For my family, the new school year goes beyond new teachers, classes and extra-curricular activities – it’s a fresh start for everything and that includes giving our snack time a healthy shake up. No need to dwell on the all the chips and cookies that were scarfed down while on summer vacation, we’re wiping our collective slate clean and getting back to the clean-eating snack routine – fresh fruits, veggies, nuts and quick-to-fix homemade treats like granola bars, oven chips and other baked-and-better–for-you goodies.
One of my staples for sensible snacking is roasted chickpeas. However served, chickpeas are an excellent source of protein, dietary fiber, and vitamin B6 – nutrients our bodies need for optimal performance. Long popular in Mediterranean cuisine and Indian curries, I’ve found the chickpea also crisps up quite nicely in the oven to make a crunchy, crave-worthy snack reminiscent of Corn Nuts – but healthier with more satiating protein and less fat and sodium.
There are so many flavor profiles that can be used when roasting chickpeas, from simple olive oil with sea salt to more exotic combinations like my recipe for Coconut Basil Lime Roasted Chickpeas. The light and lively flavors in this satisfyingly crunchy snack remind me of a bowl full of Tom Kai Gha soup at my favorite Thai food restaurant. Litehouse Food’s Instantly Fresh Basil and Lemon Grass are used in this easy recipe, but with 17 spices in the Instantly Fresh product lineup, the flavor pairings are nearly endless. According to my calculations, there are 136 different ways to combine two of the 17 herbs and 680 different ways to combine 3 of the 17 herbs. You can never get bored! I love how convenient it is to make this snack recipe – between the ease of using Instantly Fresh herbs and canned beans rather than soaked beans, this savory snack can be prepped in a flash. Pack the roasted chickpeas in lunchboxes, serve them at a football get-together or eat them straight off the baking sheet. If you somehow amazingly have leftovers, these little crisped legumes make a great substitute for croutons sprinkled on salad or soup. Enjoy!