Chickpeas (also known as garbanzo beans), are not only a staple in Middle Eastern cooking, but also in many plant-based households as well. My love affair with them started many, many, years ago when I first discovered houmous!
Such a nutritious, tasty, cheap and versatile legume…what’s not to love about them?!
Well, quite honestly the cooking process was always a bit of a ‘downer’ for me. Yes it’s a labour of love, but as the lovely UK summer weather approaches (fingers crossed!), we have nearly zero desire to spend time perched over big steaming pots of water, nor do we want to buy any more tinned varieties to satisfy our plant-based summer menu!
Our previous chickpea-cooking method was a laborious headache! It involved soaking them for eight hours, ‘hard-boiling’ them for ten minutes (which required standing around and spooning out foamy masses of starch… or it would end up boiling over) and then simmering them for at least one hour (with a continuous mental dialogue of “is it finished yet?!”). This method did not provide consistent results…which made me despise cooking them!
Our improved cooking method is 100% more reliable (a lot like baking a potato!) and involves a 90% reduction in stress! So if you are interested in saving time, money and your sanity (because everyone deserves less stress in their lives!)… here’s a method we’ve found that requires virtually no effort at all (apart from remembering to soak your beans)! 🙂
- Dried Chickpeas
- Boiling water
- Salt (optional)
Place your beans into a large bowl of cold water; soak them for a minimum of 10 hours (but 12 hours is even better!). NB: Start soaking them twelve hours from the time you plan on getting up the next day, e.g. 7pm- 7am.
Drain and thoroughly rinse them in the morning.
Place them into a slow cooker.
Cover with boiling water (an inch above the chickpeas). NB: ‘Lightly’ salt the water before you cook them, it helps to slightly toughen their skin (which is useful if you what to keep some texture and/or shape to your recipe).
Cover with a lid. Cook on a high heat setting for 4-6 hours, or on a low heat setting for 7-9 hours.
***If you have to jet off to work or just have a busy day outside your house, cook your beans on a low heat setting using a plug timer (you can buy them for as cheap as £3)!
Drain them when you get home; allow them to cool before refrigerating. NB: Depending on your recipe, they might keep in the refrigerator for up until 7 days!
Perfectly cooked chickpeas with no unnecessary waiting or having to endure a hot kitchen!
Chickpeas are great in soups, casseroles, stir-fry’s, curries, chillies, salads, sandwiches, as a snack, or as a base to plant based burgers, dips or spreads, and of course houmous! For some further inspiration, check out some of our chickpea recipes:
- Baked ‘Green’ Falafels
- Vegan Koftes with Savoury Rice
- Butter Bean & Red Pepper Dip/Spread (*use chickpeas instead!)
- A Quick And Frugal Pasta Bowl (*use chickpeas or other legumes!)
- Butternut Squash, Carrot & Chickpea Tagine
- Vegan ‘Korma-Style’ Curry
- Vegan Sicilian Pasta with Chickpeas
- Vegan Chilli (*replace the black beans with chickpeas!)
- Chickpea and Kidney Bean Burgers
- Homemade Sun-dried Tomato Houmous
…Watch this space! We have some new and delicious chickpea recipes heading your way soon! 🙂