Do you desire to snack guilt-free? Who doesn’t! It was on this quest that I discovered the recipes I am sharing today. Packed with flavor, you can munch on these tasty nuggets without the need for confession. If you have not already met, allow me to introduce “roasted garbanzo beans.” You heard me right. With their versatility and natural nutty flavor, they make the perfect vehicle for your favorite flavor profiles or spice blends.
Garbanzo beans are also called chickpeas or in Italy, ceci beans. Regardless of what you call them, they have great nutritional value and are packed with protein and fiber; they will actually tide you over until your next meal. In addition, they’re high in iron and magnesium, so you’re seriously helping your body out by indulging in these bite-sized bursts of flavor! An added bonus is the simplicity of the recipe and the endless ways to change it up. Minimal effort, maximum payoff, that’s what I am talking about.
I have always loved this round buff-colored legume and grew up seeing it as a staple in my family’s pantry. Used extensively in Mediterranean, Indian and Middle Eastern cuisines, they are so versatile and have found their way into Spanish stews, Italian minestrone and various Mexican dishes. Their popularity in many parts of the Western and Southwestern United States has contributed to the discovery of new ways to prepare and elevate this humble bean.
My first experience with the “ceci” as a snack food came a few years ago when I came across this recipe for seasoning and then deep-frying until golden and crispy. I fell in love with the flavor but was not so keen on the process of deep-frying. Searching for an alternative I discovered you can achieve the same level of crispy and deliciousness by roasting, cutting back significantly on the amount of oil and time needed. I have made them using three different seasonings which I will share but I do encourage you to play around and see what you can come up with.
Here is how it went down.
Curried Roasted Chickpeas Serves 4-6
- 2 (15 oz.) cans chickpeas a.k.a. garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 1/2 teaspoons curry powder
- 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lime juice
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- Preheat oven to 400 F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Once you have thoroughly rinsed and drained chickpeas, place them on a clean dish towel, wrap up the towel and rub them together to remove outer skins and to make sure they’re fully dry. Note: if they’re still wet, they won’t be as crispy.
- Transfer chickpeas to a large bowl and stir in olive oil, lime juice, curry powder, chili, powder, paprika and cayenne. Mix together so everything is coated.
- Pour chickpeas out into a single layer on lined baking sheet, then place in oven and bake for 40 minutes, or until crispy.
- Remove from oven and season with salt. Let cool or serve immediately.
2T extra-virgin olive oil
1 ½ T ground coriander
1T ground cumin
½ – 1t cayenne pepper, optional (this is my contribution of you want some heat)
Another option (again following the same process for preparation):
2T extra-virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic crushed or pressed
2-3T Parmesan cheese
1T Dried Italian herb blend or Herbes de Provence
These are an addictive snack. The nutty flavor and crunch keeps you going back for more. They make a great cocktail munchie in place of, or in addition to, nuts or chips. Although they are still tasty the following day, they are best served within and hour or two of taking them out of the oven. This will provide for maximum crunch which is a big part of their charm.
Always searching for healthy snacks, I am happy to report that these have been embraced by the younger set. After school or in the lunch box, your kids will be happy to see these on the table. I encourage you to make them with the kids and have them come up with their favorite flavor profiles.
Speaking of kids, we had our ten-year old grandson, Henry, here this week. He is the one who asked for a Kitchen Aid stand mixer last summer, so of course time in the kitchen was on the agenda along with trombone lessons from grandpa. We were all spreading the love. You hear a lot about formulas for maintaining your youth but I think surrounding yourself with youthful energy and sharing experiences just may be the perfect solution. I do hope you spend time this week with those you hold closest and that you keep spreading the love, one dish or shared experience at a time. Often it is the simple things that mean the most. Until next time, wishing you healthy snacks and lots of love. Jeanne