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If 2020 was the year of the cauliflower, next year is going to be all about the chickpea. Whole Foods just released its 2021 food trend predictions, and the protein-packed ingredient topped the list.

The humble garbanzo bean is actually super-versatile, so it makes sense that the legume appears in a variety of new products beyond the basic can, from cereal to tofu to pizza crust. “Chickpeas are rich in fiber and plant-based protein, and we’re seeing them in everything,says Kelly Landrieu, global coordinator for local brands at Whole Foods. The store will even be selling mayonnaise, butter, and frozen desserts made from aquafaba aka leftover water from cooked chickpeas. (Pro tip: Landrieu says you can whip it up and use it as a vegan replacement for egg whites in baking.)

The newcomer we’re most excited about is the perfect WFH snack: Biena Vegan Ranch Chickpea Puffs. The plant-based savory bites pack 6 grams of protein into a single serving (and because they’re ranch-flavored, we could totally see ourselves reaching for them again during a Netflix binge when the workday is over). 

Even if you stick to the canned beans (or decide to sprout your own), eating healthy when the world is spinning out of control can make you feel secure—and help you find new life for some of your pantry staples.

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