Warning: Once you start eating these Smoky Roasted Chickpeas (garbanzos) the kids won’t even get a look in. Lovely and crunchy with a hint of smoky spice, these are packed full of fibre and protein. Just 1 to 2 tablespoons add up to one of your children’s five a day.
Trying to find healthy snacks for the kids is something of a never-ending mission in our house. If you have a teenager in the house you’ll know that a constant supply of snacks is essential.
I knew I was onto a winner with these Smoky Roasted Chickpeas when my son ignored the packet of crisps in the snack drawer and grabbed these instead.
These are super easy to make, keep for a day or so (if you have the self-discipline not to eat them all in one go) and pack a mighty little punch of nutrition into a very small package. Rich in folate as well as essential bone-building minerals, chick peas, or garbanzo beans, are also high in fibre (and apparently a better kind of fibre than just your average veg) as well as protein. That means you don’t have to worry about spikes in your kids’ blood sugar levels or how much fat or sugar they’re eating.
You’ll find 101 ways to roast chickpeas online. Some swear by using no oil at all, some say you need to smother these in olive oil. Some people recommend adding the spices before they go in the oven, others are absolutely certain that the only way of making these is to add the spices after cooking. So after a little bit of experimenting, I arrived at this recipe that delivers a crispy coating and a lovely smoky flavour that isn’t too rich for younger palates.
Eaten straight from the oven, they’re a lovely crunchy treat. Leave them to cool slightly and they turn a little more chewy and nutty, but still delicious. For these I’ve used smoked sweet paprika (not the hot version, I’ve learned my lesson) which gives a nice hint of the barbecue, but you could easily add whatever you fancy: salt, pepper, dried herbs, garlic salt, a little dash of chilli – whatever your child loves to eat.
The trick to getting the chickpeas really crispy is to make sure they are perfectly dry before they go in the oven. I put mine through a couple of rinsings in a colander and then roll them between clean tea-towels before leaving them to air dry for a couple of minutes. That seems to do the trick.
How long you roast these for will depend on the chickpea! I use a quite large Spanish variety (bought solely because they come in glass jars rather than tins). I also tried this recipe with a supermarket own brand of chickpea which were much smaller, more pea-sized. You can see there’s quite a difference in size in this photo – the ones on the left are the glass-jar ones. Both were great though so I’d say go with whatever you’ve got.
The ones on the left took about 30 – 35 minutes to get really crispy; the tinned ones on the right about 25-30 minutes. You’ll need to shake the baking tray every 10 minutes to stop the chickpeas from burning, so do a taste-test around about the 25 minute mark – if they’re still a little soft, put them back in the oven.
I’ve found that, apart from the salt, adding any spices and herbs is better after the chickpeas come out of the oven. You can either sprinkle directly on to the tray or try using a resealable food bag – pop the spices and herbs inside, pour in the chick peas and give a good shake.
So, these got a 10 out of 10. I was surprised and really delighted. The best thing was that my daughter, who has an ongoing battle with vegetables, didn’t bat an eye when I offered them and promptly said they were delicious.
- 1 tin of chickpeas
- 1 tbsp oil
- generous pinch of salt
- 1/2 tsp sweet smoked paprika
- Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas Mark 6.
- Rinse and drain the chickpeas.
- Dry the chickpeas between two soft tea-towels until completely dry.
- Toss the chickpeas in the oil and salt.
- Scatter on a baking sheet and spread thinly. Give them lots of space.
- Bake in the oven for between 25 to 35 minutes, checking every 10 minutes to give them a good shake and test for crispiness.
- Once out of the oven, scatter salt and paprika over the chickpeas to cover evenly.
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