Friday, March 4, 2011

How to cook chickpeas

I finally got around to trying the Nourishing Traditions method for preparing chickpeas last week. Usually I just buy canned chickpeas, but I thought it would save me money and be healthier if I cooked my own from dry.

Following the example set out in Nourishing Traditions, I first soaked the chickpeas for 24 hours in warm water mixed with an acid medium (I used whey). Nourishing Traditions explains that this soaking period neautralises phytic acid and enzyme inhibitors in the bean. The result is a much more easily digestible chickpea. (I've talked a little bit about the problem with phytic acid at the end of this post.)

Ingredients
  • 1c dried chickpeas
  • warm filtered water
  • 2T whey or lemon juice
  • 1t sea salt

Method
1. Cover chickpeas with warm water. Stir in whey or lemon juice and leave in a warm spot for 24 hours.

2. Drain, rinse and pick off skins.

3. Transfer to a pot, add salt and water to cover and bring to a boil.

4. Skim foam off top.

5. Cover and simmer for about 6 hours, or until chickpeas are very tender.

5. Drain and use in salads, stews, curries or hamburger patties.

I doubled the recipe so I could use one cup of cooked chickpeas for dinner that night, and bag up the rest to freeze for later meals.

10 comments:

  1. Nice one Emma. I cook chickpeas for Liam. He loves them. Great little snack for them to feed themselves. Jodie.

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  2. 6 hour simmer?! Yikes. I'd love to cut down on the cost of organic canned chick peas, but that's a long cook time. =(

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    Replies
    1. You can cook them on a hotter temperature for a shorter time. That's what I do now.

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  3. Have you tried cooking them in a slow cooker rather than simmering for that long? Just wondered might not work, but might be worth it

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    Replies
    1. You know, a lot of people swear by the slow cooker for beans etc, but for me I don't like the end result as much as stove cooked legumes. It's probably a lot less economical to do it on the stove top, but I like the results better.

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    2. So cooking chickpeas is what I do constantly. Soaking is key with an acid like lemon or ACV, but 45 min cooking time is all you need. Longer soak, less cook. It's that simple. 6 hours?

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    3. 45 min simmer post soak is the max, that's it.

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    4. So cooking chickpeas is what I do constantly. Soaking is key with an acid like lemon or ACV, but 45 min cooking time is all you need. Longer soak, less cook. It's that simple. 6 hours?

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    5. 6 hours is the Nourishing Traditions recipe - on a gently simmer - but I've since done it on a more vigorous boil for shorter times and that works too.

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    6. I tried a variation on this soak method yesterday, mainly because I didn't have any filtered water to use. I measured out a cup of dried chickpeas (for hummus) and covered them with whey. Not water plus 2T whey, just whey from the gallon jug in my fridge where I save it from yogurt, cheese-making etc. Usually they've absorbed all the liquid they're going to after 8 hours, so last night I drained and rinsed them and put them on the stove to simmer (I've tried cooking them in a slow-cooker but it's never worked for me as I don't think the water gets hot enough). Again, usually(!) they take about 45 minutes to an hour to cook, but after simmering them for this time and leaving them to "coast" overnight they're still pretty hard this morning. I imagine the all-whey soak was a mistake, but why? What does the whey do to them? And is there any chance to save them, or do I have to toss them and start over?

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