Monday, June 14, 2010

Roasted Garbanzo Beans

I love beans. I continue to become even more fascinated with them as I study and read about them and use them. They are extremely nutritious and very easy to store. And the best thing about beans is their versatility. They can be ground and used as flour (like in the homemade cream of chicken soup we talked about), they can be cooked, mashed and used as a substitute for the fat in many recipes, they can be cooked and frozen and used in many bean soup or casserole recipes; there are hundreds of recipes for using beans.

Todays recipe uses Garbanzo beans or Chickpeas as they are sometimes called. These recipes use canned beans but if you are feeling ambitious or really become addicted to these snacks, you may want to use the more inexpensive dried beans and start from scratch, soaking and cooking them up to make these.

Roasted Garbanzos are a crunchy, spicy little snack that resembles corn nuts. They can be flavored with any flavoring you like so after you try these, go crazy. I've tried several recipes and think they are fun. I'll share the basics with you and then you can see what you can come up with. These make a great snack because they are spicy and crunchy and very healthy, garbanzos have one of the highest protein levels of any plants.

One thing I've learned thru this was that in the recipes that I thought would be too spicy for me (I'm a wimp) they really weren't. You might even want to taste test them while they are baking and see if you've added enough spice.

For each recipe below the beans are prepared the same. Drain and rinse the beans until there is no foam remaining when you run water over them. Let beans drain a few minutes then pat dry slightly with paper towels so spices will stick. Roast on a baking sheet, shaking the pan every 10 minutes or so (The beans will burn easily). They should be crunchy on the outside as well as crunchy on the inside. They will actually lose the bean taste when roasted. You'll see that you can either mix the beans with the oil and the spices or spray or brush the baking sheet with the oil and sprinkle the spices on.

Roasted Garbanzo Beans #1
1 can beans, rinsed, drained and patted dry
1 T. olive oil
1/2 t. or more Moroccan Spice mix (In the post below with the spices)
Salt or kosher salt to taste (about 1/4 t.)
Preheat oven to 350º. Toss beans with oil, spice mix and salt. Spread in single layer in cookie sheet. Roast 40-50 minutes, shaking pan about every 10 minutes until crispy. Especially watch the last few minutes. Serve warm or let cool.

Roasted Garbanzo Beans #2
Prepare as above but use the following spices:
1/2 t. curry powder
1/4 t. cumin
1/8 t. cayenne
1/4 t. salt
Spray baking sheet with Olive oil spray or brush generously with oil. Roast at 375º 40-50 minutes stirring or shaking pan every 10-15minutes till crispy.

Other Roasting Flavor options:
Chili powder with cumin and cayenne
2 t. chili powder, 1 t. salt and 1 T. lime juice
Cinnamon and Sugar
Parmesan and garlic

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