Chickpea Pie

Canned vs Flakes – Sue’s Garbanzo Bean Experiment

March 01, 2018

Canned vs Flakes –

Sue’s Garbanzo Bean Experiment


As I step into a new position at Garden Valley Corporation and start doing some research and development, I realize how much research is actually involved. I find myself scouring the internet for recipes and ideas on how to use products I am very familiar with. I keep finding recipes for Chickpeas AKA Garbanzo Beans from a can, but I use flakes from Garden Valley Corporation, can I use Garbanzo Flakes instead and the recipe turn out the same? Well, I guess it's time for some experimenting! I’m comparing the Garbanzo Bean Flakes from Garden Valley Foods to what is available (and suggested in many recipes) canned garbanzo beans.

Personally, I love garbs! High in fiber and protein, two things I am continually looking to increase in my whole family's diet. Mild in flavor, and light in color. I loooove hummus! If you don’t think you like hummus, try it again.  Hummus has a vast variety of flavors plain, traditional, spicy and even sweet hummus, a recent discovery (recipe to follow!). No matter what the flavor, the hummus almost always has the same base, garbanzo beans aka chickpeas. Luckily for me, my love of hummus started just before I started working for Garden Valley Corporation, the parent company of Garden Valley Foods. So unlike many other people I had the extremely easy, no work involved hummus prep. I just use Garbanzo Bean Flakes, and it's easy breezy. Today I went through what the rest of the world goes through to make hummus. It was quite the experience! I have made PLENTY of recipes with our Garbanzo Bean Flakes, so today I’m starting with the canned garbs. I have never used them before, I have no clue what to expect.


1.  First I have to open the dreaded can, I hate opening cans. It's not even the health concerns that get to me; it's just like nails on a chalkboard. When I was 9, I was clumsy opening a can, way too excited to finally be making something without my mother hovering, and of course, nothing could go wrong, right? I was just making a tuna sandwich. Wrong, somehow that horrid, awful, terrible lid sliced a HUGE gash in my finger. Ever since then cans make me wince.

    Now that the can is open, I officially decided I need to handle this like a scientific experiment. Unbiased, using my senses, making an informed comparison between two products, I decided to go with smell, texture, and taste for my scientific research.

    Smell: Dog food, is that a scientific answer? That is precisely the smell of canned garbs, canned dog food. Now I am questioning how this recipe will turn out. Since I am making two batches of cookie dough pie, I’m going to take them to a potluck tomorrow. Hopefully, both batches turn out well.

    Since I only have experience with flakes from GVF I Google directions on processing canned garbs to hummus.

    2. The next step is to drain, rinse and dry. After rinsing them, it is safe to say the stink of dog food is gone! They do not smell like anything, maybe a little “earthy” but not like dirt.

    3. The next step is to let them dry a little before I pulse them in a food processor, this will make them a very similar texture to re-hydrated flakes. WAIT, STOP, HOLD ON!!! I skipped a step. I have to peel them?!?!?

    They don’t look like they need peeled, maybe I got them already skinned?

    I picked up a bean and pinch the outside a little; sure enough, a translucent, thick shell comes off the bean. Ok, I’m going to time the peeling process. There are not many beans in here so it should be pretty quick. Plus Marshal has the kids on the back patio planting seeds, so the garbs have my undivided attention! 

    Peeling GarbsKid's Cooking, Garbanzo Beans, Chickpeas

    …. 22 minutes later! I am finally done peeling the garbs. They are drying on paper towels while I’m cleaning up the mess. The shells stick to my fingers and don’t want to come off. 


    4. Next step, pulse them in the food processor. They grind up really easy; just a few pulses get them broken up. I smell them one last time just to make sure they have not gotten a scent from being ground up. Nope no scent, so it must have been the brine water? Gross. (Oh, sorry I forgot this was supposed to be scientific.)


    Texture: They have the consistency of moist sand and a grainy texture.

    •  Total time: 30 minutes


    Now let’s move on the Garbanzo Bean Flakes from GVF:

    1. Open the bag.

    Smell: Slightly earthy. Like rice almost, no real scent but almost.


    1. Pulse them in the food processor.

    Texture: After a few pulses in the food processor it is flour, smooth.


    1. I add a little hot water to rehydrate and make it the exact consistency of the canned beans, still no scent.
    • Total time: 3 minutes


    Canned beans took me 10 times the amount of time to prep as the Garbanzo Bean Flakes! I’ll let the nutritional facts and the ingredients speak for themselves:

    Yup that right, our flakes are only garbanzo bean flakes. We do not have the other mystery ingredients that the canned product has. (Maybe that’s what that smell was?)

    Now I continued on with my recipes. I keep the two different types of garbs separate and labeled them so I would not get them mixed up for the end comparison.

    The end result, no one could tell the difference! Not even me! I looked, smelled, and tasted. They are exactly the same except, the canned garbs took longer to prepare and they had additives. The flakes have no additives and were easier to prepare. 

    Garbanzo Bean Flakes win this round!



    Leave a comment

    Comments will be approved before showing up.