If you buy chickpeas on a regular basis then you will be familiar with the hassle of hydrating them before use. Because of this, a lot of people hydrate a large batch of chickpeas at a time and then store the excess for later use. This is a good method but it can make you question how long you have to use them before it is time to throw them away.
What Are Chickpeas?
This legume is grown for its seed which is high in fiber and protein. These nutrients make chickpeas the ideal food for someone who is on a vegetarian or vegan diet. The beans will come in different colors such as red, green, black, and brown yet all of them are essentially the same. The brown chickpea is the most used one as it is used for dishes such as hummus and falafel. Unless you plan on growing chickpeas by yourself, the best place to get them will be at any grocery store. When in the store there will be different types of chickpeas for you to buy.
While it may be easy to mistake ‘dried’ chickpeas as a snack similar to peanuts and other nuts, they cannot actually be eaten immediately. Dried chickpeas are very hard and brittle and they need to be hydrated before use. The benefits of dried chickpeas are that they can be left for up to a year without spoiling. When you are ready to use your chickpeas, you will need to leave them in a bowl full of water for 8-12 hours. It is also recommended to add a teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda into the water as well.
Once hydrated, you can drain the chickpeas into a saucepan and cover them with water. This then needs to be brought to a boil for an hour. After this, the chickpeas are now ready to use in any way you want.
Canned chickpeas are easily the least hassle as they come pre-cooked and ready to use. The brine they are served with that is used to preserve them can be very salty or very oily so it is best to rinse them off after you open the can. Other than this, there is little in the way in terms of preparation as they are immediately ready for use.
As mentioned, dried chickpeas cannot be eaten as a snack like peanuts. Thankfully, roasted chickpeas can. It is important you do not get the two mixed up as dried chickpeas could hurt your teeth and will not be that tasty. Roasted chickpeas are loved as a vegan-friendly snack and can be found for quite cheap at a lot of stores. They can come in a variety of flavors and will also be either roasted or double roasted.
These chickpeas have been properly hydrated and cooked before being roasted so they are ready to eat. Before being roasted they may have been drizzled with olive oil and lightly salted.
What Is Aquafaba?
Aquafaba is the liquid that chickpeas are cooked in. While you may cook them in water, their nutrients will seep into the water and make it more viscous. Similar to how pasta will add starch to the water, chickpeas do almost the same thing.
Aquafaba can be used as a replacement for egg whites as the protein found in it works just like egg whites do. The conversion ratio is that the egg whites of one medium egg can be replaced by 2 tablespoons of aquafaba. This is great for anyone who avoids eggs such as those on a vegan diet.
Not only can it be used as an egg replacement but aquafaba can also be used as a stock for soups or broths. It will still need to be flavored but the viscous liquid will work well as a base due to the nutrients it already has in it.
How To Store Chickpeas
If you have dried or canned chickpeas, then they can easily be stored in any cupboard or pantry with no hassle at all. Roasted peanuts are the same as they come in an airtight bag similar to chips. If you have opened the packaging and they are no longer sealed, you can maintain their crunch by placing them in an airtight container or a Ziploc bag.
If you have some freshly hydrated and cooked chickpeas that you intend to store, you may be wondering how to do so.
Storing Chickpeas In The Fridge
If you have dried chickpeas that have been soaked then you can easily store them in the fridge. Before storing them you will want to drain the chickpeas and then rinse them thoroughly. After this, you can pour them into an airtight container. It is important to get the chickpeas as dry as possible before storing them. You can easily remove excess moisture by patting them with a paper towel or leaving them to air dry for a few hours.
Storing cooked chickpeas is very similar. You can choose to rinse and drain your cooked chickpeas, or you can pour them in an airtight container along with their aquafaba and store them in the fridge. If you are opting to not store them with their cooking liquid then it is important to dry them as much as possible.
How Long Do Chickpeas Last In The Fridge?
If you are storing your soaked chickpeas in the fridge in an airtight container then they will last, and be safe, for 3-4 days.
Cooked chickpeas stored on their own will last 2-3 days in the fridge, and when stored with their aquafaba they will last the same amount of time.
Storing Chickpeas In The Freezer
Both soaked and boiled chickpeas can be stored in the freezer. This is a long-term alternative that can help you store them until you need to use them again. It can be a bit of a hassle freezing them and then eventually thawing them, but it can be a great way to not waste any chickpeas by leaving them for too long if you soak or boil too many.
Soaked chickpeas can be drained and thoroughly dried before being placed in an airtight container. This container can be placed in the freezer and left for quite a while. It is best to write the date on the container before freezing it so that you can easily keep track of when they were added.
Cooked and boiled chickpeas can also be frozen. They can be drained first and then dried, or they can be stored with their aquafaba. The mix of chickpeas and aquafaba can be poured into an airtight container and frozen. Alternatively, you can also freeze an airtight container full exclusively of cooked chickpeas.
How Long Do Chickpeas Last In The Freezer?
Both soaked and boiled chickpeas will last for up to 6 months in the freezer. Whether the boiled chickpeas were stored with their aquafaba or not, the time will remain the same. After being frozen the chickpeas will stay fresh and delicious for up to six months. After this, they will not become inedible but they will start to decrease in texture, flavor, and overall quality.
How To Thaw Frozen Chickpeas
Once you have decided it is time to use your frozen chickpeas, you may be wondering how to thaw them. Thankfully, this is really simple.
If you have time to prepare then the best method is to let them naturally defrost in the fridge overnight. If defrosted using the fridge, the chickpeas can be stored for an extra 2-3 days after this.
When time is more of a concern, you can choose to defrost your chickpeas in the microwave. This will be just fine however they should be eaten that day. If defrosted in the microwave, the chickpeas should not be stored in the fridge for any more time.
FAQs on Storing Chickpeas
There are quite a few indicators to check if you think your chickpeas have gone bad. The best way is to smell them. Any odor that seems off is a good enough reason to discard them. If any mold or insects can be seen on them then they also need to be discarded.
In the fridge, chickpeas will last for a few days. However, after this their quality will decrease a fair bit. They will eventually go bad and soften while losing their flavor.
Depending on how the chickpeas have been stored and how old they are, the answer is most likely going to be no. If stored properly and they are only a few days old then they will not poison you. However, if they are moldy and very old then they will not be healthy for you.
Cooked chickpeas will be able to stay out overnight without going bad, yet they are also fine to go in the fridge which would be a much better way to store them overnight.