FODMAP-friendly chickpeas and beans

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:

You might also like: FODMAP-friendly Jalapeno & Lime Hummus


12 thoughts on “FODMAP-friendly chickpeas and beans

  1. Pingback: FODMAP-friendly Jalapeno & Lime Hummus | A FODMAP-free fantasy

    • Hi Jane,
      With canned legumes, I drain them, and then soak for 12-24 hours in cold water in the fridge, changing the water once.
      I have experienced symptoms when eating them without doing this.
      I also soak lentils thoroughly.
      🙂 Charlotte

  2. Hello, great blog here, glad I stumbled upon this!
    Have you considered taking the skins off the chickpeas?
    The skins have insoluble fibre, which is hard to digest. The bean has soluble fibre which should be fine for the tummy. Just a thought as it might help reduce soaking time.
    Steph 🙂

    • Thanks Stephanie. Often, part way through soaking I’ll rub them between my hands to try and remove some skins. It’s easy to get them out of the liquid as they float to the top. Sometimes though, I can’t be bothered!

  3. Oh, this is LOVELY!! Thank you so much! FODMAPS is just starting to be recognized here in the States, and I have been feeling better…but so stressed trying to figure out recipes on my own!
    BTW- my one life-saver so far has been Garlic extract: 2 cups vodka, 3 heads garlic, peeled. Put all in the blender, whirl up. Store in a tightly-sealed glass jar in the fridge for a week or so, then line a strainer with a coffee filter, and strain well. Let the solids settle to the bottom, then pour only the CLEAR liquid back into the jar and use for seasoning dishes. The liquid may turn anything from green to a really pretty teal blue- but that’s just the sulfer in the garlic oxidizing, and it’s completely safe.

  4. Pingback: Easy meal: FODMAP friendly Pumpkin & Black Bean Tacos | A FODMAP-free fantasy

  5. Pingback: Easy FODMAP Friendly Pumpkin and Black Bean Tacos | A FODMAP-free fantasy

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  7. I use a pressure cooker to make dried beans in two stages. First, rinse beans then cover with water and bring to 15lbs pressure for about 3 minutes and take off heat, let cool or quick cool with cold water running over the pot. You should read up on pressure cooking for this basic info. It’s super easy. I bought a lg old fashioned pressure cooker from thrift store for $5, ordered new rubber gasket online for the lid and a new popup little valve. Love my pressure cooker! After precook/presoak, dump all water, rinse beans in colander and then cook with just enough water to cover at 15lbs pressure for however long your recipe says…it’s usually about 20 mins or so. Follow directions, dried beans are standard fare for pressure cooking. I make fantastic refried beans without frying them, in food processor or with masher. These beans are gas free!!! Truly fartless!! Newly on FODMAP due to radiation colitis and transplant meds that are extremely tough on digestion. I will have to limit portions and moderation is hard, but it’s part of health and aging…and I am so glad to have beaten huge odds and being alive!

  8. Whoops, I forgot a Mexican ingredient that also is believed to make dried beans more tummy friendly. If you’re lucky, you have a Mexican market to buy packets of dried Epazote herb. It’s a green herb – add a sprig or more to the bean cooking water. Bay leaves are also used for flavor – I don’t know of their gastro benefits. Cooking beans without garlic or onions…hmmm, I have to make some garlic oil or infusion. Until FODMAP, I have been a major garlic fan. I cook Thai, Mexican, Italian, and other cuisines, from scratch and love spices. Of course, you can buy epazote herb online, which I have to do next time, now that I’ve used up the epazote I bought in California.

  9. Thank you for this great blog! I’m “fish-vegetarian”, having ibs-symptoms. I thought that I should start eating meat again and I’m so happy to find that I could try these methods here to prepare beans, legumes etc.

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