Fresh, Dried, & Canned Garbanzo Beans

With a little luck, you might be able to find fresh chickpeas or garbanzo beans at a local farmers market in the summer. These green peas inside their fuzzy pods might look pretty different from the canned variety available at most supermarkets, but they’re just the raw, fresh version. Keep reading to learn the difference between raw, fresh, and canned chickpeas.

Garbanzo Beans & Chickpeas

Chickpeas are widely available in cans, dried, or—of course— blended into hummus. All of these products start as fresh chickpeas on a vine.

Chickpeas—or as they are sometimes known, garbanzo beans—were first domesticated almost 7,000 years ago in Western Asia. Today, they are grown almost everywhere in the world. The earliest hummus recipe we have is from the 13th century, but it’s a good bet people were eating some version of mashed up chickpeas long before then.

Chickpeas are a staple of many global cuisines. They’re the star of hummus and falafel. You’ll find dried chickpeas in Middle Eastern salads, Spanish tapas, Portuguese soups, Philippine desserts, and Indian dishes like chana masala. Dried chickpea flour is also a key ingredient in a traditional French flatbread from Nice, socca, and in the Indian fritters called pakoras.

fresh garbanzo beans

Farmers across Europe and Asia have cultivated chickpeas for centuries, but it’s a relatively newer crop in the U.S. The American chickpea harvest saw a huge spike 2012, when it increased by more than 50 percent from the year before. Currently, most American chickpeas are grown in the Pacific Northwest.

How to Cook Fresh Garbanzo Beans

Fresh garbanzo beans need to be cooked. On their own, the raw peas would be difficult to digest. Cooking green chickpeas is simple. Just cover them in two inches of water and simmer for 25-35 minutes. A longer cooking time will yield softer, creamier beans perfect for hummus or soups. A shorter cooking time will result in firmer beans better suited for salads. Check the pot occasionally to make sure that the water hasn’t boiled away.

Read more: Mushroom & Sweet Potato Shepherd’s Pie with Fresh Green Garbanzo Beans

Dried Chickpeas vs Canned

Vegetarian Shepherds Pie with Fresh Green Chickpeas

Fresh chickpeas are picked while they are still green and in the pod. Dried chickpeas are left on the vine until both the plant and the bean have dried out. Dried garbanzo beans are usually the ones that get cooked and canned or turned into hummus.

Canned chickpeas are cooked and seasoned with salt prior to canning. Dried chickpeas are sold in a raw, dehydrated form. Before serving at home, they’ll need to be both rehydrated and cooked. This can be done by soaking the chickpeas in water for several hours before cooking, or by simmering over low heat for an extended time (exact time may vary depending on the age and dryness of the beans).

Canned chickpeas are ready to eat at a moments notice. This makes them useful solutions for a quick meal. Dried chickpeas have the advantage of being very inexpensive, and giving the cook more control to choose their desired texture and to add their own seasonings. Both options can lead to amazing meals.

Find your new favorite chickpea recipe in the Blue Apron Cookbook.

All About Furikake Seasoning & How To Use It

What is furikake 

Furikake seasoning is one of those ingredients that does your work for you. All you have to do is add a few teaspoons to the top of your dish, and you’ll instantly boost the flavor, texture, and appearance of whatever you’re serving. 

Generally, furikake is a savory mix of sesame seeds, seaweed, and salt that is used as a finishing touch on meals. The mixture can also include bonito, kombu, shiso leaves, and other dried herbs. 

The name furikake comes from the Japanese word for sprinkles, and that’s exactly how we think of this savory, nutty seasoning mix. A sprinkle of furikake is an easy way to add flavor and texture to rice dishes, stir-frys, grain bowls, or countless other meals. The toasted sesame seeds add a satisfying crunch, while the herbs and seaweed bring in savory complexity. As an added bonus, this colorful mixture will make any meal look beautiful on your plate. 

How to make furikake seasoning

It’s easy to find furikake in a store (or in your Blue Apron box!), but you can also recreate this savory seasoning at home with the right ingredients. Here are some things you can add to your homemade furikake 

  • Toasted sesame seeds 
  • Sheets of nori, cut or processed into small pieces 
  • Flaky sea salt
  • Kombu, process into small pieces 
  • Bonito flakes 
  • Dried shiso leaves 

After you’ve assembled your ingredients, chop or pulse larger seasonings until everything is roughly the same size (use sesame seeds as a guide). Store in a sealed jar, and bring it out whenever your dinner needs a kick. 

How to use furikake 

Furikake is the perfect topping for meals looking for a little pop of texture. Here are some ways we like to use furikake. Start with these ideas, then let your imagination run wild!

  • Sprinkle on avocado toast 
  • Top off tofu dishes 
  • Finish rice and poke bowls 
  • Add crunch to stir-frys 
  • Top off fish dishes 

Recipes with furikake seasoning

Pork & Vegetable Lo Mein with Furikake Seasoning

Pork & Vegetable Lo Mein with Furikake

Furikake-Topped Salmon with Edamame & Noodles

Furikake seasoning Topped Salmon with Fresh Edamame & Miso-Sesame Black Noodles

Vegetable & Freekeh “Fried Rice” with Furikake

Vegetable & Freekeh “Fried Rice” with Peanuts & Furikake

Hoisin-Glazed Pork with Furikake Potatoes 

Hoisin-Glazed Pork & Gochujang Mayo with Furikake Potatoes & Snow Peas