Benefits of Dried chickpeas VS Canned Chickpeas
1) More for your money
It is without question that canned chickpeas rule in the category of
Out of the can, they are already
hydrated and ready to cook. Also, the cooking time is far less than the dried chickpeas. However, in my opinion, the convenience factor is not enough to justify choosing them over the dried chickpeas. Locally, I can get a 5lb bag of chickpeas for under $6. When you compare this to the 15oz can of chickpeas, the price does not seem too far off. However, when you open the can of chickpeas and drain out the water, it will then be clear to see that the weight equivalent in dried chickpeas will yield more than double that of the canned chickpeas. This fact alone was enough for me to take the extra time in preparing chickpeas and freezing for later. From a financial standpoint, the dried chickpeas is the way to go.
2) Ability to manipulate texture
(determined by how long you cook them)
Although this can be done to a certain degree with the canned chickpeas, the dried chickpeas give you far more control over the actual texture. For example, If you are making a recipe like Falafel, you would soak and clean the dried chickpeas as outlined below. However, there is no need to cook or boil them for this recipe. In fact, this may actually make the chickpeas too soft. Now when you are cooking soup or stew, then the soft textured chickpeas will do just fine. Stews and soups lend themselves well to the canned or dry chickpeas as far as texture is concerned. The longer you cook the soup or stew, the softer the texture of the chickpeas will be. I still say that you are better off getting the dried and spending the extra time to prep the peas. We have a large family and it just works out better for us.
3) More flavor
When you are getting your chickpeas from cans, sometimes you may notice a slightly fishy, mixed in with a metallic smell. This does not exist when you use dried chickpeas. In fact, the flavor of the chickpeas void of the two smells mentioned above is actually very easy on the nose and pallet. If you are already use to canned chickpeas, then you may not notice the difference. However, should you decide to switch one day and use only dried chickpeas for a period of time, then go back to canned, you will taste and smell the difference right away.
4) Ability to control the amount of salt used
Canned chickpeas already comes salted. Depending on which brand you get, they may either use regular table salt, or sea salt. I have even seen some brands that also use different seaweeds in there canned chickpeas. Although I think that the idea of seaweed and sea salt to help with the preservation of chickpeas is a great idea, I would much rather do it myself. Although it says that there is salt on the chickpeas, our only way to know how much salt is to read and trust the label. I am not saying that some companies are being dishonest about what is in their product and how much of it is in there. I just understand that anything can happen and I just do not want to take the chance. I would much rather add the seaweed myself when I am ready to preserve in the fridge for a short period of time.
5) Ability to control how many chickpeas you want to save in bags after soaking.
When you soak the chickpeas and they are fully hydrated, you may come to the conclusion that this is just too much for the particular recipe that you are trying to do. If this is the case, then all you have to do is get you some sandwich sized freezer bags and load them up. Out of a 5lb dry chickpea batch, I was able to soak it and it yielded around 10 sandwich sized freezer bags. Now all I have to do is take out what I need one bag at a time.
With everything mentioned above, please understand that I am not against canned chickpeas. They are a convenient food for people that are on the go and do not have any time. But other than that, and the fact that it does not need to be refrigerated still does not outweigh the pro’s of purchasing dried and preparing yourself.
Why use a pressure cooker?
1) Save Time
Using a pressure cooker properly can result in a cook time that is less than half of what you would do if you were to try and cook chickpeas on a regular stove.
2) Save Energy
Due to the contents of the pressure cooking being trapped, the pressure that is built up does more of the cooking as opposed to the time and high heat of the stove. Primarily cooking with a regular pot and cover can cause your energy bill to increase due to the longer cooking time required.
3) Nutrient Retention In Food
Also due to the pressure build up when cooking, the nutrients found in your food remain trapped as well. As a result, your food will turn out with a much richer flavor than if the same dish was cooked in a regular pot.
4) Less Cleanup Required
Conventional pressure cookers consist of a pot, lid, pressure valve cover and gasket. These items are relatively easy to clean and dishwasher safe. Keep in mined that we are referring to the pressure cooker that you see featured in our article and video. If you have a digital pressure cooker, please refer to it's manual for instructions on cleaning and maintenance.
Be sure to use a bowl large enough and only fill with chickpeas 1/4 of the way
Soak dried beans overnight or for at least 6-8 hours
Fill all the way to the top with spring water
Place chickpeas into a pot on the stove and fill with water
Bring Pot to a boil
Cook for 5-10 minutes
After time elapses, then turn off you stove, and soak the chickpeas for 1 hour
Preparing Chickpeas for pressure cooker
Pour chickpeas into a strainer, and rinse thoroughly
Remove all dark colored chickpeas as you are rinsing them by hand
Add Chickpeas to pressure cooker Add water to chickpeas
Measuring Water Level: For every 1 cup of chickpeas, add 4 cups of water
Cover and secure the pressure cooker lid and turn the stove to the highest setting.
As the temperature climbs and the pressure begins to build to the required cooking capacity, you will need to listen to the valve cover located on the top of the pressure cooker. Adjust your heat to a steady high pitch hiss. A little bit of consistent vapor is OK. However, be careful to not let it get out of control. Make sure you look for any leaks during this process. If you do notice any leaks, you may have to adjust your burner temperature lower. If you still have a leak after this adjustment, then you may have an issue with the rubber gasket inside. If not, then you should be fine. If you need to see an example, then refer to the video below this article.
After 20-30 minutes of cook time at the peak operating temperature that you have adjusted to, then simply turn off the stove and allow the pressure cooker to cool for about 10-20 minutes. You can check the pressure level after the time elapses by pulling up on the valve cover at the top. If you still hear a hiss sound and see steam coming from the cover when you pull it up, then give it a little more time to cool. Once it has reached a manageable temperature, then when you pull up on the valve cover, you will see your little red pressure indicator release as seen in the pictures below.
If your pressure indicator has released, but you are still not sure if it is safe to open the pressure cooker, then simply run cold water over it for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Now you can open it safely.