Chickpeas are one of my favorite legumes. One of the reasons is their high protein content, but most of all because they taste so good and it’s time to face the truth: I am a hummus addict!
On top of their deliciousness and versatility (there are so many things you can cook with chickpeas), they are also a great source of zinc and folate. For those living with diabetes, chickpeas are a healthy source of carbohydrates as they are rich in dietary fiber. There are some studies who indicated that chickpeas can also assist in lowering the cholesterol level, and more research is being done to prove that.
How Do You Cook Them?
There is always the option to buy canned chickpeas and use them as such, but every time I can I try to use dry chickpeas that I cook myself. It is a healthier to make them at home, as canned food is often full of unnecessary sodium and let’s face it, more economical as well. When you like hummus as much as I do, saving money on chickpeas becomes quite a catch! Plus, you can boil them at home and keep them in your freezer for up to one month, so no need to do the whole process more than once a month.
To soak the chickpeas, place them in a large bowl and cover completely with cold water. I typically use 1:2 ratio. For 1 cup of dry chickpeas I soak them in 2 cups of water. Leave it to soak overnight, or if you know you will be cooking them in the evening, do this step first thing in the morning. They are ready for you once you come back from work.
You can also add a teaspoon of baking soda to speed up the process, but it is not mandatory.
Once the chickpeas are all soaked, you will notice they have almost doubled in size, rinse and drain them and place them in a large pot. Cover again with water, keeping them same 1:2 ratio. Keep in mind that you will need more water, as the chickpeas have expanded. Add a bit of salt and bring to a boil. Cover the pot and simmer for 30-45 minutes or until the chickpeas are soft all the way through. Drain the excess water. They are ready for hummus, salads, chana masala, or whatever else you are planning to cook.
If you are like me and cook the whole package at once, you can place the extra chickpeas in an freezer safe container or plastic bag and store it for up to a month in the freezer. Next time you need them, you just need to take them out of the freezer and thaw them for 30 minutes.
Tips: You can also cook chickpeas in a slowcooker. So if you have one, I highly recommend it.
What is your favorite chickpeas dish? Leave your thoughts below.