Do canned chickpeas have too much sodium for you? Cook your own dried chickpeas in a slow cooker. It takes a while, but there isn’t much hands-on time.
I love hummus. I eat it with chopped raw vegetables or with gluten-free crackers after I get back from the gym. I’ve also been known to have it for breakfast or lunch. As much as I eat of the stuff, I’m making it more and more myself instead of buying it at our local co-op.
Chickpeas star in hummus preparations. Canned chickpeas, although I do use them in a pinch, taste a bit tinny to me. I much prefer to cook my own.
Patricia Wells taught me the deliciousness of home-cooked chickpeas and, while I love her method, sometimes I don’t want to pay attention to a pot on the stove. I also prefer to cook chickpeas plain and add whatever flavors I want in the dishes where I end up using them. So I can make Artichoke Hummus with Italian seasonings, Buffalo Wing Hummus with hot sauce and vinegar, or Chickpea Curry with Sweet Potato that features Indian spices.
One pound of dried chickpeas will yield about 6 cups cooked, which is roughly the equivalent of 4 cans. If you aren’t a hummus fan (and it is an acquired taste), here are a few other dishes you can make with home-cooked chickpeas:
- Green Curry Chickpea and Sweet Potato Soup
- Chickpea Raisin Salad
- Baked Chicken Thighs with Chickpeas and Tomatoes
- Greek Salad
If the slow cooker is, well, too slow for you, try cooking chickpeas in a pressure cooker (like an Instant Pot).
Home-Cooked Chickpeas (Slow Cooker)
- 1 pound dried chickpeas
- 2 bay leaves
- fresh herbs such as rosemary, thyme, and parsley optional
- Place chickpeas in a large bowl (big enough for them to quadruple in size). Cover with water by an inch or two. Soak overnight or for at least 8 hours.
- Drain and rinse chickpeas, then place them in a slow cooker along with the bay leaves. Cover with fresh water about an inch above the level of the chickpeas. If you are using fresh herbs, cut sprigs into 3-inch lengths, wrap them in kitchen twine or cheesecloth (or both) and add to slow cooker. Cook on HIGH for 1 hour, then reduce heat to low and cook for 7 to 8 hours. If you prefer firmer chickpeas, cook on HIGH for 3 to 4 hours.
- Cool, discard herbs if you used them, then store the chickpeas in their liquid in the refrigerator. Substitute these chickpeas in any recipe calling for canned chickpeas.