By Amy Alton
The hard inhospitable nature of dried chickpeas can often seem a little overwhelming to prepare. But let's break down why dried chickpeas really should be a wholesome staple in any boat galley.
In my seven years of cruising, chickpeas have become more valuable in my life. Cruising overseas often means having to adapt to what is available outside of your home country, and chickpeas, as it would seem, are a dietary staple all over the world.
At first, I used canned chickpeas, which are easier to prepare for quick meals. Dried chickpeas were daunting to me. I didn't know how to prepare them to get the consistency that I wanted in my homemade hummus. But over time I have perfected the art of rehydrating these Egyptian peas!
Here are my tips for how to prepare chickpeas for a variety of uses and why to switch to dried chickpeas.
Save Weight and Space
Canned chickpeas contain a lot of water. Not only do the beans themselves hold water, but the can is full of the salted preserving liquids to keep the chickpeas shelf-stable. On a boat, saving space and weight is always important.
When cruising remote locations, I consider how many servings of protein I can stock. One pound of dried chickpeas is 1,760 calories or 99 grams of protein. A one-pound can of chickpeas is 381 calories or 22 grams of protein.
Stocking one pound of dried chickpeas can feed your crew four additional meals versus a can of chickpeas that weighs just as much.
As a bonus, because dried chickpeas weigh less and take up less space, they are already more environmentally friendly when you buy them from the store. They are easier and more cost-effective to store and ship for the manufacturers and grocery stores, too.
If possible, you can buy dried chickpeas in bulk, which further reduces the carbon footprint. Package up the dry chickpeas in a way that best fits you and your boat - not in space-wasting cans that only stack one way, but in reusable containers that fit just right into that nook in your galley.
Control the Salt
Canned chickpeas often have added salt, working as a preservative. Because dried chickpeas are shelf-stable, they don't have the added salt. If you are someone who needs to watch your salt intake, dried chickpeas will be the best choice for you.
Dried Chickpeas are More Versatile
Canned chickpeas are great for making hummus or a salad. They are cooked and preserved, making the beans soft and squishy.
However, there are many more uses for dried chickpeas in the galley. In fact, you can stop at any step of cooking chickpeas, depending on how you want to use them.
Dried beans can be soaked and then sprouted providing a far more nutritious option.
Soaked beans are perfect for turning into homemade falafels.
Barely-cooked chickpeas are better for when you use a secondary cooking method later, like pan-frying for adding a crunchy texture to foods.
Fully cooked and peeled chickpeas are perfect for creamy hummus or chickpea salads.
How to Cook Dried Chickpeas for Hummus
3/4 cup (120 g) dried chickpeas
Vegetable scraps (optional)
Measure out the dried chickpeas you intend to cook. If you are following a recipe that calls for canned chickpeas, use 3/4 cup of dried chickpeas for every can.
Cover the chickpeas with water and let them soak overnight or 8 hours. I use a 16 fluid-ounce jar and after putting my chickpeas in, I fill it to the brim.
Dump your soaked chickpeas into your cooking vessel. If you are using a pressure cooker, add at least 2 more cups of water. Make sure you are hitting the minimum water level for your pressure cooker. If you are boiling your chickpeas in a regular pot, add 2 more cups of water and keep an eye on your chickpeas while they cook to make sure you are not boiling off all the water.
Add salt if desired, or vegetable scraps for extra flavor.
Cook the chickpeas to the desired consistency. If you are cooking chickpeas in the pressure maker, I recommend 20 minutes and then a natural release method. If you are cooking in a pot, try an hour at a simmer and then test your chickpeas for mushiness. Because hummus is all mush, your beans need to be pretty soft.
After your beans have cooled enough to handle them, drain and reserve the liquid. Peel each and every chickpea. This fibrous peel will make your hummus chunky instead of smooth.
Store cooked and peeled chickpeas in their own liquid in the refrigerator until you are ready to make your very own creamy hummus.
Lighten up your galley, ditch the metal cans and water weight while still getting creative, delicious food on the table for your crew. I'd love to hear what creations you have put together in your galley with your dried chickpeas, comment with your recipes below.
Circumnavigator, sailor, and writer. Amy has been living aboard her boat for seven years eating healthy and exercising in all corners of the world. She's experienced the mental and physical highs and lows of cruising, the disasters, and the joy, and shares them through her writing. She and her husband live on their catamaran, Starry Horizons, and are spending the season in the Bahamas.
Click the links below to see more from Amy OutChasingStars.com @outchasingstars