Chickpeas are incredibly high in vitamins and minerals. It has become a star ingredient in most cuisines. I never forget to add some chickpeas in my daily soups, stews, and dhal curry. Adding chickpeas obviously increases the nutritional value of the meal.
Chickpeas are inexpensive and often come in packets, cans, and dried form too. Usually, they have a long shelf life even without preservation. However, there are occasions that you buy an excessive quantity of chickpeas may be because of discounts and offers. In that case, you will definitely have to preserve them.
So, can you freeze chickpeas? Yes, you can freeze chickpeas, and they freeze quite well. When it comes to thawing them, there will be very little structural damage. It’s highly nutritious and makes them perfect to make any dish.
This article will look at the best possible ways to preserve them and will share more additional details about chickpeas.
What Are Chickpeas?
If this is the first time you are going to buy chickpeas, you may need to know exactly what are chickpeas. Chickpeas are one of the most sought-after snacks in the world. They are rich in antioxidants and protein. You can consume chickpeas even while you are doing something else, like studying, cleaning, or reading. It is a quick and easy snack.
Difference of Dried and Canned Chickpeas
Chickpeas are available to purchase as dried and canned. Dried chickpeas are the best option for anyone who would like to cook them in their own way. You have full control over cooking dried chickpeas. There is no added salt or preservatives to dried chickpeas.
If you buy canned chickpeas, the condition is somewhat different. The peas are already prepared for you, and you will have to pay a higher price than you pay for the dried chickpeas. Though all canned products do not contain preservatives, be careful, there might be some products that contain additives.
However, if your main focus is quality, I would recommend dried chickpeas. If you are stuck with a busy schedule, absolutely you can buy canned chickpeas.
How to Store Chickpeas
Now let us see how to store dried, cooked, and canned chickpeas. There are two ways to store each type of chickpeas namely, refrigerator, and freezer.
Can You Freeze-Dried Chickpeas?
You will be pleased to hear that the answer to this question is, yes! You can freeze dried chickpeas for 3 months. Now, let us see how to freeze-dried chickpeas.
To do so, divide the available chickpeas into smaller portions. 1 kg of dried chickpeas will become 12 cups of cooked chickpeas. Depending on your servings, decide how to share them in several containers. Usually, I put 250g in one freezer bag.
If you need to preserve them only for a shorter period, you can store them in the refrigerator. They will be last in good quality for 3 – 5 days. Make sure you store them in an airtight container.
Can You Freeze Cooked Chickpeas?
Of course, you can freeze cooked chickpeas for 2 to 3 months. You can either freeze them after draining their cooking liquid or freeze them with the liquid. It is up to you to decide how you want to freeze it.
If you have a plan to freeze the chickpeas after cooking, make sure you get the pot off the heat 15 minutes early. If you wonder why because it will not overcook the meal when you reheat them at a later date.
After cooking them, leave the pot for 30 minutes or more until it is completely cooled. Then transfer the chickpeas with or without gravy to a freezer-safe bag or a container. Make sure there are no air bubbles inside and seal the bag or the container. Do not forget to label the date it is packed.
Can You Freeze Canned Chickpeas?
Though you need to freeze canned chickpeas, you should never put the can in the freezer. But why? The cans are pressurized inside when it freezes, and it causes sudden cracks of the can. In the worst scenario, the cans may subject to minor explosions inside the freezer. So, you should not keep the can under any reason in the freezer.
So, wondering how to freeze canned chickpeas then? Simply transfer them into a freezer bag and follow the normal steps that you use to freeze. Do not forget to remove the air inside the freezer bag before sealing.
How Long Can You Freeze Chickpeas?
Properly stored, chickpeas can stay frozen for a long time, up to 12 months. It can stay for much longer in the freezer, but the quality of it will start to deteriorate.
After about 12 months or so, chickpeas are still safe to eat, but you may not enjoy the taste and texture of it very much.
Therefore, for the best result and best taste, use them within 6 months.
How to Defrost Chickpeas
Defrosting chickpeas are quite simple and do not require any additional steps. All you have to do is, transfer the packet from the freezer to the refrigerator. Leave it there overnight. The next day morning, chickpeas will remain thawed. Take them to the kitchen counter and let them come up to the kitchen temperature before cooking.
There is no difference in thawing dried, cooked, and canned chickpeas. You can use the same method.
Can You Refreeze Chickpeas?
Obviously, the answer is no. I do not recommend refreezing chickpeas once you have thawed them out. Refreezing changes the texture, taste and destroys the quality and the nutrients of the staple.
If you have remaining chickpeas even after thawing, add them to your cooking or use them as a snack to eat while you watch a movie, study, or literally when you do anything.
Chickpeas are high protein meal that helps to gain other essential nutrients as well. Adding them to your meal would do a rapid change in your health.
As you can freeze chickpeas, you will not have to worry about throwing them away. Now you do not have to waste your time thinking about how to store your excess chickpeas either. As a quick reminder, I would say make sure you separate the chickpeas into smaller qualities before freezing. It will avoid wastage for sure.
I hope this article solved all your questions about freezing chickpeas. If you think this is helpful, share it with others. Also, leave your comments below.