Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Roasty Toasty Crunchity-Crunch Chickpeas

Anyone remember Ren and Stimpy? The best bits of that show were the adverts for products like Log (and Log for girls) and Powdered Toast (“Are you clinging tenaciously to my buttocks?”) or my personal favourite-- Sugar Sod Pops. I loved watching the whole cartoon family chowing down on slabs of earth with that “fresh mown taste” and showing their chlorophyll tinted green smiles to the tune of the incredibly catchy jingle:

If you like grass
If you like dirt
Eat sugar sod pops
It can’t hurt!

And  don’t forget there is a free praying mantis (blink blink) inside specially marked boxes!

Anyway, this has nothing to do with Ren and Stimpy. I just wanted to make some sort of tenuous link between their cleverly named food and my cleverly named new favourite snack.

I give you: Roasty Toasty Crunchity-Crunch Chickpeas. 

 I love a crunchy savoury snack. As I have previously mentioned I could eat my weight in wasabi peas. But I can’t seem to find a brand that doesn’t have palm oil and I try really hard to avoid palm oil if I can as the rainforest is often cut down to make way for palm plantations which displaces many animals and generally pisses me off. I buy a few things that say orang-utan friendly palm oil (meaning  no orang-utans were kicked out of their homes) but wasabi peas generally don’t come with that guarantee. So I figured I could make something cheaper and tastier and possibly healthier.

Then there was a food exchange at work where we all cleaned out our pantries and traded stuff we didn’t want. I gave away all my wheat stuff (bulgur, flour, pasta) as well as some split peas and among the things I got were some dried chickpeas. I have never cooked dried beans before so I was searching for a way to cook them and came across advice for roasting them.

Here is what you need:
1 cup dried chickpeas
1 TB oil
Spices of your choice.

Soak your chickpeas in twice their volume of water for about 14 -15 hours. I put mine on to soak before I went to bed and then let them continue to soak until I got home from work at 2:00. Drain and rinse the chickpeas and put them back in the pot with plenty of clean, cold water and boil rapidly for 10-12 minutes. Then drain and let them dry a bit in the colander whilst the oven preheats to 200C/400F.

Drizzle with 1 TB oil and spices of your choice. I did 3 tsp cajun spices. Then bake for 40 minutes on a baking tray lined with parchment paper and stir every 10 minutes. I know that sounds like a pain, but trust me it is worth it. It is no worse than making party mix from chex cereal. In the end the chickpeas with be dried all the way though and crunchy like popcorn or crisps. Plus you can store them at room temperature in a airtight container. These taste bloody amazing. And a serving is ½ cup (makes 6 servings) and so it will last a week if you are the only one eating it. Spiderman dislikes things that are that crunchy so all the more for me. I did try a second batch with no oil and they were soggy and really stuck to the pan. But I might do a compromise and do less oil. Or not. Really a TB olive oil divided between 6 portions is not that bad and our bodies need fats to help us feel full and lubricate our joints.  

I was thinking of how many combinations of flavours there might be.  So a drizzle of oil plus a TB tamari soy sauce and Chinese 5 spice powder or a TB lime juice and chilli powder or 1 TB malt vinegar and salt or 1 TB maple syrup and a wee bit of powdered ginger? The possibilities are endless.

But no matter how you season them they remain Roasty Toasty Crunchity-Crunch Chickpeas! Nom nom nom! 

1 comment:

  1. wonder how they do the wasabi peas? Are they really green peas, or do they dye chickpeas??? The only dried green peas I have seen are split. I'm going to look for whole ones, which you might do too and see if you can have a go at making your own wasabi peas sans palm oil, using olive oil, which is very good for you. You are right about the oil----definitely a must for our joints, etc. Don't skimp on the olive oil.

    And another possibility is that you could even make wasabi chickpeas with your new method.....a TB of oil and some wasabi paste and stir them up before baking. BON APETIT!