How To Freeze Chickpeas: Master the Art of Long-Term Storage
Chickpeas are an excellent source of protein, especially for people who follow vegetarian or vegan diets. Plus, they’re highly nutritious and can be used in so many different ways. A favorite is to blend them into a delicious hummus dip.
It is possible to freeze chickpeas in order to store them for longer periods. In fact, you can freeze canned, soaked, and cooked chickpeas in the freezer by following our step-by-step instructions.
How To Prepare Chickpeas For Freezing
As mentioned, you can freeze both canned chickpeas and those that have been soaked and cooked. If you’re freezing canned chickpeas, there’s usually no preparation required, and this is a good way to store any that are leftover once you’ve opened a can.
Follow these steps to freeze canned chickpeas:
- Line a baking sheet or tray with parchment paper
- Place the chickpeas onto the lined tray in a single layer
- Put this into the freezer for around 1 hour
- Take the tray with the chickpeas out of the freezer
- Place the mostly frozen chickpeas into a freezer or Ziploc bag or an airtight container
- Make sure you label the bags with the date before you fill them
- Ensure that you divide the chickpeas into meal-sized portions to make it easier when you want to take them out of the freezer to use them
- Place the bagged chickpeas back into the freezer
How To Prepare Dried Chickpeas For Freezing
If you’ve been able to find a bulk supply of dried chickpeas for a great price, you will have to prepare them first before you freeze them in meal-sized portions. Essentially, dried chickpeas don’t have to be frozen because they will keep for a long time in their dried state.
However, if you want a batch of chickpeas for tonight’s dinner, it’s much easier to take this out of the freezer because the chickpeas will have already been soaked and cooked and can be used straight away.
Soaking Your Dried Chickpeas
The first thing you want to do is soak your dried chickpeas. This not only softens them but also makes them easier to digest. One of the easiest ways to do this is to place them in a large bowl and then cover them with cold water. Place a lid or a tea towel over the bowl and just leave them to soak overnight.
Remember that the chickpeas will double in size while they’re soaking, so ensure that the bowl is large enough to accommodate this and that there’s enough water in the bowl.
Alternatively, you can quick soak the chickpeas, which will only take around an hour. For this, you’re going to need a large saucepan or pot. Put the chickpeas in the pot and cover them with water.
Place the pot onto the stovetop and bring the contents to a boil. Continue to boil the chickpeas for around 5 minutes. After this, turn off the heat and let the chickpeas sit in the hot water for around an hour.
With both these methods, after the chickpeas have finished soaking, all you have to do is drain them and rinse them well under cold water. They are now ready for cooking.
Cooking Your Soaked Chickpeas
Cooking chickpeas is really easy. All you have to do is put them in a large pot and add water. As a general guide, use around 1 quart of water for every cup of soaked chickpeas. You can also add a bit of salt to the water to add some flavor, or you can leave this out.
Place the pot onto the stovetop and cook the chickpeas for around one to one and a half hours depending on how soft you want them to be. However, because you are going to freeze the chickpeas, you don’t want them to be overly soft.
As the chickpeas are cooking, they will continue to expand. Therefore, you might need to add some extra water while they’re cooking.
Save Time By Cooking Your Chickpeas In An Instant Pot
If you have an instant pot or another type of pressure cooker, you can save time by using this to cook your chickpeas. Here’s what you need to do:
- Soak the chickpeas overnight (unsoaked chickpeas will not soften enough)
- After soaking, rinse the chickpeas and add them to the instant pot
- Cover the chickpeas with water
- Add any seasonings that you want and close the lid
- Choose the “pressure cook” function and set the timer for 15 minutes
- After the time is up, do a quick release to release the pressure
- Take the chickpeas out of the pressure cooker and drain
- Rinse them well and leave them to cool so that they are ready to freeze
Freezing Your Cooked Chickpeas
Once your chickpeas are cooked and cooled down, they are now ready to freeze. Here’s what you need to do:
- Pat the chickpeas with a piece of paper towel to dry them as much as possible
- Line a baking sheet or tray with some parchment paper
- Spread the chickpeas on the tray in a single layer
- Place this into the freezer for around an hour or so
- Remove from the freezer and pack the chickpeas into a freezer or Ziploc bags in meal-sized portions. Alternatively, you can use small airtight containers.
