Sunday, May 6, 2012

Roasted Chickpeas For Snacks & Salads

roasted chickpeas

Every time I make hummus now, I cook up some extra chickpeas to roast in the oven. Roasted chickpeas are easy to make, and they're great in salads or just as a snack. A little container of them would be a healthy addition to a child's lunchbox. My kids gobble these up, and are always on me to make more if we're out.

To begin, cook up your chickpeas however you like, or use canned if you want. I soak and sprout all my beans and peas for a day or so. To do this, soak chickpeas overnight in dechlorinated water if you have it (click the link to see how I make this for all my sprouting) then sprout for about 36-48 hours, rinsing every 12 hours, until they grow tails about half as long as the bean. With sprouted chickpeas the cooking time is shorter, and sprouting also helps with digestibility. 

sprouted chickpeas
Chickpeas after optional two-day sprouting

Once they're sprouted, I toss them in a crock pot, with water about an inch over the top of the peas. You can of course cook them on a stovetop, but I find that more labor intensive. I love the crock pot method because I can toss everything in and not think about it again for several hours. I cook them on low for probably 6 hours, but crockpots are very forgiving and have a large window of "doneness". Whatever your method, cook until the chickpeas are tender.

crock pot chickpeas garbanzo beans

When they are cool, separate the chickpeas from their liquid, as much as possible. If you are using canned chickpeas, this is where you jump in. You can use a slotted spoon or pour them through a colander. I often add the cooking liquid to my chicken's food, rather than dumping it out. I've also recently started using bean cooking liquid as a soup base.

Heat the oven to 350, while melting some coconut oil or butter on a couple of cookie sheets. I use about two teaspoons of coconut oil on each of my small sheet pans. Just use enough to thoroughly coat the pan, with some extra to coat the peas. Feel free to use your favorite cooking oil. The first time I made these I used bacon fat, and they turned out supremely delicious.

coconut oil for roasting chickpeas
Oven pans with approximately 2 t coconut oil.
When the oil is melted and spread over the pan, place the chickpeas on each tray. Having a small oven, I can only fit about 2 cups of chickpeas on each cookie sheet. If you have full-size cookie sheets, you will be able to cook more at a time. 

Sprinkle the chickpeas with sea salt and pepper. I use about 1/4 t salt and several grinds of pepper per tray. With a spatula, stir the chickpeas up and level them on the tray so they're evenly distributed. Feel free to use any spices or herbs that strike your fancy. I got the idea for making these from this wonderful post by This Chick Cooks, but when I didn't have any of the required spices I improvised. They will be good no matter what you flavor them with! My family is happy with this simple version, but I'd like to try curried chickpeas, and sesame tamari as well.

Bake at 350 degrees, for about 30 minutes. Stir with your spatula occasionally, and a bit more frequently during the second half of baking. I also rotate my pans partway through so they get heated more evenly. Remove from the oven when they look good. Remember, they're already cooked, so this roasting is just about lightly toasting the beans to add flavor and texture.

How long they cook can depend on what you're using them for; they get harder the longer they roast. For a salad, we like them still pretty soft so they are easy to fork.

roasted chickpeas

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