Legumes are one of my favorite foods. They are great in any dish or on their own. I have even seen them used in desserts! Not only are legumes great for their taste and health benefits but they are also a low-cost item that can help stretch your food budget. They are available year round so they are never out of season.
Chick peas are actually a legume and are also known as garbanzo beans. They are tan in color and more round than their bean relatives. When compared to other beans, they have a nuttier taste and firmer texture. Chick peas can be purchased dried or canned. When preparing dried chick peas, be sure to plan ahead as they do require soaking time in addition to the cooking time. If you choose to save time with canned chick peas, rinse them off well to reduce the sodium added during the processing. Like other members of the legume family, chick peas are a great source of both soluble and insoluble fiber, as well as protein, iron, and antioxidants. The combination of protein and fiber can help to stabilize blood glucose levels. They also increase satiety and can encourage a lower overall calorie intake. Chick peas go well in soups and rice dishes. They are also commonly found on salad bars. Chick peas also provide the basis for hummus.
The recipe I am going to share can be eaten as a snack or a meal accompaniment. It is a great snack mix or nut substitute for those with nut allergies. Play around with different seasonings and think outside the salt and pepper box. Cumin, paprika, curry, and cinnamon all add great flavors to this snack so do not limit yourself to the basic seasonings.
Roasted Chick Peas
1/4 dried garbanzo beans OR 1 15.5oz can garbanzo beans
1 teaspoon olive oil
1-2 teaspoons seasoning of choice
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Prepare dried beans according to instructions or drain and rinse the canned garbanzo beans. Place beans on several sheets of paper towels and place several on top. Roll beans until thoroughly dry. Remove any skins that fall off during this process.
Place chick peas, oil, and seasonings in a large bowl. Mix well until seasoning is spread thoroughly. Spread onto a baking sheet, making sure chick peas are in a single layer. Cook in preheated oven for 30 minutes, stirring about halfway through. Cook until the chick peas are brown.
The cooked chick peas stay good for about a day or so, depending on the humidity. After that, they start to lose their crunchiness. Enjoy!