Chickpeas are one of the most nutritious legumes in existence. But you need to know how to cook it properly to preserve its benefits and flavor.
So we brought in today's post smart tips for you to learn how to cook chickpeas and, thus, insert this super healthy food in your routine.
Benefits of chickpeas
Chickpeas are an old acquaintance of vegetarians and vegans, thanks to their high concentration of protein. In fact, chickpea protein is considered one of the best among all legumes. This is because it has practically all essential amino acids, with the exception of only methionine.
But it is not just for vegetarians that chickpeas have benefits. These small yellow grains are an excellent source of calcium, iron, phosphorus, potassium and copper.
Chickpeas still offer vitamins C, E and K, in addition to folic acid. A source of phytoestrogens, chickpeas are a great ally of women's health, as they help regulate hormones, especially for women who are in the menopause phase. Vitamin B9, also present in the grain, helps in fertility.
The fibers present in chickpeas are a great ally for those who want to lose weight, reducing appetite and controlling blood sugar levels. This means that chickpeas are also beneficial for people with diabetes. Cardiovascular health is also favored by the consumption of chickpeas.
How to cook chickpeas
The chickpea cooking process takes place in stages. This means that you will not eat chickpeas when you feel like it (unless you have a portion of them frozen in the freezer). But, in general, the process takes a little time and each step is important for better absorption of nutrients and to maintain the quality and texture of the grains. See the step by step:
Choose grain washing
Chickpeas are usually sold in dry form in 500 gram packages or in bulk at health food stores.
Either way, it is always important to choose the beans and wash them well before starting the cooking process.
To do this, pour the grains on a smooth surface and remove possible pieces of stones and other grains that sometimes end up coming with the chickpeas.
Then, with the help of a colander, wash the grains well by rubbing them against each other.
The next step is the sauce. It is recommended to soak the chickpeas for about eight to twelve hours before cooking.
This part is important for two reasons: the first is that you reduce the cooking time of it in the pan, since it will be softer and hydrated.
The second is because with the sauce you also eliminate the antinutrients present in the legume that prevent the proper absorption of nutrients and can also cause excess gases after consumption.
To soak the chickpeas, use a large bowl or bowl because the beans double in volume when hydrated.
Cover them with water at room temperature and let them rest overnight. Half the time, change the sauce water.
If you wish, you can add a teaspoon of bicarbonate or a tablespoon of vinegar to help remove antinutrients.
After the sauce period, discard the water, drain and wash the beans well.
Not everyone peels the chickpeas, but for some recipes, like hummus, for example, the peeled grains improve the texture of the dish.
To peel the chickpeas, take a clean, dry dish towel and place a portion of beans on one end of the cloth. Cover the grains with the remainder of the cloth and make rubs and circular movements to help remove the peel.
Remove this peeled portion and add a new portion. Do this successively until all the beans are peeled.
It is worth remembering that the chickpeas doubles in volume after being hydrated and cooked. So if you need two cups of cooked chickpeas, moisturize just one.
Chickpea cooking time
The cooking time of the chickpeas varies according to the way you choose to cook it and the time it is in the sauce, the more hydrated it is, the faster it is cooked.
This time can also vary depending on the recipe you are going to make. Some ask for firmer grains, like a salad, for example, to make pastes and creams, the grain must be softer and softer.
3 different ways to cook chickpeas
In the pressure cooker
The pressure cooker is the fastest and most practical way to cook chickpeas. After the beans have been hydrated, washed and peeled, put them to cook by covering them with water about three fingers above the volume of the beans.
If desired, add a pinch of salt, a drizzle of olive oil and bay leaves. Thus, the chickpeas incorporate flavor both inside and out.
When the pan gets pressure, turn the heat down and count about 20 to 30 minutes and turn off. Wait for the pressure to come out, open and check the grain texture. If it is already at the desired point for your recipe, just drain the water.
A tip: do not discard the cooking water. It can be very useful (we'll explain it better at the end of the post).
In the common pot
Those who do not have a pressure cooker or do not want to use it can cook the chickpeas in a regular pan.
To do this, pour the chickpeas already hydrated for at least 12 hours in a large pot, cover with water about three fingers above the volume of the beans. Cook for about an hour to an hour and a half.
Add salt, olive oil and bay leaves if desired.
In the oven
Chickpeas can be prepared in the oven as well. But in this case it is important to remember that they are more dry, so it may not be a good idea for more pasty preparations.
To roast the chickpeas in the oven, grease the bottom of a baking dish with olive oil. Then, place the already hydrated chickpeas taking care not to create layers or overlaps between them. The beans must be next to each other so that they are even.
Season with salt, oil, black pepper and some other herb of your choice. Place them in the medium oven for about 30 to 40 minutes or until they are golden and crispy.
This is a good tip for those who want to have chickpeas as a taste or healthy snack throughout the day.
How to conserve chickpeas
Chickpeas can be preserved in two ways after cooking: in the refrigerator and in the freezer. In the refrigerator, the chickpeas are preserved for up to three tips, but remember to store it in a pot with a tightly closed lid.
In the freezer, the chickpeas are kept for three months. To freeze chickpeas is very simple. Do all the procedure explained above and, after cooking, let it cool.
When the chickpeas are cold, divide them into portions in jars with a lid. Write the date of the freeze on a label so that it does not expire.
Then just take the jars to the freezer and freeze them. When you need to use the chickpeas, remove it from the freezer overnight, keeping it in the refrigerator until they thaw.
If you're in a hurry, just put the frozen chickpeas in a bowl of boiling water. They look like they just came out of the pot.
Bonus tip: enjoy the cooking water of the chickpeas
Did you know that water from cooking chickpeas can be used as a substitute for egg white? This tip is especially valid for vegans and vegetarians who want options for consuming animal foods.
To make this magic happen, just put the water for cooking the beans in a pan and let it boil for about five minutes.
Then wait for it to cool and put this water, also known as aquafaba, in the refrigerator for approximately eight hours.
The next step is to beat this water in the mixer for about ten minutes until it creates volume and consistency. To find the right spot, take some of the aquafaba with a spoon and turn it upside down. If it doesn't fall, it's on point.
Store this "egg white" in the refrigerator and use it in the preparations instead of the common egg.
Recipes with chickpeas
Chickpeas can be incorporated into the daily diet in a number of ways.
For breakfast, for example, chickpeas can be used to make an Arab paste known as hummus, perfect for spreading on bread.
For that mid-morning or afternoon snack, try consuming the roasted and seasoned chickpeas.
For lunch, the chickpeas go well as a salad or in the preparation of a delicious falafel, a type of dumpling made of chickpeas also of Arab origin.
For dinner, you can consume the chickpeas in the form of cream or soup.
Let's cook chickpeas?