Chickpeas and dried beans such as black beans, kidney beans and haricot beans all come under the galactans category of FODMAPS. I find that their effects are often delayed an can cause next-day bloating and discomfort. But never fear! You can make your hummus and eat it too – all whilst staying symptom free. The key is in the soaking – my lovely dietician Sarah Elliot of FoodSavvy told me that galactans are water-soluble so if you soak them at length the galactans leech out. Here is my basic process for cooking chickpeas and beans – I have found it most successful and have been able to enjoy all sorted of dishes with chickpeas and beans without any of the irritating after-effects.
Soaking & Cooking method
Soak 250g chickpeas or dried beans in a large non-metallic bowl of cold water for at least 48 hours. Change the water regularly to get rid of the scum and slime (morning, afternoon and before bed keeps it nice and clear). You may notice a bad smell coming from the chickpeas – as far as I know this is quite normal. I like to think of it as all of the evil galactans getting sucked out of the chickpeas! You might like to add some baking soda – apparently this softens the skins and allows them to soak up more water.
To cook the chickpeas you could just follow the regular stove-top method – place in a large pot with some peppercorns and bay leaves and a sprig of thyme if you have it and cover with at least 10cm of cold water. Bring to the boil and regularly skim off any scum, topping up with boiling water if it is getting dry. This could take anything from 1-3 hours so keep a close eye on them an turn off when they are soft. Alternatively, cook them in a slow cooker. Heat up the cooker and put the chickpeas in with plenty of hot tap water to cover to at least 10cm. They should be cooked on HIGH for 3-5 hours. The long soaking time might mean they take less time to cook than you might otherwise expect. Instructions I have read say to salt the chickpeas during the final 15 mins of cooking, but I worry that this still makes them go a little hard. I prefer not to salt the chickpeas at all, saving the seasoning for whatever dish I plan to make with them.
Cooling the chickpeas in the cooking water apparently keeps them soft. I often pack them into plastic containers, topping up with cooking water and freeze them for whenever I might need them. I take them out and defrost on the bench or in the microwave and add to curries etc, or make delicious homemade hummus from scratch. It is important to note that the long soaking can tend to soften the chickpeas so much that they might be a bit mushy. This doesn’t bother me – I prefer slightly mushy but creamy chickpeas to under-cooked or FODMAP-full ones! 250g dried chickpeas should yeild 600g cooked.
In my flat (my flatmate is also ‘a FODMAP’ and is hummus mad!!) we tend to start soaking the chickpeas on Wednesday/Thursday so that we can cook them in the slow cooker then make a week’s supply of hummus during the week. YUM!!!
I also like to cook black beans and kidney beans this way – they don’t hold their shape as well as chickpeas because of the long soaking, but they sure do make FANTASTIC Frijoles Refritos (Refried Beans). I love, love, love my Thomasina Miers cookbook ‘Mexican Food Made Easy’.
Here is a link to her recipe for Frijoles Refritos: http://www.channel5.com/shows/mexican-food-made-simple/recipes/torta-mexican-club-sandwich
You might also like: FODMAP-friendly Jalapeno & Lime Hummus