What’s salty, crunchy, savory, and a HEALTHY snack?
For the majority of people, this snack is definitely an upgrade from the standard snack of starchy potato chips or salty pretzels. Chickpeas are pretty carb heavy, but with the good kind of carbs, packed with fiber so they digest slower and thus provide slow releasing energy and prevent blood sugar spikes. However, I will briefly mention the potential downside of legumes.
There is a good amount of hate for legumes on the good ol’ internet, and I don’t necessarily agree with all of it. Most of it stems from phytic acid, which is found in grains and legumes. When consumed, phytic acid can bind to nutrients, preventing your body from absorbing all of the nutrients in the legumes/grains. There is also some research that lectin, another component of grains/legumes, may contribute to leaky gut syndrome.
This is what really frustrates me with all the information we have access to: there is someone out there to combat every health claim with reasons why it is actually bad and will kill you. That might be a dramatic interpretation on my part, but it really feels like that sometimes. You try so hard to make good choices, and legitimately eliminate harmful foods by replacing them with healthy alternatives. But indubitably someone will waltz by and tell you that you are wrong, and you should NOT be eating the food you previously thought was healthy. Honestly, this is what delayed my journey towards bettering my diet; I felt like whatever changes I made would be wrong by someone else’s standards, so what’s the point in trying? How sad is that? If you are in a similar situation, please listen closely: IGNORE THE HATERS! Of the hundreds of people I’ve met in my lifetime, I think only one of them would have been capable of changing 100% of their habits to what may be considered “perfection” overnight. For everyone else, it needs to be a slower and consistent change. I’ve watched friends change too many things at once, then get discouraged and quit. There’s also no definitive “perfect” diet. There are some foods that are better than others, but may be impossibly expensive for the average person to purchase. My philosophy has always been to strive towards making better choices tomorrow than you did today. Rejoice in the changes you have implemented, and don’t compare yourself to others. There will always be someone making better choices than you, and likely someone maker poorer choices too. But keep your eyes on yourself and on the prize, and remember why you are making these changes in the first place.
So should you eat legumes? Sure! Like I said, you can work on perfecting your diet in the future, but for now those chickpeas are a great afternoon snack. And there are ways to mitigate the anti-nutrient properties if you’re really concerned, such as soaking and sprouting the beans before baking. Even though some of the nutrients may be bound, you are still getting much more benefit from the chickpeas than you would from potato chips or pretzels.
Enough talking, here’s the recipe!
1 can chickpeas; drained, rinsed, and patted dry
1 tablespoon olive or avocado oil
For savory chickpeas:
1/2 teaspoon of salt, 1 teaspoon each of garlic powder, onion powder, and paprika.
For sweet, sour, and salty chickpeas:
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon white balsamic vinegar (can also you balsamic vinegar or red wine vinegar)
Preheat oven to 425. Combine chickpeas with oil and spices, stirring thoroughly to combine. Spread out on cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Cook for 15 minutes, then removed and shake the pan a few time. Bake for another 10-15 minutes, until golden brown. Remove from oven; if using vinegar, sprinkle it on the chickpeas and stir to evenly distribute. Bake for about a minute, then remove and let cool.
If you are anything like me, you will try to eat these fresh out of the oven. I have a high tolerance for hot foods, and it drives Andrew crazy when I eat these chickpeas before they cool down, because the audibly pop and sizzle in my mouth. But they are so good!
A couple notes: You can absolutely use chickpeas that you have soaked and prepared yourself, here’s how.
I cook my chickpeas to be on the well done side, I can’t stand the texture of them if they are anything but crunchy.
You can experiment with other flavor combinations, go crazy!
Canned chickpeas have lots of salt added, so be conservative with salting the chickpeas before baking, you can always add more after.
If you are not accustomed to eating beans/legumes, maybe don’t eat a whole batch in one sitting. It can be a little…. stressful on your digestive system 😉
Please comment below if you come up with some fun flavor ideas!