Get smart with your legumes: cooking & then freezing beans chickpeas & lentils is a great idea. Most people just reach for a can of beans, lentils or chick-peas when they have the need of them for a recipe. But they are paying through the nose for them and making more waste. They are also forced to use a whole tin, where perhaps they only need a half a can. When you use half a can, the rest is usually put in the fridge where they go off. This method avoids all of that waste. There’s also no tin to recycle if you cook your own. So, it’s massively cheaper. Also you can have organic for the same price as pesticide & herbicide laden non-organic beans. I find it astonishing that not that many people cook their own beans.
The important thing is to cook around a kilo of beans, lentils, chickpeas as a single batch. That way it’s just one lot of soaking, one lot of cooking, and one lot of washing up! 1kg yields approximately 10 cans worth of beans, lentils or chick-peas. I collect take-away containers from friends etc, and use those to store the beans. They can easily hold 245g of beans etc.
Label them up using the labelling function in word and you’re done. You probably don’t really need to label most of them as chick peas are pretty obvious. Maybe with lentils it’s a good idea. If you have a chest freezer, you can even put them in a single stack 10 high!
If you want to make cooking, freezing beans, and chickpeas work proper soaking is essential. With the exception of lentils & black eyed peas, they need at least 4 hours. However, some methods recommend allowing the beans etc to begin fermenting and that is more like a 24 hour soaking. It’s always important to discard the soaking water as this removes a lot of lectins. Lectins, although not poisonous, aren’t particularly beneficial to the gut. They are said to be part of the plants’ defences against insect predation. That’s as may be, but discarding them is a good idea. Fermenting takes that process a little further.
Large beans, particularly kidney beans and chick-peas will benefit from around 10 minutes of fairly vigorous boiling at the start. After 10 minutes, turning the heat down to a very gentle simmer to avoid breaking the beans up is a good idea. Making your own hummus from frozen chick-peas is a great method, and adding other frozen beans to stews is easy.