My favorite versatile ingredient for healthy snacking is chickpeas. For the sake of convenience, I like the kind from a can. They are packed with a lot of salt, but a quick rinse-and-rub will lose most of that. If you have lots more free time than I do, or this is a big deal for you, I'm sure you can prepare your own from dried.
This week, I'm making 2 very different but very simple snacks: roasted chickpeas and hummus. One crunchy and salty and one cool and creamy. The thing they have in common? Lots of health benefits, including dietary fiber, digestive support, increased satiety and decreased risk of cardiovascular diseases. You can read up more about how wonderful chickpeas are, or just read on for a couple amazing ways to prepare them.
Though many of us have been enjoying roasted chickpeas for awhile, they are hitting mainstream and making a big splash for their crunchy texture, flavor versatility and stellar nutrition. This homemade recipe puts them to shame, though :) Obviously, you can use any type of seasoning combination you can think of, but I am particularly fond of this exotic combination.
1 can of chickpeas
1/2 tbsp. coconut oil
1/2 tsp. curry powder
kosher salt, to taste
1. Preheat oven to 400.
2. Drain chickpeas in a colander and rise to remove all the salt and packing juice.
3. Dry chickpeas with a paper towel to remove moisture. The little skins may start to come off - you can continue rubbing until they're all removed, or just bake with them on.
4. Mix chickpeas, oil, curry powder and salt in a large bowl.
5. Dump onto a rimmed baking sheet (or they will try to escape!) and place in preheated oven. Bake 30-40 min. or until chickpeas are thoroughly roasted.
I'm such a sucker for hummus. It's such a great way to punch up plain 'ol veggies and doesn't leave my stomach rumbling like ranch dip. Like the roasted chickpeas, there are a lot of ways to make this your own but one of my favorites is basil. It's a little sweet, a little Italian, a little earthy, and reminds me a little bit of pizza. It's also so stinkin' easy to make - you'll wonder why you ever buy it from the store.
1 cup basil leaves, packed
1 large clove garlic, minced
1 can chickpeas
1/8 cup olive oil
water, as needed
1/8 cup lemon juice
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp tomato paste
Dump the garlic and basil in a food processor or blender and pulse into they're chopped. Dump the chickpeas, oil, lemon juice, salt, and tomato paste in, and blend until almost smooth, adding water as needed.
Serve in a bowl with veggies or with pita wedges. Or smear it on a sandwich. Or just use a spoon :)