Chickpeas/garbanzo beans are gluten-free and chock full of fiber. In fact, between 65-75% of the fiber found in the beans is insoluable, which means they remain undigested down to the final segment of the large intestine. "Recent studies show that bacteria in the colon can metabolize garbanzo bean fiber and produce short chain fatty acids (SCFAs), including acetic, propionic, and butyric acids. These SCFAs provide fuel to the cells that line your intestinal wall, lowering your risk of colon problems, including cancer." But because of their high fiber count, garbanzo beans may be too tough for some bodies to breakdown, and so it is recommended that the garbanzo bean flour be pre-mixed or at least allowed to sit for 30 or more minutes to assist the body in breaking down the complex starches and aid in mineral absorption.
The Versatility of Socca
Socca, as a gluten-free fibrous "bread" can be an excellent alternative to white flour tortillas, pizza dough, crepes or flatbreads. It can be folded over to make a sandwich wrap and stuffed with favorite ingredients, used as a foundation for a rustic pizza (see the Whole Daily Living recipe) and topped with avocado, olives, spring lettuce, zesty radish sprouts, a drizzle of olive oil and flaked dried tomatoes. And many different kinds of seasonings can be added to create a wide variety of flatbreads/wraps/chips/tortillas/pancakes/doughs. Here are some options:
savory Italian herbs - rosemary, thyme, marjoramMuch of the above info was taken from Meatless Monday: Socca (highly interesting with very attractive pictures) and Kalinti, Moroccan Flour and Egg Tart.
infused oils - sesame seed oil or olive oil with garlic
vegetables - tomatoes, onions, celery, peppers (well, not me)
onions and garlic and ginger for a real kick
seeds - dill seeds, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds
for breakfast or dessert - cinnamon, cardamom, coriander, cloves with coconut oil; topped with fresh fruit slices and a drizzle of raw honey (well, no sugary things for me ... yet)
My basic socca recipe (seen in a vegetarian cookbook)
1 cup garbanzo bean flourOne of my many socca recipes - with tomatoes and fresh garlic and basic on top! Notice how thin and crisp the socca came out - yum! Later I started adding Italian seasonings like rosemary, thyme, marjoram, basil and/or parsley to create a more flavorful gluten-free "bread" to accompany my many salads and vegie meals. Perfect because they aren't too high in carbs and they are so tasty!
1 cup water
4 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
Variation: We had a leftover raw broccoli, cauliflower and radish salad that needed to be eaten. I just added it to the original batter plus an egg or two, some seasonings and topped with tomatoes and this was one excellent delight! My brother couldn't keep his hands out of it until it was sadly ... gone!
And then here's one of my all-time favorites, not made in a hot skillet which makes the socca crispy, but on a flat baking sheet oiled with coconut oil. Socca seriously takes only 5 minutes to whip up! First, mix the 1 cup of garbanzo bean flour and 1 cup of water, the oil and salt. [Best to let sit for 30 minutes or make the night before and refrigerate ... just to help break down some of those heavy starches.] Then in an oiled cast iron fry pan, which is perfect for crispy socca, pour the batter and bake for 20-30 minutes (depends on thickness and volume) on 350F. And serve hot!
I served these with "Italian butter", a mixture of herbs (parsley, basil, thyme, garlic and sea salt) in olive oil for dipping. Scrumptious, and the Italian butter is now what we use on corn instead of butter ... well, I don't eat corn because it's highly moldy and almost always a starchy, sugary GMO, but I fix it for everyone else :)