My current office is a snack paradise. There are biscuits and sweeties galore, which is dangerous if you don’t have much will power (ie. me). I’ve realised, since I’ve worked here, that hunger can be psychological. I’m not necessarily hungry until I see the biscuit tin or until I hear one of my colleagues crunching through some crisps. Of course, writing about food regularly adds to my appetite too.
I’ve developed an arsenal of healthy snacks to keep me on the straight and narrow. Rice cakes are on hand for their satisfying crunch rather than flavour (as they don’t really have any of the latter but tons of the former). Rye crisp breads with dried fruit come in handy when I have a biscuit craving and I always have fresh seasonal fruit too. Sometimes I have a clamouring for something savory to pick at and my normal (thoroughly addictive) go to is cashew nuts but though they are choc ful of great things like protein, they are relatively high in fat. So when I saw healthy snack chat on BBC Good Food's facebook page, I had to see what everyone was nibbling on. Karolina from lovely Senses in the Kitchen blog put forward an amazing recipe for roasted chickpeas, which I just had to try out.
Chickpeas are a great source of protein without the fat that's associated with nuts. They also have iron, folic acid and fibre tucked away under their skins. I think this would work with any fresh or dried herbs and spices that you might have. I used chilli and paprika as the main flavours but you could use harissa for a Morrocan vibe or go sweet with cinnamon, nutmeg and a little honey. Change it up with different oils as a base - I used olive oil but sunflower, rapeseed or walnut would also work well. Chickpeas are a fantasticly versatile base for flavour plus they're part of a deal at Sainsburys at the moment where you can get 3 cans for £1 - a saving of 80p (more than a whole can free!). Everyone might be talking about kale crisps but we know where the real flavour is at...
Spicy Roasted Chickpeas
1 can (410g) ready to eat cooked chickpeas
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp hot chilli powder
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp garlic salt
1 tsp ground coriander
½ tsp ground cumin
Pinch of ground mace
Ground black pepper to taste
- Preheat the oven to 180C.
- Drain the chickpeas and rinse well in a colander, picking out any skins or green/grey chickpeas.
- Put into a large bowl and add the oil and spices.
- Stir thoroughly so that each pea is coated in oil and spices.
- Taste and adjust the seasoning depending on your preferences.
- Spread the chickpeas on a baking tray. Gently shake the tray from side to side so that the chickpeas lie in one layer.
- Roast for 30 – 40 minutes until the peas are slightly crunchy.