My love affair with chickpeas started in my first year of University. As a student living on campus and stuck with a meal plan, it was easy to get bored with the food pretty quickly. So I spent a good amount of time trying to eat salads (the only relatively healthy meal option available). And before I knew it, chickpeas became an integral part of my diet.
Chickpeas (otherwise known as garbanzo beans) are a great addition to meals. They are a great source of folic acid, fiber and protein to name a few. They can help lower cholesterol and improve blood sugar levels making them ideal for diabetics. They are often consumed from the canned variety. I certainly took a liking to them even after I moved off campus but discovered the economical and health benefits from just cooking dried chickpeas for yourself and that’s where this meal came in.
I keep a jar of dried chickpeas in my pantry whenever I need them. The process of cooking them from a dried state is this:
How to cook chickpeas/garbanzo beans
1. Soak the chickpeas in room temperature water overnight. Change the water if needed.
2. Fill a large pot with water. Put in the chickpeas. Make sure there’s about 2-3 cups of water for every 1 cup of chickpeas that you are cooking.
3. Bring the water to a boil and then reduce to a slow simmer.
4. Leave for about 1 hour +, checking on the doneness and tenderness of the chickpeas.
5. Use as you’d like.
It’s a fairly simple process. I’m not entirely sure it’s the exactly correct way to cook them so if anyone has better suggestions let me know as I based it off of the instructions I could find (but of course everything has variations so it’s hard to determine who is right)
Along with my chickpea obsession at this time, I was also obsessed with corn. I bought several cans of corn and decided for this meal to create a spicy fried rice with the chickpeas and the corn.
Essentially I had cooked some bacon a little earlier in the day so instead of letting that valuable bacon fat go to waste, I decided to sauté some onions and garlic, threw in some sausage from a leftover the night prior, added the chickpeas and corn and finally the rice. Once that was all well incorporated and mixed together, I added whatever spices I fancied that day. I added some chili powder for kick, garlic powder and other spices. I also finely chopped some parsley and added it at the end for some fresh flavours. I can’t remember every single thing I added but I definitely remember enjoying it. It just goes to show that cooking doesn’t have to be hard. It’s all a matter of throwing together what you think would taste good to you and heating it up. Voila!
Writing this up has put me in the mood for some chickpeas so I think I’m gonna go soak some tonight. As for you guys, I hope you’ll think about trying chickpeas if you haven’t already. Happy Eating! :)