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Healthy Bites :: Crispy Smoky Chickpeas

Property of The Entertaining House/Jessica Gordon Ryan

Property of The Entertaining House/Jessica Gordon Ryan

With the holidays fast approaching we will be going out more and eating more. Our goal is to provide you with some simple, healthy and easy ideas for snacks, meals, appetizers and hors d'oeuvres that you can eat at home or serve up for friends and family for a holiday meal or a holiday party. I will also be sharing some low carb, lower fat and gluten-free options as well.  

I'm much more of a grazer.  prefer to eat smaller meals throughout the day than to sit down to three larger meals. Crackers, pretzels and popcorn, when eaten in moderation can be good choices, especially when paired with hummus or fresh fruit and veggies. But I have the type of personality where 1 cracker quickly becomes 1 sleeve of crackers! I love salt. I crave salt. But after a while pretzels and popcorn get boring. I happen to adore roasted chic peas. Not only are they delicious but they're packed with magnesium, folate, vitamins and protein. You can either roast them in the oven or on the top of your stove - I think the stove-top version is a bit faster, but I think they tend to get a bit crispier in the oven. I will give directions for both.

Ingredients:

1-2 cans of chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 tbs, maybe a scant more of extra virgin olive oil
Roughly 1/4 tsp of the following:
Sea salt
Paprika or Red curry powder
Cumin
Garlic powder

Stove-top method:

In a skillet add the olive oil and turn the heat up high. 
After a minute or two add a chickpea. If it sizzles add the rest and make sure they are evenly distributed in the pan. Add the spices to taste - I have a rough amount listed above, but feel free to add more or les. Many of them will stick to the oil in the pan. You can always add more, after the fact, if needed. Cook on high about 15 to 20 minutes, stirring gently every few minutes with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula. You will hear the chickpeas start to crackle and pop. As they do move them around gently but give them plenty of time to brown. When they are done they will have a harder exterior and turn a beautiful golden brown. When they look crisp and golden you can transfer them to a bowl and start snacking!

Oven method:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a mixing bowl add the chickpeas and the olive oil and mix well. Then pour the chickpeas on to a baking sheet and distribute evenly. Add the seasonings evenly over all the legumes. Place the baking sheet in the oven and check every 10 minutes or so and stir as needed, with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula, to rotate the chickpeas to ensure that all sides get brown and crisp, about 35 minutes. (You may want to cook them longer.) This method takes a little longer but I do think that the chickpeas do come out a little crisper. 

If this is an early evening snack, I highly recommend a nice glass of wine to accompany these!

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