Canned versus dried chickpeas is an important question for the lover of healthy choice foods.
So, you've decided you'd like to try and lower your cholesterol by natural means, rather than taking statins. You've done your homework and looked at the foods that lower cholesterol. You've already made a start with number one; yes, unprocessed, rolled oats is the most important food to incorporate daily in your diet.
And, you've discovered that legumes are number two of the superfoods that lower the cholesterol. A few paragraphs down on this page we'll look briefly at a few of the others.
You immediately come to an important decision you must make; is convenience or price more important?
Secondly, how inconvenient is it to buy dried chickpeas, soak and then cook them? And the corollary, how much costlier are the canned legumes and what chemicals are added to preserve them?
These are all important questions unless you have unlimited time and cash.
Firstly, the inconvenience factor
Time is money, so we are told, and so it is. Just how much does it take to prepare your dried chickpeas so that you are all set to make your quick hummus, chickpea soup, or perhaps you just want to add a cup of garbanzo beans to a meaty stew. Then there are falafel burgers.
I'm lucky in that the little spice shop in the supermarket sells
dried chickpeas; but you may have to travel to find your source. I had
to for a while until I happened upon the spice shop. Buy several packets
whilst you are there. I purchase about ten pounds at a time.
Then it takes perhaps two minutes to open the bag, pour the peas into a pot and fill it with cold water; not long, I think you'll agree.
Done last thing at night, you can now doddle off to bed whilst nature does its thing. Your garbanzo beans will double in size, so make sure you cover them with plenty of water.
Then in the morning you will
need to drain and rinse them a couple times; say three minutes. Don't
pour the liquid, tempting though it may be, onto your potted plants; it
contains a growth inhibitor.
Meantime, you've put the kettle on to boil. Once the peas are rinsed, still in your heavy bottomed pot, cover them with boiling water and bring the whole to the boil.
This brings us to the second point about the time taken to cook your swollen chickpeas. Do you have a pressure cooker? If you do then there's no more fuss; simply put the lid on, only use rather less boiling water. Now choose the highest setting, turn on the gas, reduce when they are boiling and come back thirty minutes later and turn off the heat.
These new cookers are safe and amazingly efficient; they save time and money.
They go on cooking for the next ten minutes whilst the pressure drops; don't rush the process. So it takes about half an hour.
If you don't, it takes about an hour and half to cook them and you do have to keep an eye on them. They tend to boil over; that's tedious.
My frank advice is to buy a modern stainless steel pressure cooker; you'll use it for many other foods, saving you much time. They cost around fifty to eighty dollars; never use aluminium utensils.
So, using a cooker, you've actually spent about ten minutes fiddling about with the peas. For the rest, you can get on and do other things whilst they are soaking and cooking.
Now a couple more rinses are needed; say another three minutes and then perhaps another five dividing your cooked and drained chickpeas into half a dozen packets and popping them into the freezer.
So, in all, you've spent fifteen to twenty minutes and you have enough cooked and frozen chickpeas for the next couple weeks. Use them in all your meat stews, and soups.
There's one more inconvenience factor; you won't cut your finger on the can like I did. But then you might burn your thumb whilst cooking your peas; call them garbanzo beans if you like.
Actually they are neither peas nor beans, but we won't fuss about that here. Just think of them as the world's most popular protein.
Secondly, the price factor
Prices will vary in your country, but I suspect the principle will be the same.
1. Canned garbanzo beans
A 410g can costs R10 in South Africa; that's about a dollar.
Drained, the can yields 252g of chickpeas.
We are only looking at ballpark figures, so lets say that a 400g can yields 250g approximately.
2. Dried garbanzo beans
A 1000g packet of dried peas costs R23; about $2.30.
Soaked, cooked and drained that yields 2500g of chickpeas.
Canned chickpeas cost $1.00/250g or 40c per 100g
Dried and cooked chickpeas cost $2.30/2500g or 9.2c per 100g; say 10c once you've added the cost of heating.
Canned chickpeas cost four times as much.
Thirdly, the health factor
Cooked garbanzo beans go off very quickly, so the manufacturers of canned garbanzo beans add two preservatives, sugar and salt.
In your own fridge, make sure you eat your quick hummus within three days. Make less rather than more to begin with. The excess goes into our low GI bread mixture and will enrich any soup. Can you believe that Western countries waste thirty percent of their food; don't be part of it.
That's just another consideration in your canned versus dried chickpeas debate; I'm trying to reduce all the chemicals the food industry loves to add to their products.
Foods that lower cholesterol naturally to obviate the necessity to daily consume nasty statins include oats, garbanzo beans and apples. So, are you going to consider canned versus dried chickpeas, as they are also known? Only probably if you are going to use them regularly; we make quick hummus every single week for example; it's the making of an otherwise boring green salad.
All salads, fruits, legumes, whole grains like oats, nuts and omega 3 rich foods; apples are particular good.
A simple regimen might consist of:
An oats rich muesli with prunes and yoghurt + one or two fresh fruit + two or three freshly cracked walnuts, almonds or pecans.
Perhaps a boiled egg on whole wheat, low GI toasted bread. Better still, especially if you're banting, Eggs Florentine; a bed of spinach instead of the toast.
A large mixed salad with a good dollop of quick hummus, lemon juice, olive oil and half a dozen olives.
A piece of chicken or better still smoked mackerel, herring or pilchard.
Two slices of low GI bread, butter and cheese or jam.
Broccoli or chickpea soup recipe.
Mixed vegetables, sweet potatoes or brown rice and salmon.
Fruit pudding such as stewed apples or pears. A little cream?! You've earned it if you're enjoying this kind of food.
Once you've got all the ingredients ready, it takes me a timed four minutes to make quick hummus, also known as this garbanzo bean recipe; central to your decision to regularly use this wonder food for lowering cholesterol is the canned versus dried chickpeas debate.
Most chickpeas probably are used in quick hummus, falafel or simply tossed into a meaty stew; there are of course many garbanzo bean recipes. Having made your decision about canned versus dried chickpea you are now ready to use this exceptionally healthy legume in your diet several times a week. We make our quick hummus recipe at least twice a week. A couple of tablespoons provide the added protein that turns our whole wheat flour into low GI bread.
Just add a couple tablespoons of your quick hummus and a slosh of olive oil and you have low GI bread. It takes five minutes to prepare, and five hours to bake. Bread without guilt.
There are new reports out recently, mid 2015, that the plastic used to line many cans has been found to be carcinogenic.
Is just one more reason to cook your own dried chickpeas. Get that pressure cooker if you're serious about making our healthy hummus recipe; this one is extra smooth, and still takes only four minutes to make.
So, what's the decision? The canned versus dried chickpeas debate only makes sense once you've decided you're going to eat them regularly; and if you've got a pressure cooker.
A hot box works too.
A neat little tabletop induction stove is a must for energy efficient cook; it cooks much faster than gas and uses half the electricity of a conventional electrical stove.
Interestingly, she who must be obeyed was very against, just another appliance, but I notice she uses it all the time now; it's so easy to clean.
It also means that I can cook for nothing, using the solar generator, because the kilowatt rating is so much lower than a conventional stove; the inverter takes this little guy right in his stride.