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I am a mom to twin boys, full-time employee of a telecommunications company and wife to a professional musician. I work, do yoga, cook and try to squeeze in DIY projects and spending time with friends.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Best Snack Ever! Crunchy Chickpeas!

I know, I know.... best ever?  A wee bit of hyperbole for a snowy day?

I think not.

These are awesome.  Sweet or spicy, and definitely crunchy.  And unlike many of the recipes I've seen on the interwebs, these STAY crunchy for days... not that they last that long.

Crunchy yummy goodness.
As a bonus, these are healthy, full of fiber and vegetarian.... and gluten free depending on your seasonings. No guilt, all goodness.  And did I mention delicious?!

I've made multiple batches, and the best came when I started with dried chickpeas*, not canned.  It might be a coincidence that these were the best batches, but it's not much harder to start with dried, and you get the chance to make so many more.... so I'll always start there.

Crunchy Chickpeas
1lb dried chickpeas
10-12 cups water

1.  Rinse dried chickpeas and pick through them, discarding any discolored ones or stones that found their way into the bag.  Place chickpeas in slow cooker, cover with water, then cook on high for five hours until tender.

2.  Drain, and spread in a single layer on a cookie sheet(s) lined with paper towels/cloth.  Rub chickpeas gently to remove liquid, and pick out any skins that come off-- no need to skin them if the skins hold on.
*Suggestion 1:  1lb chickpeas = 2 full cookie sheets.  These need some elbow room.
*Suggestion 2:  Leave the chickpeas in a colander or on a cloth for a few hours/overnight... let evaporation do some of the drying for you

3.  Heat oven to 400 degrees.  Use the convection setting if you have one.  Line cookie sheet(s) with parchment paper and spread chickpeas on top in a single layer.  No need for oil or flavors yet... just chickpeas!  Place the cookie sheet in the over and set the timer for ten minutes.

4.  When the timer goes off, shake the pan, then put it back in the oven and set the time for another ten minutes.  Repeat two more times (a total of 40 minutes)

5.  After 40 minutes, the chickpeas should be nicely browned, and if you eat one, it should be crunchy all the way through, and not at all soggy.  If it's still not crunchy, try another five minutes before proceeding.

6.  And now... seasonings!  During one of the ten minute baking rounds, mix up seasonings in a bowl large enough to hold your chickpeas.  Here are some suggestions:

Spicy:  1/2 Tbsp (or more) Sriracha, 1 Tbsp olive oil, 1 tsp line juice 1/2 tsp sweet paprika, 1/2 tsp salt
Flavorful: 1 Tbsp olive oil, 1 tsp each smoked paprika and cumin, 1/2 tsp salt
Sweet: 2 Tbsp honey, 1 tsp cinnamon, 1/4 tsp nutmeg, 1/2 tsp salt
Sweet II: 1 Tbsp maple syrup, 1 tsp cinnamon sugar, 1 pinch cayenne pepper, 1 pinch salt
Tons of seasoning suggestions on the web... just make sure you dry roast them first following the instructions here to make them crunchy crunchy crunchy!

7.  Pour chickpeas into seasonings and mix until coated, then return the chickpeas to the oven (on the parchment covered cookie sheet) for another five minutes.  With wetter seasonings like the sweet combo above, you may need to make it ten minutes to bake the seasoning onto the chickpeas.  Keep an eye on them to ensure your creation does not burn!

8.  Important last step.... when done, turn off the heat and crack the oven door.  Leave the chickpeas in the oven until cold.  I don't know if this is necessary, but my chickpeas are awesome and I will continue to do it until someone tests it another way and tells me it definitely works :-)

When cool, store in a tightly covered container-- jar, glass bowl, plastic or whatever.  I understand these can be frozen also, but mine never make it that long.

Enjoy the deliciousness!

*chickpeas = garbanzo beans.  Same thing... main ingredient in hummus and falafel.  Sold canned or dried, in the grocery section with beans.  You'll need a larger and/or healthier store to find dried garbanzos.
** Post updated 3/30/14 to reflect that fact that drying these like crazy using tons of paper towels is not necessary is you follow the rest of the directions.  I did my last batch by defrosting cooked chickpeas for a few hours on the counter, then roasting them with nary a paper towel involved.  They came out great!

Credit to for introducing me to the idea of dry roasting the chickpeas, and for the bones of the Sriracha Lime seasoning combo.

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