Here's Why You Should Soak Chickpeas Before Cooking

Chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans, are a staple in Middle Eastern and African cuisines. They're a member of the legume family and are high in both fiber and protein (via Medical News Today). If you're extremely lucky, you may be able to find fresh chickpeas during the spring season, especially if you have a Middle Eastern grocery store in your area. They come in a green pod similar to English peas and are delicious as a snack. 

If it's not the season or you can't find them, you are going to have to settle for either canned or dried chickpeas. Dried chickpeas are preferable for a number of reasons. First of all, they're often cheaper than their canned counterparts, and second of all, they don't have the added salt that many canned varieties add (via Tori Avey). Dried chickpeas also have a more appealing texture than canned chickpeas, which can often be mushy (via Healthy Nibbles).

How to soak your chickpeas

Blind taste testers found that dried chickpeas that had been soaked and then cooked in their own soaking liquid were tastier (and had a better texture) than those from can, and were also tastier than soaked chickpeas cooked in fresh water (via Tasting Table). 

If you're going to cook dried chickpeas, it's extremely important to soak them before using them. Soaking the beans overnight (or at least eight hours) will result in a much quicker cooking time. All you have to do is put the chickpeas in a bowl with tap water covering them by a few inches. It's important to note that over the course of soaking, the chickpeas will absorb a great deal of the water and if you aren't using a big enough bowl, you might wake up to them overflowing all over your kitchen counter. Better safe than sorry, so go big and use a larger bowl than you think you might need. 

Cooking the chickpeas without soaking will have you standing over the stove for hours, unless you are using a pressure cooker, so plan ahead and soak your dried chickpeas the night before.