Chickpeas are very versatile and healthy. They provide plenty of vitamins and minerals, as well as a decent amount of protein and fiber. There are many different ways to use them. You can roast them, make them into hummus, add them to stews, casseroles, and curries, and turn them into burgers, to name just a few of their uses. You can buy them either dried or in cans.
Cans are, by far, the easiest to use as you have to soak dried chickpeas overnight and then cook them for around an hour. It makes sense that if you are going to go to so much trouble, it would be better to prepare them in bulk. However, how can you store them so that they don’t spoil? The answer is simple. Freeze them. They freeze remarkably well, and in this article, we will tell you how to freeze chickpeas and chickpea dishes.
How To Freeze Chickpeas
1. Drain the chickpeas.
After you have soaked and cooked the dried chickpeas, drain them,
2. Dry the chickpeas.
Lay out the drained chickpeas on a tea towel and allow them to dry. You can pat them with a paper towel to help speed up the process. You must ensure that the chickpeas are completely dry before you freeze them otherwise ice crystals could form, and the chickpeas will end up mushy when defrosted.
3. Put the chickpeas in freezer bags.
It is a good idea to divide the chickpeas into meal-size portions so that you don’t defrost too many and end up throwing some away. You can also use airtight containers for freezing your chickpeas. Put labels on the bags or containers with the date frozen and the contents.
4. Put the bags or containers in the freezer and freeze.
How To Freeze Chickpea Dishes
It is a good idea to make a big pot of chickpea stew or curry or even hummus and then divide the leftovers into meal-size portions so that you have quick meals when you get in late after a hard day at work.
How To Freeze Chickpea Stew
Chickpea stew or curry freezes well. Adding chickpeas to dishes adds depth or flavor and extra nutrients. You can make the dish vegan or vegetarian or even add meat if you are a meat-lover. This is the way to freeze a stew or curry.
1. Cool down the dish.
Remove the stew from the hot pan and transfer to a cold bowl. You don’t want to leave the dish out at room temperature for longer than two hours otherwise bacteria could start to develop, and you could become sick when you come to eat the dish.
2. Put the dish into airtight containers or freezer bags.
Divide the dish into meal-size portions so that you only defrost as much as you need and to avoid waste. Don’t fill either the bags or the containers right up to the top as the stew will expand when it is put in the freezer. Squeeze out as much air as possible from the bags otherwise, freezer burn could occur. The food will still be safe to eat but it will lose taste, texture, and color. If you are using freezer bags, it is a good idea to put on an extra one just in case the original one splits. The last thing you want is spillage in your freezer, especially if it is curry. Curry, as you can imagine, has strong odors and the rest of your food will end up smelling of it. Put a label on the bags or containers with the date frozen and the contents. It is important to put on what it is if you are freezing a variety of dishes.
3. Put the bags or containers in the freezer.
How To Freeze Chickpea Puree
Chickpea puree can be added to soups if you want a smooth soup. You can also add it to dishes to add protein and flavor. It is a good idea to freeze it in an ice cube tray so that you can take out small portions if you need only a little. You can, however, buy ice cube trays with bigger slots.
1. Make your chickpea puree.
Prepare your chickpea puree with your favorite recipe. Cumin and garlic are good additions. Add some salt and pepper and blend into a puree.
2. Cool down the puree.
You will want to ensure that the puree is completely cooled down because if you put warm puree into the freezer, it can bring up the temperature of the freezer and other food may defrost and spoil.
3. Put the puree into the ice cube tray.
Don’t fill the slots right up to the top as the puree will expand when it is frozen. Put the ice cube tray in the freezer for a few hours until the puree has frozen solid.
4. Put the cubes of puree in freezer bags.
Because you have frozen the puree in an ice cube tray, the cubes will stay separate when put in a freezer bag so you can remove how many you want without wasting any. Squeeze out as much air as you can from the freezer bag to stop freezer burn from occurring. Put a label on the bag with the date frozen and the contents.
5. Put the freezer bags in the freezer.
How To Freeze Hummus
Hummus can be frozen in the same way as chickpea puree although if you plan to use a lot of hummus, you can freeze it in an airtight container or a freezer bag.
Tips For Freezing Chickpeas
- You can freeze chickpeas either as they are or as a dish.
- If you freeze chickpeas as they are, shake the bag every half an hour for a couple of hours as this stops the chickpeas from sticking together. Then you can take out just as many as you need for your dish.
- To stop the chickpeas from sticking together, you can flash freeze them before putting them in a freezer bag. Put them on a baking tray and make sure that the chickpeas don’t touch each other. In this way, they won’t stick together when you put them in a freezer bag.
- Use glass containers if you are freezing a chickpea curry. This is because dishes that have been flavored with spices can permeate the freezer and change the flavors of other food/
For How Long Can You Freeze Chickpeas?
You can freeze chickpeas for up to a year and chickpea dishes for up to six months. After either of these timelines, the food will still be safe to eat but the taste and texture may start to deteriorate.
How Do You Defrost Chickpeas?
It’s not difficult to defrost chickpeas. If you have frozen cooked chickpeas, put them in a bowl and defrost them overnight in the fridge. Then, add them to the dish and warm it up. You don’t need to bring the dish up to boiling point. If you are defrosting a chickpea dish, you also need to thaw it out in the fridge to stop bacteria from forming. Then heat the dish up on the hob or in the microwave.
Can You Refreeze Chickpeas?
We don’t recommend that you refreeze chickpeas once you have defrosted them. Freezing, defrosting, and refreezing can cause bacteria to form and you could become sick when you come to eat the chickpeas. If you freeze in meal-size portions, you won’t have this problem.
You can only store chickpeas or chickpea dishes in the fridge for a day or two so if you have any leftovers, throw them away after this time.
Is It a Good Idea To Freeze Chickpeas?
Yes, chickpeas freeze particularly well whether they are in a dish or as themselves. The freezing process doesn’t change the taste or texture of the chickpeas much at all so you are onto a winner here.
Frequently Asked Questions
Hopefully, you now know all there is to know about freezing chickpeas, but in case you have further questions, we have answered a few here.
Can you freeze canned chickpeas?
If you have canned chickpeas leftover that you can’t use, then yes, freeze them in the way we have described for dried chickpeas. However, don’t bother opening a can of chickpeas and freezing them. Canned chickpeas last for years, much longer than freezing them, so there is no point.
Can you freeze the aquafaba that canned chickpeas come with?
Aquafaba is a great vegan alternative to egg whites. It can be frozen but should be frozen separately as it only lasts for up to four months in the freezer.
Can you freeze roasted chickpeas?
You can but they will lose some of their texture when defrosted.