- Label the bags before filling them, as this will be easier
- As you place the chickpeas into the bags, try to arrange them in a single layer, as this will make them easier to stack on top of each other.
- Place the bags or containers of chickpeas back into the freezer
These frozen chickpeas will keep well in the freezer for up to a year.
Can You Vacuum Seal Chickpeas For Freezing?
If you have a Foodsaver or another type of vacuum sealer, you can use this when preparing your chickpeas for freezing. Here’s how:
- Dry your soaked and cooked chickpeas to get them ready for freezing. You can also use canned chickpeas with this method.
- Label your vacuum storage bags with the date and contents of the bags
- Divide your chickpeas into meal-sized portions
- Place each portion of chickpeas into a separate bag
- Arrange the chickpeas so that they’re in a single layer
- Seal each bag using your Foodsaver or vacuum-sealing machine
- Place the sealed bags into the freezer
By vacuum sealing your chickpeas, they should keep well in the freezer for up to 14 months.
Can You Freeze Hummus?
Hummus is a popular delicious dip that is made using chickpeas. If you love to make this in your kitchen, why not make a larger batch and freeze the excess? It’s best to keep the hummus fairly plain, using only the basic ingredients of chickpeas, tahini, and olive oil.
Other flavorings that are commonly added to hummus, such as red peppers and olives, may not freeze as well and have an altered consistency when thawed. Therefore, if you keep your hummus plain, it’s better for freezing, and you can always add other seasonings after you defrost it.
The best way to freeze hummus is to put it into an airtight container in meal-sized portions. Then, add a thin layer of olive oil over the hummus before sealing the container. Place the containers in the freezer after you’ve labeled them with the date.
Hummus can be stored in the freezer for up to 6 months.
What Are The Benefits Of Freezing Chickpeas?
People who lead busy lives will benefit enormously from freezing chickpeas. This is because chickpeas can take a while to prepare before you can use them in a recipe.
For example, dried chickpeas will need to be soaked first in order to soften them. This means that you need to plan well ahead if you want to prepare a dish that includes chickpeas for dinner. Similarly, you might decide that you want to whip up a batch of hummus for friends that are coming over.
If all you have on hand are dried chickpeas, this will take a considerable amount of time and just won’t be feasible.
However, you can cook up a large batch of chickpeas on the weekend when you have plenty of time. Then, you can freeze them in meal-sized portions so you always have them on hand when you need them without the massive preparation time.
Are Chickpeas Nutritious?
Chickpeas are highly nutritious, which makes them such a good addition to a variety of dishes. They contain a fair amount of protein as well as a similar amount of fiber. Additionally, chickpeas also contain vital vitamins and minerals such as calcium, potassium, iron, magnesium, and vitamin C.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the best way to thaw frozen chickpeas?
The best way to defrost your frozen chickpeas is to place them in the refrigerator overnight. To thaw them faster, place them in a bowl that is filled with cold water.
Can you freeze chickpeas without liquid?
Yes, chickpeas should be frozen after they’ve been soaked and cooked. They should be as dry as possible before freezing. Even canned chickpeas should be rinsed and dried before freezing.
What happens if you don’t soak chickpeas before cooking?
If you forget or don’t have the time to soak your chickpeas before cooking, you’ll find that they’ll take twice as long to cook and may not be quite as digestible.
Can you freeze acquafaba?
Yes, acquafaba, which is the liquid that remains after cooking chickpeas, can be frozen in small batches. It’s best to use an ice cube tray for this so that you can easily take out the portions that you need. When substituting acquafaba for egg whites, one ice cube is equal to around one tablespoon or around half an egg white.