In order to support my lovely husband with his goal to eat healthier during the week (because let’s be honest, our weekends are still a gluttony of fried food and beer) I decided to supplement his daily subway lunch with a snack. He’s not much of a sweet-tooth (though he will happily polish off a kilogram of Cadbury milk chocolate or double-stuffed vanilla Oreos) so my initial idea of making healthier versions of Nature Valley granola bars was not received with all that much excitement. I thought for a second and realized I could try something new (ie. roasted chickpeas) while presenting to him a tried and true snack (ie. mixed nuts). SCORE!
To be honest, I sort of amalgamated a bunch of random recipes in my brain and then came up with a mixed-nut and roasted chickpea combination that was spiced savoury rather than sweet (I found that a lot of the roasted nut recipes have cinnamon and sugar in them). Also, please note that you can use whatever nuts you want – I am not the nut police nor do I consider myself a nut connoisseur. Whatever floats your boat! I truly mean this – play around with the types of nuts and quantities as well as the spices. In other words, don’t follow my recipe at all ….
– Can of cooked chickpeas, drained (I actually used dried chickpeas that I soaked overnight only because I had them)
– approx 100 grams of pecan pieces (unsalted)
– approx 100 grams of cashews (unsalted)
– approx 150 grams of almonds (unsalted)
– approx 2-2.5 tsp each of cumin, garlic powder, chilli powder and Arbol Chile powder (the latter is not necessary, but a fun addition!)
– approx 2 tbsp olive oil
– salt and pepper to taste
1. Heat oven to 400 degrees.
2. In a small bowl mix 1 tsp of each of the spices together then incorporate about a tbsp of olive oil into that. Stir.
3. Pour chickpeas into bowl and coat them fully.
4. Spread chickpeas onto a baking pan in one layer (space between them is a good thing).
5. Roast for about 40 minutes or until crunchy.
6. You can let them cool if they are done before the nuts (see below)
1. Heat skillet to medium and spray with a bit of olive oil if you are worried about sticking.
2. Dump in those nuts!
3. Stir with wooden spoon every so often to ensure the bottom guys come to the top and don’t get burnt.
4. After about 7 minutes they should be nicely toasted (This is a very arbitrary number, I know. And yes, I am totally guessing). Note that you could also toast them in the oven first, and then do the whole skillet-oil-spice thing. That would even work better, I think. I was just lazy.
5. Mix in a teaspoon or two of olive oil with 1 tsp of each spice and a pinch of salt while still on the stove. Stir.
6. Mix everything around to make sure the nuts are nicely coated (naked nuts are no good).
7. Taste one or two to make sure they are crunchy. And just for the sake of it.
8. Take off stove and let cool to room temp.
And the final step …
Pour the chickpeas and the nuts into a bowl or container and mix them all around, adding more seasoning if you wish, to taste. Then label a container (optional) and give them to your husband (also optional) or keep them for yourself. Make sure to munch on a few. Or way too many, in my case. I cannot stop eating nuts if there’s a large amount present … My husband likes to make all sorts of jokes about my nut addiction. Aaaaaand moving back to the review.
On an entirely separate note I highly recommend watching Louis CK’s standup special called “Oh my god” – the part about nut allergies is absolutely atrocious … And by atrocious I mean hilarious.
Anyways, Ryan came home this evening and told me he really liked the nut mix and would request that I make it again. That’s a positive in my book! I didn’t even have to ask. The nice thing is beyond the yummy taste and “kick” they’ve got, these are lower in sodium than packaged nuts, use a healthier fat AND the added chickpeas pack the nutritional bonus of protein and fibre!