Nov 12th, 2010

Cooking Chickpeas in Your Crock-Pot

Cooking dry chickpeas (or other dry beans) in your slow cooker is as easy as it gets. It also has many advantages over using canned beans. If you have a large slow cooker, you can cook big batches and freeze them in ‘can-size’ portions to make them convenient too.

I’ve always been grossed out by the slimy texture that canned beans have, no amount of rinsing seems to get rid of it completely. The canned chickpeas I used last, were extra mushy and I swore I would never buy canned beans again.

If you’ve been following my blog you’ve likely noticed that I’ve been providing instructions for those of you who want to use dry beans instead of canned within recipes like Ethiopian Style Winter Squash and Slow Cooker Minestrone. If you’re used to cooking with canned beans, consider the following advantages of starting with dried beans instead:

Less waste

Dry chickpeas, being dehydrated, are smaller than canned. One pound (about 2½ cups) of dry chickpeas is equivalent to about 6 cups of cooked chickpeas – that’s equivalent to four(!) 13-oz cans. I know cans are recyclable, but recycling consumes a lot of energy.

BPA-free

In Canada, BPA is banned from baby bottles, (and is considered an official toxin), but there is still no way to distinguish which cans of of food are lined with BPA- containing plastic. I choose not gamble when it comes to my family’s health.

Less expensive

One pound of dry chickpeas costs about $0.79. A single 13-oz can of chick peas cost about $0.99 to $1.99. Considering one pound of dry chick peas is equal to four 13-oz cans, buying dry chickpeas saves 80%!

Of course, when they’re freshly cooked they taste better too. Try this hummus and see for yourself!

Cooking Chickpeas in Your Slow Cooker

  1. Dissolve 3 tablespoons of salt in 16 cups (4L) of cold water.
  2. Soak 1 pound (2½ cups) dry chickpeas in the salted water overnight in a covered bowl or pot.
  3. In the morning, drain the water and rinse the chickpeas. Place them in your slow cooker, cover them with about 1-inch of water and cook until tender. Low for 8-10 hours or high for 4-5 hours.

Hummus

Prep: 15 min
Cook: 10 hours (low) or 5 hours (high)
Yield: 8-10 servings

  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 14 cups cooked, drained and rinsed chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
  •  35 cup well stirred tahini (ground sesame paste)
  •  14 cup lemon juice
  •  12 cup olive oil
  •  12 cup water
  •  14 cup fresh parsley leaves (optional)
  • 2 tbsp lightly toasted pine nuts (optional)

On a cutting board mince and mash the garlic to a paste with the salt.

In a food processor purée the chickpeas with the garlic paste, tahini, lemon juice, ¼ cup of the oil, and ½ cup water, scraping down the sides, until the hummus is smooth and add salt to taste.

Add water, if necessary, to thin the hummus to the desired consistency and transfer the hummus to a bowl.

In the cleaned food processor, purée the remaining ¼ cup oil with the parsley until the oil is bright green and the parsley is minced.

The hummus and the parsley oil may be made 3 days in advance and kept covered and chilled.

Don’t fret about the the parsley oil and pine nuts if your time is limited. The hummus is great without them.