Did you know beans and chickpeas offer a wide variety of health benefits? Cooking with them is a great way to add significant protein and nutritional value to your meals. Not only do they provide a rich source of vitamins, minerals and fibre, chickpeas and beans can also improve digestion, help manage weight and reduce the risk of various diseases.
1. Soak the beans overnight. The night before you plan to cook (about 10 hours), soak the beans. This reduces the cooking time and helps them cook more evenly. Place the dry beans in a bowl and cover with several centimetres of water and leave to soak.
2. Drain the soaked beans. The next day, the beans will have absorbed much of the water and nearly doubled in size. Drain the beans and rinse them gently under water.
3. Transfer beans to a cooking pot and boil. Transfer the beans to a saucepan covering with water and bring to boil over a medium heat.
4. Reduce to a simmer and cook. Once boiling, reduce the heat to low and bring the beans to a very gentle simmer. Cook for approximately one hour, stirring occasionally. Taste to check if beans are tender. Depending on their age, size, and variety, beans can take anywhere from an hour to three hours to cook through. Add water to the pot when necessary to ensure beans are covered.
5. Cool and store the beans. Cool and store the beans in their cooking liquid. They can be refrigerated for a week or frozen for up to three months.
Hint: Using tinned beans and chickpeas is a quick and easy alternative to cooking them from raw. When buying cooked tinned beans we recommend you use an organic, low salt variety. Wash them well in fresh water before adding them to the recipe.