If you buy raw chickpeas (also known as garbanzo beans) in bulk, you might notice that some of them are fully or partially green.
I first looked into this when I saw a few green chickpeas while soaking my own.
There’s 2 main causes of this, one good and one bad.
The 2 Causes of Green Chickpeas
First, all chickpeas start out green, you may just have a few unripe ones.
As they ripen, raw chickpeas turn a more brown-golden color that we’re used to.
These are safe to eat.
The second possibility is mold of some kind. This is less common, but you obviously shouldn’t eat them if you suspect there’s mold.
Mold will usually appear as small spots, or partially covering a chickpea. You’ll also likely find little bunches of affected chickpeas together.
Note that mold is usually much darker than the natural green color that unripe chickpeas have.
You should of course not eat these, and throw out any affected chickpea. Carefully inspect and rinse the rest to make sure you didn’t miss any bad ones.
If you’re not sure if your green chickpeas are unripe or moldy, toss them. It’s not worth getting sick over, even if it sucks to have to waste some.