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Garbanzo Beans or Chick Peas are part of my 13 Week Rotating Menu Plan. They are our Stretchy Bean for week 1. Garbanzo beans were not something I grew up eating other than occasionally on a salad ‘fresh’ out of a can.
When I started cooking with them a few years ago, we discovered that they were quite the tasty little bean. And very different when prepared from the dry state compared to opening a can. Preparing garbanzo beans from the dry state is quite simple, only requiring a little bit of planning ahead.
In order to make the beans more digestible they need to be soaked in an acidic liquid in order to help eliminate the phytic acid. Per Sally Fallon in the book Nourishing Traditions, you should use 2 tablespoons of whey or lemon juice (I’ve also used apple cider vinegar) per 1 cup of beans. Let soak in a warm spot for 24 hours and then drain. She also recommends picking off the skins. I tried that once and only once.
Because I am making three meals from my one pot of garbanzo beans (stretchy beans), I start with 5 cups of dry beans which is about 2 pounds. I find this is an adequate amount for my family of 5 for the three meals. Sometimes I have leftover beans which go in the freezer for future use on salads or in soups or get made into hummus as a wonderful snacky item.
Once my 5 cups of beans have soaked and pretty much tripled in size (be sure to use an adequate sized pot and plenty of water, I usually use my crock pot for soaking) I then drain them and put them back in the crock pot. I cover them with my cooking liquid which is usually broth, put the cover on and turn the crock pot on low. In a Weston A. Price Foundation article titled Putting the Polish on Those Humble Beans, the author states that a crock pot is perfect for cooking beans since they should not boil. I think it is perfect because once I put the lid on, my work is pretty much done. I do check on them after a few hours just to make sure they have enough liquid but that is the extent of it. I do not add any seasoning to my beans when I’m using them as a Stretchy Bean instead I save that for the individual dishes. After their long soak, garbanzo beans take about 6 or 7 hours to finish cooking.
Once my beans are done, then I take out the amount that I want to use for the first meal. The rest is divided up into the other two meals and put in the fridge. We love Garbanzo Bean Curry so that is usually our first night meal served with rice and flat bread it is quite delicious.
Here are some other garbanzo bean meals that we enjoy: