Peeling Chickpeas – Going Garbanzos

I’ve been seeing recipes and write ups about the superior smoothness of hummus made with peeled chickpeas. I’m down with some somewhat laborious food prep. I’ve happily spent an afternoon getting poetic about peeling lemons for limoncello. And I don’t mind segmenting grapefruits into hot little cinnamon love notes.

peeling chickpeas reflections

I’m a city chick now and have been for decades. But I am still, in some small corner of my heart, a little kid with long braids who grew up wild on country land. We sowed, watered, weeded and picked the vegetables we ate in a hand-raked, half acre garden.

I shelled peas, shucked corn and looked at land, land, land with the heat of summer sun sunk deep into my shoulders. There were no buildings, no roads, no other people in view.

peeling chickpeas profile

I think that’s part of why I like time-consuming food prep: it brings the phantom heat of a simple summer sun to my skin again. I see a lost view.

cloudstreaked sky Seattle

Turns out that peeling chickpeas is not as garbanzos as you might expect though it definitely takes some time. I started with dried chickpeas, soaked them overnight then let them simmer until tender.

husks peeling chickpeas

One sixteen ounce bag of dried chickpeas (soaked, drained, simmered and peeled) yielded 5 cups of little, pale gold, love notes. Those five cups of peeled chickpeas yielded a party-size portion of super silky hummus and several batches of spiced, roasted chickpea experiments.

It took me one hour to peel them and I was not trying to be all zippy about it. Most of the chickpeas popped from their husks easily when pinched lightly. A few were slightly stubborn. I watched The Colbert Report and peeled away. Maybe I’ll name a sumptuous hummus after Steven. I’m gonna have to work on a witty name for that.

I’d definitely invest the time to peel chickpeas by hand again. If you’re daunted by that idea…please note that 5 cups of peeled chickpeas is a whole lotta chickpeas. You’ll only need about 1 1/2 to 2 cups to make a sizable amount of hummus.

peeling chickpeas overhead

I’ve found some alternate methods that sound much speedier. I’ll try them and then tell you about it.

Canned chickpeas are already cooked and still have their husks. They too can be peeled if you don’t mind a little extra work. Chickpeas husks are edible and don’t affect the flavor so much as they do the texture of your finished garbanzo bean project. Peeled chickpeas are buttery and smooth. Even their pale gold color becomes more vibrant when the peas are freed from the milky haze of husks.

I think this sort of food prep is my Zen activity. If some extra food prep sounds good to you then I hope you enjoy a little musing moment and love the silken results. Happy unhusking to you, my fellow food prepping fiend/friend!

p.s. Chickpea recipes (including Supremely Sumptuous Hummus) are forthcoming. See you back here soon! – fat pig

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2 Responses to Peeling Chickpeas – Going Garbanzos

  1. Stephanie says:

    Girl, you’ve got the patience! I’ve heard about the glory of peeled garbanzos but I can’t say I’ve really wanted to do it! They do look amazing and so pretty though, nekkid like that. :) And yes, please share the quicker and lazier options for peeling garbanzos, for people like me. :)

    • @Stephanie I swear the hummus is worth the effort! But a chickpea peeling robot would definitely be loved around here. I’ve tried a few tricks that speed it up a bit and will post ’em soon.