I’m going to admit something to y’all. I had never really eaten chickpeas until recently. I’m a recent convert to hummus and chickpeas in various recipes. And I had truly taken for granted these little bundles of nutrition packed joy.
There are a few ways you can get chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans. You can get them canned, dry and in flour form. Now, I’ve been pretty much eliminating use of canned beans, unless it’s an “emergency” situation. And now I’m keeping far more dry beans on hand. It is more cost effective to buy dry beans as well. It’s a lot less expensive to buy them dry, soak them and cook them than it is to buy them canned. And you can avoid getting too much salt as well! I was shocked at just how much they added to canned chickpeas!
Chickpeas are nutritional powerhouses!
Of course, they are high in fiber, but they are also high in protein. You can also find good amounts of nutrients like folate, phosphorus, iron, zinc and thiamin as well. The fiber in chickpeas is a great source of prebiotics. Prebiotics are the food that your good gut bacteria eat, and when they get a steady diet of prebiotics, they help you to be healthier.
I really love to cook chickpeas in my Instant Pot. The biggest benefit is that they cook much more quickly than on the stovetop or in a slow cooker!
There are a lot of recipes online that encourage you to not soak your chickpeas before cooking them in your electric pressure cooker. I am not one of those people however. Nuts, seeds, grains and legumes all produce a chemical called phytic acid. Phytic acid can actually prevent the body from absorbing the minerals iron, zinc and calcium properly. If you regularly consume these foods, it can lead to mineral deficiencies.
Soaking, sprouting and fermenting nuts, seeds, grains and legumes acutally minimizes the amount of phytic acid in those foods. That is why many ancient cultures did just that.
So when you skip this step, you will have higher levels of phytic acids in the food. That will prevent you from absorbing those minerals with any meal that includes nuts, seeds, grains or legumes.
Soaking the chickpeas is super simple
First you want to sort through the chickpeas, picking out any that are broken and removing other debris like small stones.
Next, put the chickpeas in a large glass bowl and top with filtered or spring water. You’ll want the water to be about 3-4 inches above the chickpeas because they will expand.
Add one tablespoon apple cider vinegar to help remove the phytic acid more effectively.
Allow them to soak for 8-24 hours. You may drain the water and refill once if you want, but I typically don’t.
Drain and rinse the beans well before you put them in your electric pressure cooker.
What if the chickpeas start sprouting?
This is actually perfectly fine and will reduce the phytic acid amounts even more! This will not happen until past the 24 hour soaking mark. Many people opt to soak their chickpeas until they begin to sprout. It’s all about personal preference. I usually don’t sprout mine.
I really love to make a large batch of chickpeas! It allows me to have some onhand for multiple recipes. I usually freeze some in smaller batches. And I like to roast some for snacking as well.