Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Rehydrating Chickpeas

One of my favourite summer afternoon snacks is a bowl of hommus with vegetable sticks. It is so light and a great way to get so many nutrients into hungry children. I don’t mind if they fill up on a snack like this.

When I was sprouting chickpeas last year I often wondered about cooking these little legumes, so I have decided to give it a go.

There are issues to do with eating tinned vegetables, especially with regard to Bisphenol A (BPA). It just feels really difficult to know what is the right thing to do nowadays.

After a bit of reading I got started.

Using 1 cup (200g) of dried chickpeas, I covered these with water and left to soak for 12 hours. I had forgotten how much water these suckers absorb so needed to add quite a bit more during the day. They more than doubled in size.

At the beginning

10 hours later (with water added)

I thought it would be worth doing a few financial calculations to see how the prices compare. These prices are just from one shop but I thought it would be a good guide.

Dried chickpeas $1.82/375g (49c/100g)
Homebrand chickpeas $1.00/400g (25c/100g)
Organic chickpeas $1.59/ 400g (40c/100g)

The initial purchase of the dried chickpeas turns out to be more expensive per 100g than the tinned version, but the part to remember here is that when these are rehydrated the legumes swell. For 200g of dried chichpeas I ended up with 444g of the cooked version. My initial 1 cup became 3 cups of cooked chickpeas. This amount is roughly what is in a tin.

So by my rather rusty calculations it costs about half price to buy the dried version and cook them.

A few factors you may wish to consider:
  •  Time: you need to be prepared as it takes about 12 hours to do it this way.
  •  Electricity: these need to be cooked for about an hour on the stove top.

I have split my three cups into 1-cup portions, with two of these being placed in the freezer and one in the fridge. These add great flavour and texture to a salad, having a bit more of a crunch than the tinned version.

I would certainly do it again, but I would make sure to cook more at once and then freeze them in 400g (tin equivalent) portions ready for making hommus.

Take care


  1. Thanks great post, have been using alot more tinned chickpeas lately to cut down on meat for health and budget, will definatly try rehydrating now...and I didnt know they can freeze...yay...I made beetroot and chickpea dip yesterday..yummo :)

    1. Thanks, Jen. Chickpeas are great for the diet and pocket.
      This is really easy to do and I liked the taste of them a little better too.
      I'd love to know more about your dip. I will be checking your blog. Yum.

    2. I used some tinned chick peas and beetroot add 2 huge cloves of Russian garlic, lemon juice and soem homemeade Greek yougurt and blend away...too easy :) Usually make with fresh cooked beetroot but had the tin opened in the fridge...trying to used everything up and stop food waste :)

    3. This sounds amazing. Thanks for sharing. Yum. : )

  2. Thanks for the idea. My kids love hommus and I always used canned chickpeas. I will try this method next time. Maybe even grow some of my own!

  3. You're welcome, Linn. Now you have me intrigued with the idea of growing your own. I hadn't thought of that.

  4. I try to use dried beans whenever I can, but always seem to forget to soak them! Lately, I have been using the "quick soak" method, where you place the chickpeas in a pot, cover them with water and then bring them to a boil. You boil them for 2 minutes, and then take them off of the heat and cover them for an hour. This is the equivalent to soaking them overnight, and then you just continue on with the cooking process as usual (making sure to give them a good rinse and cook them in fresh water). This process has made my life a lot easier, while still allowing me to use dried beans. There is one brand that is available here in Canada that is BPA free called Eden Organics, but they are quite a lot more expensive than the dried variety, so I try to limit how many times we buy them. However, I don't mind paying the extra every once in a while for the convenience and knowing that they are conscious of the health affects of BPA. Whew, sorry, long comment! Thanks for the post!

    1. Wow, Brenna. Thanks for the comment. I had read a bit about the quick method but wasn't too sure. It is great to hear that it works just as well.
      I have seen Eden Organics over here too but as. You say they are quite a bit more expensive.
      I can't wait to give your method a try.
      Thanks : )

  5. If you sprout them, you don't need to boil them for an hour. You can sprout heaps and freeze them. I think that's the least energy intensive method, and the best way to make sure all the phytate is neutralised.

    1. Thanks so much, Farmer Liz. I didn't realise you could do this. How long to you let them sprout? I was thinking for things like when I want to add them to a curry.

  6. I've been using the tinned chickpeas too but had no idea I could freeze them. Thanks BM.

  7. ooh, I really needed this post...reminds me that I bought some dried chick peas that I have yet to use!!

    1. I look forward to hopefully reading about what you make.

  8. Canned have way to much sodium. The sodium amount negates the healthy factor.


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