Chickpeas- what’s not to love? For years I ate hummus and enjoyed its delicious deliver, completely unaware of its origins; but as I grew into my healthy lifestyle I desired to explore the glory of the chickpea.
Chickpeas are incredibly high in fiber; two cups of this power packed bean amounts to our daily requirement of fiber. And considering most people don’t get enough fiber, chickpeas are a meaty and versatile alternative. In addition to being a fiber dynamo, chickpeas were found to help with blood fat regulation, lower LDL (bad) cholesterol, and triglycerides; and the benefits associated with eating chickpeas start taking effect quickly- in as little as one week, people experienced improved blood sugar and insulin secretion- 1/3 cup is all that is needed to reap the blood sugar related benefits!
Back to the fiber for a minute, chickpeas are nearly 75% insoluble fiber, meaning 75% of what we consume makes it all the way to the, ahem, end; and due to their abundance of short chain fatty acids, they help fuel our stomachs cellular wall, which reduces our risk for colon upsets such as The Big C- cancer.
In addition to boosting digestion and regulating our blood sugar; chickpeas are also a rich source of non-heme iron, which our bodies need to oxygenate themselves. And women should LOVE chickpeas; because for those of us who resolved to conceive this year, chickpeas are abundant in folate; critical in pregnancy for the proper development of red blood cells.
I ate chickpeas very little last year; for some reason they kept getting by passed in favor of cannellini’s or edamame’s. This year I vowed to explore the glorious chickpea to its full extent. On the second day of this New Year I decided to roast these babies to crispy perfection- and they were just that, perfect! As a warning, make very sure that the chickpeas are completely dry prior to roasting; and that they are completely cool before storing- or face a soggy, yet flavorful, bite.
3 cups cooked chickpeas
2 tbsp coconut oil, melted
1 ½ tsp chili powder
1 ½ tsp smoked paprika
½ tsp salt
1 lemon, grated
1 tsp fresh thyme, chopped
Preheat the oven to 425o Celsius.
Line a baking sheet with the dried chickpeas and bake in a single layer for 10 minutes; shake the pan and bake for another 10 minutes until the chickpeas are crispy. KEEP YOUR EYE ON THEM, to ensure they do not burn. Meanwhile, combine the coconut oil, chili powder, paprika, salt, lemon and thyme; in a bowl combine the chickpeas with oil/seasoning mixture and toss until they are coated. Return them to the baking pan and roast for another 5 minutes.