especially since it looks like a product that will survive longer than those I had until now.

It may also replace my somewhat rusty steamer basket, which is basically a primitive ancestor of RMDLO.

Read more

Soan Papdi: the Indian halva made of hummus

This is not halva, but it is a close relative. It is tasty, even addictive, comes from India and can be found in Israel. It does not include Tahini, but does include hummus.

The product in the picture is called Soan Papdi. It is – are you sitting down? – an Indian halva that does not include Tahini, but does include… Hummus. Hummus flour, to be exact.

soan papdi, chickpea-halva

Maybe calling it halva is not exactly right, considering it doesn’t include anything that remotely resembles sesame. But it’s taste, look and feel is definitely very close to halva, somewhere between normal halva and “halva hairs” (Persian fairy floss), with a strong aroma of cardamon. It is also as addictive as halva. Read more

The machine that “wipes” the hummus for you

Take that: a robot that slices the pita bread and wipes the hummus for you. Completely useless, but pretty cool.

“More electricity, less work”, says an old commercial of Israel Electric Company, back in the days the company succeeded in producing more electricity than the national consumption (the government’s fault, now and then).

Those naïve days are over, but we still prefer to wash our clothes in the washing machine, boil our coffee water in the electric kettle, and yes, also mince our hummus in the electric mixer.

So how about a machine that will slice a piece of pita and “wipe” the hummus for you? This sounds a bit over the top, but someone thought he just had to build such a machine.

In the following video you can see Hummus Machine 2.0, a robot that wipes hummus, developed by Izik Meir and Yuri Klebanov. The robot was presented in recently held Geekcon 2013 convention. We are not sure about this, but it’s certainly cool.

The clip’s soundtrack, BTW, is from the song Hummus Metamtem (“hummus is fabulous”) by Jewish American Nigel Ha’Admor (“Nigel the rebbe”), which might get his own post.

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