Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Snacking on Roasted Garbanzo Beans

I am ever on the hunt for really crunchy, low carb snacks. As it happens, one of my gigs is to manage social media for the American Personal & Private Chef Association so I'm also always on the hunt for great content to share. My twin searches collided about a week ago when I came across a recipe from An Edible Mosaic for Falafel-Spiced Roasted Chickpeas, which I happily shared on the APPCA's Facebook and Twitter feeds. Perfect! They're low in carbs and fat, high in fiber, and taste delicious. Snack on them with a cocktail or cup of tea, add them to salads or top a creamy soup. 

Then I got to thinking. How else could one flavor roasted garbanzo beans?

So, instead of focusing the flavor on cumin and coriander, I opted for smoked paprika and sumac. Like An Edible Mosaic, I chose the "quick" route of roasting at a high temperature. But when the current heat wave in Southern California is over, I'm also going to give low and slow a try, hoping that I'll end up with more flavor and--with a gradual drying out of the beans--greater and more long lasting crunch, a result similar to roasted chickpeas I used to buy in Italian grocery stores in Boston's North End.

But this technique works very well and delivers a splendid healthy snack. If you want to go all out, buy dried beans, soak them overnight, and cook them up before roasting. If you haven't the time or inclination, canned beans are just fine and prep will take no time at all. Just be sure to rinse them thoroughly to remove as much salt as possible so you can add your own much better tasting sea salt.

Smoked Paprika and Sumac Roasted Garbanzo Beans
Adapted from An Edible Mosaic
(printable recipe)

1 15-ounce can of garbanzo beans (chickpeas), rinsed and drained
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika (sweet or spicy, depending on your preference)
1/2 teaspoon ground sumac
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Thoroughly dry the garbanzo beans using a paper towel.

In a medium-size bowl, thoroughly mix all of the ingredients, being sure that all the beans are covered in the spices and oil.

Spread the beans in a single level on a quarter sheet pan and roast in the oven for 40 minutes. Halfway through, shake up the beans so that they are fully exposed to the heat.

Remove when they're nicely browned and crisp. Let cool enough so they don't burn your tongue, but they're best and most crispy right out of the oven. Note that they will soften overnight.

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