With two preteens in the house, it seems like someone is always in the kitchen making or eating a snack. Our rule is that healthy snacks are “free”…meaning that you don’t have to ask, and you can have them any time of day. That said, sometimes we just want something crunchy and salty, and it’s tempting to reach for a bag of chips. Of course nuts are great to satisfy that crunchy craving, but what do you do when you have a nut allergic kid? Or, kids who flat out don’t like nuts?
Enter, crunchy roasted chickpeas. They remind me of Corn Nuts (remember Corn Nuts? I remember when they first came out! There I go showing my age…) They’re super-crunchy, and since they are made from whole chickpeas and baked, not fried, you can feel good about letting your kids munch on them as much as they want. They are easy to pack in lunchboxes, or toss a bag in your purse to keep you out of the drive through lane.
I give the recipe here for ranch flavor, using the Buttermilk Ranch mix from Penzey’s Spice Shop. But you can change it up however you like with your favorite spices or blends. Be sure to air dry the rinsed chickpeas on a kitchen towel, if they are wet going into the oven they will pop apart like popcorn, instead of getting crunchy like nuts. Besides the kids LOVING them, they are a perfect complement to a martini or beer!
photo credit Jules