My husband and I come from two different worlds: a potato chip world and a tortilla chip world. I distinctly remember the moment we realized this, on our honeymoon, deep in a Whole Foods vortex deciding which chips to buy for our three-week road trip across California. We were undoubtedly surprised and perhaps a little dismayed that we had committed our lives to each other without discussing this one rather important preference, but in the spirit of everlasting love and compromise, we pretended like it was no big deal. We bought two bags of chips and ate them separately. We remain happily married to this day.
I guess growing up in North America has had a real influence on me (shocking, I know). Tortilla chips and salsa was a classic childhood snack, especially at backyard barbeques, birthday parties and sleepovers. We would take a family-size bag out on picnics, road trips, and sometimes my dad would toss a few in my lunchbox, right beside the Wonderbread sandwich and fun fruits. Not joking. Anyway, I don’t really eat a lot of chips these days (another shocker), but that doesn’t mean that the occasional one doesn’t somehow sneak past my lips from time to time. I’m only human.
This idea to make tortilla chips from chickpea flour literally came out of nowhere. I don’t even remember what I was doing when the lightening bolt struck me, but it was fast and furious and I dropped absolutely everything to make them immediately, almost like I didn’t want the inspiration to get away on me! Thirty minutes later, the chips were in my belly. So fast and easy, I couldn’t believe it. Which lead my overly-excited mind, hepped on folate and molybdenum, to turn towards nachos. I mean, why wouldn’t I go there?
These chickpea tortilla nachos are crisp and golden, just like tortilla chips, but with a more satisfying and substantial heft to them, delivered by pure chickpea goodness. They are so filling and rich that it’s impossible to overeat them (that is not a challenge). And with really just two ingredients, how can you go wrong?! I’m going to experiment with making large rectangular flatbreads out of this dough too, which will be prefect for lunches, maybe with some seedy add-ins, spice blends, and I am dying to try a Doritos knock-off! I have a Cool Ranch makeover itch that needs to be scratched, if you know what I’m sayin’.
If you’re an enthusiastic snacker like myself, you’ll relate to the challenge in finding snacks that are balanced, healthy, and actually sustain you for some time until the next meal. “Food satiety”, is the measure of how full food makes us feel and how long it keeps our appetite at bay. Although calories definitely contribute to the of feeling fullness, a high calorie count does not always reflect the satiating power a food has. Factors that effect food satiety also include fiber, protein, and water content. And it is surprising that high fat foods, which are typically very caloric, tend to have lower satiating power.
Because of their high fiber and protein content, along with their remarkable ability to stabilize digestion, chickpeas and things made with chickpea flour (like these chickpea tortilla nachos) fall into the category of serious filler-uppers, even though they only contain a moderate amount of calories. It’s a win-win. One serving of these chips (about one-quarter of the recipe / 12 chips) delivers 11 grams of protein (!!!) and 5 grams of fiber for under 300 calories. Not that I am a numbers girl at all, it can be helpful to take note of these things, especially if you are someone interested in weight management.
Other snacks that rank high on the food satiety scale are popcorn, pears, raspberries, oatmeal, beans, avocado, and chia seeds. Fill up on these guys to get, well, full.
If you’re buying chickpea flour for the first time, know that it’s available at most health food stores and natural grocers, where it can sometimes be sold under the names garbanzo bean flour and cici flour. Your most reliable source however, is an Indian grocer or market, where it is typically labeled besan or gram flour.
So yea, nachos. The chips kind of demanded it. And I had more legal fun making a mountain of food than you could ever imagine. Layer upon layer of black beans, lime, avocado, onion, toasted pumpkin seeds, chili…bah! And the cilantro avocado crema is soooo delicious – not essential – but a major flavour and texture bonus. You can dollop it throughout the nacho pyramid as you build, kind of like tasty spackle, or put the crema into a squeeze bottle for drizzle fun. Everyone loves drizzle fun. The plate comes together like you’re witnessing some sort of awesome miracle take place, and then you get to eat it.
And just for the record my potato chip-loving husband devoured these tortilla chips. He would like to add that he is not a convert, just appreciative.
Chickpea Tortilla Chips
Makes about 50 chips
2 cups / 250g chickpea flour
1 ½ tsp. fine sea salt
1 tsp. freshly cracked black pepper
1 tsp. baking powder
¼ cup / 60ml coconut oil, melted
4-6 Tbsp. warm water
1. Sift the chickpea flour, salt, pepper and baking powder into a large mixing bowl. Add the coconut oil and mix with your hands until the dough is crumbly. Add ¼ cup / 60ml warm water and stir until the dough comes together. If the dough is not sticking together add more water, a teaspoon at a time, until it does. Do not overwork the dough.
2. Preheat oven to 350°F / 175°C.
3. Place the ball of dough onto a sheet of baking paper and flatten into a rough disc. Place another sheet of baking paper on top of the dough and using a rolling pin, roll out as thin as possible – I cannot emphasize this enough (if you don’t have large baking sheets, it may help to divide the dough in half and work in two batches). The thinner the dough, the lighter and crispier your chips will be. Remove the top layer of baking paper and score the dough into triangles. Slide the baking paper and dough onto a baking sheet and place in the oven. Bake for 10-13 minutes until the chips are golden around the edges.
4. Enjoy chips warm on a nacho plate, or once completely cool, transfer them to an airtight container where they will keep for up to two weeks.
Avocado Cilantro Crema
Makes about 1½ cups
1 small clove garlic
2 large, ripe avocados
2 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lime juice
a couple pinches sea salt
a pinch ground cayenne pepper, if desired
1 tsp. pure maple syrup
water to thin, as needed
3 Tbsp. cilantro leaves, minced
1. Place the clove of garlic in the food processor and pulse to mince.
2. Cut avocados in half, remove the pit and scoop the flesh into the food processor. Add the lime juice, salt, cayenne, maple syrup and blend on high until smooth. Add water to thin as needed, and blend. Next add the cilantro leaves and pulse just until combined. Season to taste, adding more salt or lime juice as desired. Store leftovers in an airtight glass container in the fridge for up to three days (however, fresh is best).
Nachos with Chickpea Tortilla Chips
1 batch Chickpea Tortilla Chips (about 50 chips)
1 batch Avocado Cilantro Crema
1 ½ cups / 225g black beans (about 1 can)
1 Tbsp. cold-pressed olive oil
1 lime, divided
½ ripe avocado
½ small red onion
2 Tbsp. pumpkin seeds
sprouts of your choice
crushed chili flakes for garnish
1. Combine the black beans with the olive oil and the juice of half a lime. Stir and season to taste. Mince the red onion.
2. In a dry skillet over medium heat, toast pumpkin seeds stirring often, until they are fragrant, about 3-5 minutes. Remove form heat, let cool, and roughly chop or pound in a mortar and pestle (optional).
3. Place about one quarter of the chips on a plate. Top with the black beans, a few dollops of crema, a sprinkling of onion, pumpkin seeds, sprouts and cilantro. Repeat with another three layers of chips and toppings until you have used everything up. Garnish with half an avocado, sliced, a squeeze of half a lime and a sprinkling of crushed chili flakes. Devour immediately, rejoice!
I hope you guys dig this recipe as much as I do. These chips are going to be a new staple in my house! I can’t wait to really start playing with different flavours and add-ins – let me know if you do the same.
xo, Sarah B
Show me your chips on Instagram: #MNRchickpeatortillachips #MNRnachos