We use garbanzo beans often at Hipcooks — in hummus, in a hearty Italian garbanzo stew, or crisped up in the oven with spices. Canned garbanzo beans (or chickpeas) work in a pinch, but if you want optimal results, cook your own. Knowing how to cook garbanzo beans from dried will improve the taste, texture, and nutrition.
Soak and sprout garbanzo beans to get maximum health benefits from these protein and mineral-packed legumes. Cooking the beans yourself is important — cook them to the optimal texture, not mushy like canned but perfectly al dente.
Finally, peeling the garbanzos. That’s an additional loving step, not necessary but nice to try to achieve the silkiest hummus you’ve ever tried. No, you don’t have to peel them one by one! I’ve got a trick for you, as always. Read on, grasshoppers!
Step 1: Soak & sprout the garbanzos
From left to right: dried, soaked, and sprouted garbanzo beans. All raw & uncooked:
When you purchase dried garbanzo beans, you’ll discover they’re a bargain. Since they double in size, a little goes a long way. All you need: pre-planning and time. No work necessary.
Put the garbanzos in a non-reactive bowl or jar, and cover with at least double their liquid, plus more. Let them sit overnight on the counter, up to several days in the fridge. They’ll plump up and double in size. From here, you can cook the garbanzos right away, or better yet: sprout them!
For sprouting, all you need to do is drain the garbanzos from their soaking liquid and leave them in a colander, at room temperature for about a day. See the garbanzos on the far right of the photo above? These are sprouted garbanzos, sporting cute little tails. Aside from cuteness, this is a good thing: sprouting beans have digested phytic acid and grow little tails. Phytic acid is an inhibitor (inhibiting the bean from sprouting, and us from digesting legumes easily and absorbing minerals like magnesium, calcium, and zinc). In other words, a sprouted bean is both more easily digestible and nutritionally valuable. Does your body produce excess gasses (ahem!) when you consume legumes? This method will help create a perfectly gasless bean. The Rule: When time permits, sprout!
Step 2: Cook the garbanzos
Choose a pot where you can generously cover the beans in plenty of water. Season the water with some salt, and cook on high. As soon as the garbanzos come to a boil, you’ll see foam appear on the surface. Skim off this foam (called aquafaba), using a ladle or spoon, and chuck it (or save it for another use.)
After simmering for about 20 minutes or so, taste a garbanzo. It should be perfectly cooked through, with just enough bit so as not to be mushy.
Drain the garbanzos in a colander. And if you’ve come this far, take the extra lovin’ step of peeling them. By all means, you don’t have to! (They’re just fiber and cellulose.) But once you see how easy it is, I’ll bet you won’t be able to resist. Even if you do this inefficiently, and peel only 50% of the beans, it will make a difference.
Step 3: Peel the garbanzos
Place the garbanzos in a large bowl and cover with plenty of water. Using your hands, grab handfuls of the garbanzos and rub them back and forth in your hands.As you can see from the picture above, this process will release the skins from the beans. Repeat, repeat, repeat this process for a few minutes, until you’ve got a nice layer of skins rising up to the surface of the water.
Using a skimmer, remove them and chuck ’em!
I find that this process is easier and more efficient than the “towel method,” in which you roll the beans in a towel to loosen the skins. Since you have to pick out the beans, it’s time-consuming. This way makes it easier to remove the skins from the beans, and easier to separate the two. You don’t have to be 100% efficient — a few skins here and there are a-ok.
Hooray! Now you have the smoothest, creamiest and healthiest garbanzos for whatever recipe you like! Need inspiration? We’ve got it! Look for these upcoming classes! Hipcooks.com
1 heaping cup garbanzo beans
First, cover the garbanzos in plenty of cold water and let them soak overnight. They'll double in size.
Drain the garbanzos, place in a large pot and cover with plenty of water, at least 3 cups. Season with salt and bring to a boil. Skim off any foam that appears during cooking. Turn the heat to a simmer and cook for 20 - 30 minutes, until the garbanzos are cooked through but not mushy.
Drain in a colander. To peel the garbanzos, place back in the pot and cover with cold water. using your hands, scoop up large handfuls of garbanzos and rub them back and forth in your hands to loosen the skins. Repeat multiple times until you see garbanzo skins rise to the surface. Use a strainer or slotted spoon to remove the skins. Repeat this process until most of the garbanzos are skin-free. Drain them in the colander.
You can store cooked drained garbanzos in the fridge for up to a week.