I decided to no longer purchase canned Chickpeas aka Garbanzo beans for at least three reasons:
- The taste
- To avoid preservatives
- Saves Money
Of course, you still need to be careful with what brand you purchase because they could have pesticides or other nasty chemicals. I purchase certified organic whenever I can (of course, we can never be 100% certain that foods we buy are chemical-free, but at least we try, right?) I found this great deal on Amazon for a 5(lb) bag.
And, since I like doing things as easy as possible, I love cooking them with my slow-cooker. See my method below.
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Slow-Cooker Chickpeas, How-To:
The night before, soak your chickpeas in a large bowl of water. *A little side note: Chickpeas will expand double their size, so make sure you cover them with enough water in order to allow for expansion.
I cook 2 cups of dried chickpeas at a time, but you could cook less or more depending on how much you use them throughout the week. I use them a lot for lunch.
- 2 cups of pre-soaked chickpeas
- 8 cups of water or you could use broth, but I just use water
- 1 yellow onion, peeled and left whole
- 1 whole head of garlic (all the bulbs gathered in one cluster)
- **1 tsp of soda (please read the note before using soda): my water is very hard and therefore, the soda is used to soften the water, otherwise the beans might never soften. If your water is not hard, then don’t use the soda because it will turn your beans to mush.
Add all of your ingredients in your slow-cooker, cover and set it at High 3-4-hrs.
After 3-hours, I check them to make sure they’re not too mushy. Sometimes I prefer the beans to be a bit harder for when I add them to soups, but if I intend on making “Hummus”, I want them nice and soft.
When your beans are cooked to your liking, pour out the contents of your slow-cooker into a strainer inside a large bowl (if you want to save the broth for soups), or just discard. At this point, remove the onion and the garlic bulbs, discard, or you could keep them with the broth and freeze for later use.
I let my beans sit in the strainer for like 10 minutes or so in order to let the broth strain out as much as possible.
Store them: You can store your freshly cooked chickpeas (strained without the liquid) in the refrigerator in a sealed container for up to 4 days, or you can freeze them in containers or freezer bags.
-When I want my Chickpeas to be more firm, I cook them on high for 3.5-hours;
-When I want a softer texture, I cook them on High for 4 to 4.5-hours (see note below).
*Important note: My cooking instructions are based on my particular slow-cooker and my hard water type. It’s best to use my cooking instructions as a guideline, but I would highly suggest you monitor your cooking time closely by testing the consistency of the bean each hour and once you notice the beans are softening check every 30 minutes (in case there are variables).
You can even take notes that will help you for the next time you cook them.
*To test the bean’s texture, I remove one and cut it with a knife (then pop it in my mouth, I just can’t help it).
My cooker is quite large and it will easily take cooking 2 cups at a time, but if your slow cooker is smaller, you might consider cutting the recipe in half.
Have fun cooking your Chickpeas!