I hate the rising cost of meat.
As I alluded to in my last blog post, we’re trying out some new ways to incorporate more affordable types of protein into our diets. I love chicken, but I always end up paying more than I want to. Today I am going to share one of my favourite meatless options with you: chickpeas!
Chickpeas, otherwise known as garbanzo beans, are a great source of protein and they are quite inexpensive. Like many other things I make in the kitchen, I found a way to prepare them in my crockpot – this allows me to have them when I need them without having to pay the price for pre-cooked, canned beans.
I bought a large bag of chickpeas and cooked about 1/3 of the bag. This bag cost me $5.50, and it made 5 jars of chickpeas. Normally, each can of pre-cooked chickpeas costs $0.87-$1.00 per can. If I can make 15 cans of beans for $5.50, this means I’m paying only 1/3 of the price for something that has less preservatives and that I can make myself. That’s a win in my book!
Here’s my simple step by step guide to cooking chickpeas in the crockpot – feel free to use it in your own kitchen!
1. Pick out the shriveled/broken chickpeas.
Place good beans in the crockpot. (I use about 2 cups)
2. Pour water over chickpeas – about 2 inches above the beans.
3. Put crockpot on low for 4-6 hours.
4. Beans are ready when they mush with a spoon or in your mouth (I always taste them to check). They will be doubled or tripled in size.
5. Put beans in plastic or glass jars or Tupperware containers. I freeze them and then pull them out when I need them. Usually half of a jar is enough for one meal for us, so one batch lasts me a few months.
So there you have it – a simple way to make your own meat substitute in a few easy steps!
I use chickpeas in stir-frys and curries instead of chicken (they just soak up the flavour of the sauce, which is great). You can use them in soups, make your own hummus, or put them on salads.
Now it’s your turn – what meat substitutes do you use? I’d love some new ideas – leave me a comment below!