Cooking our legumes is as easy as 1-2-3
(Rinse. Cook. Drain.)
If you can boil water, you can cook our legumes. Easy peasy.
TIP: Don’t use aluminum or cast-iron pans to cook lentils, chickpeas and green split peas. Not only do they alter the color of the legumes, they also inhibit cooking.
TIP: Want to add salt, tomatoes or lemons to your legumes? Wait until they’re cooked to your liking. If you add salt or acidic ingredients earlier, it’ll take longer for the legumes to cook.
TIP: The fresher the legume, the quicker it cooks. You’re guaranteed freshness with PNW Co-op legumes because they’re local and harvested annually. We put the harvest date on every bag, so you know each legume’s birthday.
- Rinse and sort: Pour lentils into a mesh colander and remove any foreign material, such as sticks or tiny dirt clumps. Rinse with cold water and drain.
- Bring to a boil & simmer: Put rinsed lentils in pan and cover them with 1.5 inches of water. Bring to a slow boil for 15-25 minutes, depending on the lentil variety. Caviar lentils cook quickly, because they’re petite. Pardina, Sunrise and Shasta lentils cook in about 20-30 minutes. * If you’ve presoaked your lentils to make them easier to digest, they’ll cook quicker.
- Drain: A mesh colander works best. Go ahead and rinse them with cold water if you’re adding them to a salad. No need to rinse if you’re adding them to a soup or other hot dish.
TIP: For each cup of dried lentils, use 2.5 cups of water
TIP: You don’t need to soak lentils before cooking. But if you have trouble digesting them, go ahead and soak ‘em.
TIP: If you presoak your lentils, they’ll cook quicker. Why? Because they’ve already absorbed some water.
Yield: 1 cup raw = 2. 5 cups cooked
Chickpeas a.k.a. Garbanzo Beans
- Rinse, sort and soak: Pour chickpeas into a colander and remove any foreign material, such as sticks or tiny dirt clumps. Put rinsed chickpeas into a pan and cover with a few inches of cold water. Let them soak for 3-10 hours. Drain, rinse with cold water and cover with a few inches of cold water. (The soaking water absorbs some of the gas-producing sugars that are indigestible.)
- Bring to a boil and simmer for 1.5-2 hours
TIP: For each cup of driedgarbs, use 2.5 cups of water
Yield: 1 cup raw = 2 cups cooked
No time to soak? Use this quick-cook method:
- Rinse and sort
- Cover chickpeas with a few inches of cold water. Bring to a boil over high heat. Remove foam. Lower the heat and simmer for about 2 hours. Stir them occasionally and add water, if necessary.
Green split peas:
- Rinse and sort
- Bring to a boil and simmer for 30 minutes
Note: For every cup of dried split peas, use 2 cups water
Yield: 1 cup raw = 2.5 cups cooked
Why do I need to sort the legumes? Garbanzo beans, lentils and peas grow close to the ground. We clean and color-sort the harvested legumes before putting them into bags, but sometimes sticks and tiny dirt clumps slip through. Sorting them helps ensure that you’ll enjoy the legume goodness without any surprises.
Do I need to soak lentils before cooking? No. But if you have trouble digesting them, soaking will help release some of the indigestible sugars. Just be sure to drain the soaking water and use fresh water for cooking.
Why don’t PNW Co-op’s red and yellow lentils turn to mush? They’re unique varieties. The red lentils commonly found in stores are a specific variety that’s often split and decorticated, which means their outer skin has been removed. Our Sunrise red and Shasta yellow lentils are zero-tannin, and their skins aren’t removed. They maintain their shape and are lovely in soups and salads. Go ahead and puree them if you prefer them smooth and creamy.
What if I have a tough time digesting lentils? Soak them. This will help release some of the indigestible sugars.
How long should I soak chickpeas? Anywhere from 3-10 hours. If you don’t have time to soak them, use the “no soak” cooking method that’s explained in the cooking section.
Why do I need to drain the soaking water before cooking chickpeas? The soaking water absorbs some of the gas-producing sugars that are indigestible, and who wants that?
Is it true that fresher legumes cook faster? Yes. Old legumes and beans are unable to absorb water during cooking, so they never really soften. PNW Co-op legumes are always fresh. We put the harvest date on every bag, so you’ll know when they left our fields.
Can I freeze cooked legumes? Yes. If you plan to use your lentils or chickpeas within a month, go ahead and freeze them without water. Otherwise, put the cooked legumes in a freezer container, cover them with cooking water and freeze. When you’re ready to enjoy them, simply thaw, drain and rinse. You just saved yourself some time and sweet moola, while reducing unnecessary packaging. Give yourself a high five!
Can I sprout PNW Co-op lentils and chickpeas? Yes. Fans routinely tell us that our legumes are great for sprouting. Try Chef Robin Leventhal's recipe for sprouted lentils and tell us what you think.
Got any questions?
Call us at (509) 487-0755 or send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org . We’re eager to help you enjoy the PNW Co-op legume goodness.