Garbanzo beans -- or chickpeas -- are the most commonly consumed legume in the world. Garbanzos are a good source of vitamins B6, C and zinc. They’re high in complex carbohydrates and fiber, and are an excellent source of protein. Chickpeas are a staple in the vegetarian diet and are often eaten in the form in hummus, falafels or curry. They are available year-round both dried and canned. Many home cooks who worry about chemicals in canned goods prefer using dried. A rice cooker is one way to prepare dried garbanzos effortlessly.
Lay out the dry garbanzo beans on a dishcloth, and pick out any debris, stones or damaged beans.
Place the beans in a colander, and rinse them thoroughly under cool, running water.
Soak the beans in a pot of water for at least 4 hours to reduce cooking time and make them easier to digest. Skim off any skins that float to the surface, drain the soaking liquid, and rinse the beans.
Pour your garbanzo beans in the rice cooker bowl, and add water until it covers them by at least 3 inches. For added flavor, use vegetable stock to cook the beans instead of water.
Close the cover on the rice cooker, choose a regular cycle, and set the timer for an hour and a half. During the last half-hour, remove the cover and season the beans with salt.
Test the chickpeas for doneness by poking one or two with a fork. They should be tender and most of the water should be absorbed.
Drain the beans in your colander.