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Fierce Foodie: Mmm, Chickpeas… [Healthy Holidays]

Chickpeas, someone once told me, are just blobs of nothing flavor that no spice or seasoning can penetrate.  In curries they float like impenetrable islands of bland, he complained.  The only way to avoid this was to mash or puree them, which is a time consuming and not particularly fun job, with or without a food processor.

I agreed with this version of events until I tried these crisp and spicy, roasted chickpeas at a friend’s house.   The blah factor had been conquered!  The seasonings had baked into the little balls of mush, transforming them from expansions of blandness into flavorful crunches.  Try this recipe and you’ll have a fun and healthy finger food to share this holiday season.

Spicy Roasted Chickpeas

2 cans (12 oz) of chickpeas

4 Tbsp olive oil

1 tsp salt

1 tsp cumin

pinch of black or cayenne pepper

1 tsp smoked Spanish paprika

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Rinse, drain and blot chickpeas on paper towels.  Toss with olive oil, salt, cumin, pepper, and paprika.  Spread out on cookie sheet covered in foil.  Bake for 15 minutes, then shake the pan to toss the chickpeas, return to oven for another 10-15 minutes (25-30 minutes total).  Chickpeas should be crisp but not burned.  Remove from pan and serve in a bowl.

featured image credit: Jude Doyland