No Labor Required

Crispy, salty and crunchy.

Sometimes that's what I crave. Granted, it's not often though since my sweet tooth is generally at full tilt. But on occasion nothing beats a crispy, salty and crunchy treat. Because I shy away from potato chips and the like, I do keep my eyes open for something a little healthier.

Imagine my surprise and interest when I saw a new post on Jaden Hair's Steamy Kitchen food blog talking about these Crispy Roasted Chickpeas. I've got to admit that it was the chickpeas that got me, as opposed to the crispy roasted concept.

I could eat chickpeas or garbanzos every day. Falafel is my all-time favorite meal and hummus runs a close second, so what did I really have to lose in trying out this new dish? Worst case scenario, I was out a 99 cent can of garbanzos. And I have made much more expensive food failures...but we won't talk about that today, now will we?

Much to my surprise these Crispy Roasted Chickpeas are wicked good and guilt-free. I admittedly ate half of what was on the baking sheet (which is half a can) after I salted and seasoned them with Old Bay...and I could have eaten it all, but wanted to save some for David. Even more than that, these tasty, little, crispy (did I mention addictive?) nuggets of protein really deserve to be consumed alongside a very cold beer or glass of vino.

On this Labor Day holiday weekend, I can think of nothing less laborious to put together to serve with an adult beverage.

Honestly, though, these are best eaten when they are hot or still warm and freshly salted and seasoned. As they get cold, they tend to turn dry and mushy. A perfect excuse to eat them all right from the oven!!

Buen provecho!

Roasted Chickpeas (Garbanzo Beans)
The Cowgirl Gourmet borrowed this recipe directly from Jaden Hair of Steamy Kitchen 

These satisfying little nuggets of protein are a great alternative to potato chips, pretzels or anything else crunchy that may not be that good for you. And what I love is that now I've made them, I can get wild and crazy about the flavor combinations. There's a website called the kitchn that lists seasoning combos for crispy chickpeas (as well as a slightly different cooking method), so see what ideas you can get from this site and make your own batch...though I would likely use two cans of garbanzo beans next time instead of one, especially if there's more than two of us.

One 15-ounce can chickpeas/garbanzo beans, No Salt Added if you can find it
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
Kosher salt
Spice blend of your choice (this could be chile powder, cumin, garlic, chopped rosemary, smoked paprika, curry powder, Old Bay seasoning)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Drain the can of garbanzo beans in a strainer and rinse with water to clean off the beans. Let the beans sit in the strainer for a few minutes to drain off the water and then shake and tap it carefully to ensure most of the water has drained.

Lay several paper towels on a baking sheet and pour the beans onto the towels. Use another paper towel to gently press and absorb any leftover water that may remain on the beans. Roll the beans around with the paper towel to also remove the thin skin from any of the beans. Discard the skins and the paper towels.

Drizzle the olive oil over the beans and use your hands or a spatula to toss around and coat. Roast for 30-40 minutes until the beans are a deep golden brown and crunchy. Make sure that the beans do not burn.

Season with salt and spice blend and for best results eat soon thereafter...with a cold beer or glass of wine.

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