My obsession with chickpeas continues. They can add a nutrient-packed punch to baking, but also make an especially good snack once roasted. Fresh and warm from the oven, they are delightfully crispy. Once cool they soften slightly but become addictively chewy.
The recent focus on ‘superfoods’ is helpful in introducing new ingredients and ideas to Britain’s kitchens, but it does mean we often forget the benefits of more ‘everyday’ foods. Chickpeas definitely fall into this category: everyday and overlooked. They’re a familiar food, easily identifiable and don’t require much in the way of preparation. More importantly, unlike some health foods that are prohibitively expensive, chickpeas are very affordable.
Chickpeas are an ancient legume and one of the earliest cultivated legumes we know of. Grown across the world, they star in dishes across Europe, the Indian subcontinent and the Middle East. One thing I love about chickpeas? That I’ll often find a can languishing at the back of the store cupboard – they’re always on hand – a reliable friend in the pantry when I’m at a loss of what to cook.
For this particular recipe (I hesitate to call it that given its simplicity), the only other thing you need is some olive oil and whichever seasoning you fancy for that particular batch. Here are some suggestions:
- lemon juice and cayenne pepper
- garam masala and cumin powder
- garlic and chilli powder
- soy sauce and sesame oil
- lime juice, black pepper and coriander
- cinnamon, nutmeg and honey
- garlic and parmesan
The options are endless – make this recipe your own!
I personally love to nibble on them throughout the day – they’re a far healthier snack than crisps or crackers. However, you could also really celebrate them by using as an alternative to croutons on a salad. They add interest, texture and lots of flavour.
2 240g tins chickpeas
sea salt to taste
2-3 tbsp olive oil
seasoning of choice
- Preheat oven to 200 degrees Celsius.
- Line a medium sized baking tray with parchment paper.
- Drain and rinse the chickpeas.
- Lay them out on a kitchen towel, then pat dry with another kitchen towel.
- Transfer the chickpeas into a mixing bowl and add the olive oil and salt.
- Mix by hand to ensure even distribution of oil.
- Transfer the chickpeas to the baking tray and bake for 25-30 minutes until they have darkened slightly. Keep the mixing bowl aside. Some may pop in the oven – this is nothing to worry about.
- Once baked, transfer the chickpeas back to the mixing bowl along with the seasoning. Toss both together.
Kumud Gandhi is a Nutritional Food Scientist bestselling Author, Broadcaster, and Keynote Speaker on the subject of nutritional health for productivity & performance in the workplace. In 2010 Kumud founded ‘The Cooking Academy’ a cookery school that focusses on cooking for nutritional health and wellbeing. Kumud regularly presents to international audiences on a variety of topics such as ‘Eating for Immunity and a Lifetime of Wellness’. She is an expert in the field of Wellness in the Workplace and works with organizations to create transformational change in employee health & well-being through nutrition and health coaching.