Thursday, July 12, 2012

Refreshing Garbanzo Bean Salad + Hibiscus Tea

Cooking, baking, even turning on the kitchen light switch seems positively evil right now. The other day was a muggy 99 degrees here in Idaho (I know, all you southern states can scoff at us). Don't get me wrong, I love a good hot day to go to the beach but lingering in the kitchen over a heated stove has me cringing.

But if you can't make it to the beach, try this delicious salad (or better yet, bring it with you to the beach).

I happened upon a bundle of mint from Gracious Granny herself! Besides drying for winter tisanes, I knew I wanted to incorporate into a salad that mixed with cumin, a tribute to the day I spent in Morroco.

As I've mentioned, I love Whole Living. They had a wonderful article about cooling foods. One of the recipes was a cucumber and mint smoothie. I incorporated those flavors into a fresh bean salad  that you can serve over lettuce or eat alone. (They also had a recipe for hibiscus tea which, thanks to my mother, is a staple in my house in the summer. I've added my recipe below because it's a little different).

In Ayurvedic nutrition, cucumbers and mint are cooling foods. They don't shock your system like ice-ladden drinks do. Instead they help your body work to beat the heat... Meaning this recipe is not only delicious but also therapeutically cooling!

The salad also incorporates cumin. Cumin helps aid digestion. According to some studies, it helps the liver secrete more bile, which helps our bodies to break down fats and absorb more nutrients. Cumin combined with mint has a wonderful Morrocan flair.

If you are new to the taste of cumin, you can start with 1/2 teaspoon in this recipe and work your way up to a larger amount. The fresher the cumin, the stronger it's flavor. Keep ground cumin up to six months.

You can refridgerate this recipe or leave it at room temperature before serving.

Refreshing Garbanzo Bean Salad
1 1/2 c cooked garbanzo beans (or 15 oz. can well-drained)
2 Mini Cucumbers or 1/2 English cucumber
Handful of Mint
1/2-1 t ground cumin
1/2 Lemon
Olive Oil
Dried Cranberries *optional

1. Chop mint finely. Slice cucumbers in half lengthwise and slice those halves again lengthwise. Chop across to get small cucumber chunks.
2. Combine lemon juice, cumin, and olive oil.
3. Pour dressing over beans, cucumber, and mint. Top with chopped dried cranberries if desired.

Makes 2 servings.

Serve with Hibiscus tea!

You can buy hibiscus petals from your local ethnic or heatlh food store, Mountain Rose Herbs, vitacost (sign up for $10 gift card) or amazon.

Hibiscus Tea
1/2 c Hibiscus Flowers
1 T Stevia Leaf or agave or honey.
4 c Boiling Water

1. Pour boiling water over hibiscus flowers and stevia Let sit in glass jar in sunlight for at least an hour to infuse it with solar energy! (I just made myself giggle).
2. Add sweetener of choice if omitting stevia leaf and lime juice. Serve at room temperature or chill with a 2-3 cubes of ice.

Don't know what to do with leftover hibiscus petals? Try hibiscus + red walnut lettuce wraps or hibiscus ketchup!

And if you would like to subscribe to Whole Living or buy yourself some hibiscus flowers, here's a link to do so...

Question of the Day: What's a summer staple in your household?

Hibiscus tea has been a favorite as well as my chamomile cantaloupe smoothies. Lately, Big Blue Eyes has been enjoying the banana ice cream in all this heat. Witty Husband has a great hand at the grill so family-raised montana cow burgers have been a go-to. Also I make a version of this quinoa salad weekly (lately with nectarines and craisins instead of mango and lots of turmeric).

Shared on Fresh Food Wednesdays, Allergy Free Wednesdays... and Lifeologia


  1. The garbanzo salad looks great - and just the thing as my garden cucumbers come in. The mint is ever-ready and just waiting for more uses. Thanks for sharing. If it's not too weird to ask - can I ask where the lovely green and blue dishes came from? I love them.

    1. I bought the dishes in Mexico several years back (where my family also re-discovered hibiscus tea so it's fitting to have the two together). I wished I had bought more but this is all I brought home.
      Thank you for admiring them!

  2. beautiful! i'll take some fresh salad to the beach any day! Especially with wonderful Summer cucumber :)

    thank you for sharing with us at the Fresh Foods Blog Hop - we hope to see you again this week!

  3. I love hibiscus tea but won't garbanzo bean salad alter its taste? Or are they really perfect match? :)

    1. I like their complimentary flavors. The garbanzo bean salad isn't heavy with the addition of mint and cucumber.
      Also I prefer to take a few sips of my beverage while eating but enjoy most of it afterwards or before.


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