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Ontario, Canada
I am a wife, mother and grandma who enjoys the many aspects of homemaking. A variety of interests and hobbies combined with travel keep me active. They reflect the importance of family, friends, home and good food.
Cook ingredients that you are used to cooking by other techniques, such as fish, chicken, or hamburgers. In other words be comfortable with the ingredients you are using.
--Bobby Flay

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Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Garbanzo Beans (Chickpeas)

An overlooked section of the grocery store is the aisle dried beans are on.  While many will toss a can or two of beans in their cart, they breeze right by the dried beans not realizing that if you want to save on your grocery tab, dried beans is the way to go.  Cooking dried beans from scratch is very easy and they taste better than canned beans.  Cooking from scratch on average costs about a third of the price of canned beans.  They are ideal pantry items as beans will keep well over five years without spoiling. 

Garbanzo beans are also known as chickpeas.  They are popular in Middle Eastern cooking and the primary ingredient in hummus, a wonderful dish that can be used as a dip or spread.  Chickpeas are also a popular offering on salad bars.  They are high in protein, the perfect addition for salads, soups, stews and vegetarian dishes.  Chickpea flour is available as well made from ground chickpeas and used much the same as you would use other thickeners or flours.

Chickpeas are very easy to cook from dry and like all beans they taste so much better when cooked from scratch rather than commercially canned.  They are easily home canned as well and even home canned taste better than commercially canned chickpeas.  I usually use the quick soak method although you can soak the beans overnight if you want to. 

leg  Rinse chickpeas and cover with fresh water After soaking drain and cover with fresh water.  Bring to a boil.  Boil two minutes.  Remove from heat.  Cover and let sit one hour.  Bring to a boil then reduce heat to a simmer.  Simmer until tender about 40 minutes.

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