CF, DF, EF, FF, GF, GRF, MF, NUTF, SALF, SOYF, SUF, YF
Soak the chickpeas overnight with water to cover plus 2 inches more water (the chickpeas will expand and soak up the water). Rinse well, then add fresh water to cover and cook the chickpeas for about 1 hour until tender. Drain, reserving the water to use as stock for soups and stews.
Spread the chickpeas in a single layer to cover a mesh dehydrator sheet. Repeat with remaining chickpeas and mesh sheets. Dehydrate chickpeas at 145F for 2-4 hours, then lower to 115F and continue until completely dried.
Let cool, then in small batches of 1-2 cups, grind the chickpeas using a high speed blender on the highest speed to a powder. Use the tamp to help move the chickpeas around until they are powdered. Repeat with rest of ingredients. Store the chickpea flour in a cool, dry place OR in the freezer.
Making your own chickpea flour is very economical and cheap. A big bag of chickpeas costs less than $5. All you have to do is dehydrate the cooked chickpeas (and grind them) to make your own flour.
While you can use canned chickpeas for such a purpose, realize that it will cost you more money, plus canned chickpeas haven't been soaked before cooking (hence will probably give you gas). Indeed, it's actually cheaper to buy chickpea flour than buying canned chickpeas & making your own flour.
Alternatively, you can sprout the chickpeas and then dehydrate them; OR sprout the chickpeas, blanch them for 5-10 minutes (OR cook) and then dehydrate them. Sprouting chickpeas take 1 day and makes digesting them that much easier. Up to you.
Since you're making flour, it's best to cook up a lot of chickpeas and get it done all at once. Use a dehydrator with several trays. Make sure the chickpeas are completely dried before you grind them down. Do note that the blender will heat up, so if you find your flour getting hot and humid, simply place the flour on a solid Teflex sheet and dry the flour. Storing the flour in the freezer will keep your flour fresh.
CHICHERS. A nice added bonus is that the whole dehydrated chickpeas can be eaten as a healthy snack (sometimes they are called chichers OR roasted chickpeas). Flavor the chickpeas with spices (add chickpeas and spices in a bowl and mix together---think of adding a seaweed like powdered kelp, a touch of sea salt, some Mexican spice, a curry spice, chili powder, etc.) then spread a single layer on a mesh sheet and dehydrate until dry. Store in a cool, dry place. Great to eat on the run, at work, on long car rides, etc. Google "roasted chickpea recipes" for ideas. You can also make this num-num snack in the oven :)
Final note: while the best way to dry a lot of chickpeas is using a dehydrator, you can use an oven on the lowest setting (200F and 250F will also work). You'll want to be speading the chickpeas in a single layer on a cookie sheet and rotating the cookie sheets every 30-45 minutes so that they don't burn. Realize that a dehydrator uses both heat and air to dry the beans whereas an oven (unless it's a convection oven) uses only heat, so it will take several hours for the beans to dry. Once dry, let cool, then grind to a flour. You can use a higher setting on the oven of course (say 400F), which will take more like 30 minutes, but you'll have to watch that the beans don't burn!!
Wondering what to make with chickpea flour? Use anywhere you would corn flour: to make tortillas, burritos, pizza dough, flatbreads and even in quick bread recipes like muffin and cookie recipes. For recipe ideas, consider looking into Indian cuisine :)
Chickpea flour is a great way to get in some fiber AND have a grain-free, gluten-free alternative. :) You can try to make other bean flours using lentils, adzuki beans, split peas, etc. If you have digestive issues and are following GAPS, FODMAPS, PALEO-Autoimmune, or have food allergies, sprouting beans first + then cooking is a great idea to ensure maximal digestibility :)
Final tidbit: You can use a grain mill to get a nice, smooth flour. You can also sift your flour before using.
As always, Enjoy :)
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