Mmmmmm Mama! You are in for a crispy, crunchy treat this week!
Lately, I’ve noticed myself eating fewer meals and far more snacks. I think this probably has something to do with the warmer weather, as the spring temperatures make me less inclined to weigh myself down with truckloads of calories to “keep warm”. Right. Anyway, I’ve got a great snacking solution for those out there that like savory treats that really deliver – and I’m talking protein and fiber here people.
This weekend I cooked a large bunch of chickpeas to make hummus, but had a few cups leftover with no purpose to speak of. Then I remembered a recipe that had been passed on to me by a friend for roasted chickpeas.
Considering I am one of the chickpea’s biggest fans, I knew that eating them in a whole new way would be a welcome change. And what a surprise I got! They are totally addictive – crispy, crunchy, and spicy, a lot like some of those “other” snacks I used to eat back in the day…like Corn Nuts. Yeah, I used to munch on those after school from time to time. I remember that they made my stomach turn in knots if I ate the whole bag (which I often did), and my tongue would turn funny colours depending on what delectable flavour I had chosen that afternoon. Ah, memories.
While writing this post I decided to pay a visit to the Corn Nuts website to find the nutritional information of their culinary masterpiece. All I can say is, I am really glad my taste buds have become slightly more discriminating, because the idea of putting the following in body makes my skin crawl.
Corn Nuts Ingredients: PEANUTS, CORN, VEGETABLE OIL (SOYBEAN, CORN, PEANUT AND/OR COTTONSEED), WHEAT FLOUR, RICE, CORNSTARCH, SESAME SEEDS, SALT, BULGUR WHEAT, SPICES, ONION AND TOMATO AND GARLIC POWDERS, DEXTROSE, SOY SAUCE (MADE FROM WATER, SOYBEANS, WHEAT, SALT), BUTTERMILK (FROM MILK), MONOSODIUM GLUTAMATE (FLAVOR ENHANCER), YELLOW CORN FLOUR, COCOA, VEGETABLE COLOR (PAPRIKA EXTRACT, BEET POWDER, TURMERIC), TORULA YEAST, DRIED GREEN BELL PEPPERS, SUGAR, NATURAL AND ARTIFICIAL FLAVOR, CORN SYRUP SOLIDS, POTATO FLOUR, CHEDDAR CHEESE (CULTURED MILK, SALT, ENZYMES), CITRIC AND LACTIC AND MALIC ACIDS (FOR TARTNESS, MALTED BARLEY FLOUR, SODIUM DIACETATE (FOR TARTNESS), PARSLEY FLAKES, SODIUM CITRATE (CONTROLS ACIDITY), DISODIUM PHOSPHATE, DISODIUM INOSINATE AND DISODIUM GUANYLATE (FLAVOR ENHANCERS), SODIUM CASEINATE (FROM MILK), MONO- AND DIGLYCERIDES (EMULSIFIER), ARTIFICIAL COLOR (RED 40 LAKE, YELLOW 6), DEGERMED YELLOW CORN MEAL, RED PEPPER EXTRACT, POPPY SEEDS, SOY LECITHIN, SESAME OIL. CONTAINS: PEANUT, WHEAT, SESAME SEED, SOY, MILK, POPPY SEED. MANUFACTURED ON EQUIPMENT THAT PROCESSES TREE NUTS.
The one ingredient I am attacking today is the horrendous cottonseed oil. This is a common ingredient in many processed and packaged breakfast and snack foods because it has a very long shelf life and it incredibly cheap to produce. Cotton is also a crop that is heavily sprayed with pesticides, so the oil of the cottonseeds may very well be contaminated.
On his website, Dr. Andrew Weil answers the question, “Is cottonseed oil okay and do you recommend its use in the diet?”
“Definitely not. As a matter of fact, in my book, Eight Weeks to Optimum Health, one of the first things I ask readers to do is to go through their pantry shelves and throw out anything made with cottonseed oil. I regard it as unhealthy because it is too high in saturated fat and too low in monounsaturated fat. What’s more, cottonseed oil may contain natural toxins and probably has unacceptably high levels of pesticide residues (cotton is not classified as a food crop, and farmers use many agrichemicals when growing it). Be on the lookout for cottonseed oil in packaged foods and avoid products that contain it. Manufacturers like it because it’s cheap, and products that say “may contain one or more of these oils” and list cottonseed, will almost certainly contain it.”
Without further ado, here is a great snack for those of you who enjoy savory treats without the stomach ache, rainbow tongue, or ingestion of said dubious oils. Hooray for you.
3 cups or 2 cans chickpeas – drained, rinsed & patted dry
4 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp. coarse sea salt
1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper (or less if you like – these are pretty spicy)
2 tsp. dried thyme
1 cup shelled pistachios
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. Place the chickpeas in a medium bowl and discard any loose skins. Toss with olive oil, salt, black pepper, cumin & cayenne until evenly coated.
3. Spread the chickpeas on a large rimmed baking sheet and bake, stirring occasionally, until golden and crisp. This takes about 25 minutes.
4. Remove from the oven and add the pistachios and thyme. Bake until crunchy, about 10 minutes more. Let cool and serve at room temperature.