Cajun Spice Roasted Chickpeas are a healthy snack alternative to processed foods. You won’t feel the least bit guilty about eating them.
My family has been on a mission to change the way we eat. We have significantly cut down on the number of processed foods that are brought into the house and are looking for alternatives to the snack foods we love, but that are ultimately not good for us.
I recently read a book all about taking regular food and herbs to a new, healing level. Cajun Spice Roasted Chickpeas is inspired by the Cayenne-Roasted Garbanzo Beans recipe I found in The Herbalists Healing Kitchen (Amazon) by Devon Young. I found so many terrific recipes in this book and I absolutely love the premise that you can use the power of food to cook your way to better health!
Chickpea Diet Benefits
Garbanzo beans contain a significant source of soluble fiber called raffinose, and these beans offer great potential for helping to reduce elevated cholesterol levels and high blood pressure. The fiber also increases your sense of fullness, encourages bowel regularity and promised healthy gut flora.
Chickpeas have a low glycemic index and low glycemic load and contain amylose, a resistant starch that digests slowly. so they can prevent sudden surges in blood sugar and insulin levels.
Chickpeas contain a compound called sitosterol that your body recognizes as something similar to cholesterol. It interferes with the way your body absorbs cholesterol so it can help to lower blood cholesterol levels.
Did you know? According to Harvard Nutrition Source
Don’t throw out chickpea liquid, either from canned beans or from cooking the bean! It is called aquafaba, a thick liquid containing a mix of starch and trace amounts of protein, with emulsifying, binding, and thickening properties. It works well as a flavorless, odorless egg replacer in recipes: 1 tablespoon of aquafaba = 1 egg yolk, 2 tablespoons = 1 egg white, and 3 tablespoons = 1 one whole egg. It can also be whipped to replace the eggs in meringues or mayonnaise.
Start with Dried Garbanzo Beans
We prefer to use dried garbanzo beans for our healthy snacks but canned peas will work just as well and get your snacks on the table much faster. Why do we prefer dried beans?
- They have a long shelf life. With proper storage, these beans will last five years or more in the pantry.
- They are easy to store and take up less space in the pantry. 2 cups of dried beans will reconstitute to 6 cups of beans.
- Chickpeas are a money-saving food. This 5-pound bag of dried garbanzo beans (Amazon) is less than $15.
- Easy for slow-cooking. Just put it in the crockpot and come back hours later with cooked beans.
- Some people who feel bloated after eating beans may find that presoaked beans are better tolerated
Cajun Spice Roasted Chickpeas Recipe
Yield: 6 cups
- 2 cups of dried garbanzo beans (or 6 cups of canned beans)
- olive oil (optional)
- 2 tsp coarse sea salt
- 2 tsp garlic powder
- 2 1/2 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp ground black pepper
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 1/4 tsp dried oregano
- 1 1/4 tsp dried thyme
- 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
Make the Cajun Spice blend
In a medium-size bowl, stir together the salt, garlic powder, paprika, black pepper, onion powder, cayenne pepper, oregano, thyme, and red pepper flakes until evenly blended. Place it all in an airtight container until ready to use. This makes 10 teaspoons of spice, or just over 3 tablespoons and is enough for one batch. Double or triple the recipe so you have extra.
Soak and Cook the Chickpeas
- Measure 2 cups of dried chickpeas into a colander and look for any rocks or other objects that need to be removed. Rinse the remaining beans.
- Place the rinsed beans into a large bowl to soak and rehydrate overnight. They should be completely covered with cold water and placed in a refrigerator overnight (or for 12 hours).
- The next morning drain and rinse the beans with cool water again.
- Add the drained chickpeas to a crockpot and completely cover them with water. Add 4 cups of water for every cup of peas. Cook on low for 8 hours or until the peas are soft but not mushy. You want them to hold their shape.
- When the chickpeas are cooked, drain the water and reserve it.
As an alternative, after rinsing, you can place the beans in a large pot and simmer for 2 hours or cook in a pressure cooker for 12 to 15 minutes. Be sure to not overcook, you do not want the beans to be so soft that they will not hold their shape.
Roasted Cajun Spice Chickpeas
Now that you have cooked chickpeas that have been drained and are ready for spicing and roasting, follow these directions:
- Heat your oven to 450°F.
- Leave the cooked peas a little wet so the cajun spice will cling to them.
- Add the peas to a large bowl that has enough room for tossing. A plastic bag also works well for this.
- If the peas are dry, add a teaspoon of the leftover water to the bowl. We prefer to make our Spicy Roasted Chickpeas without added fat, but you can also add a teaspoon of olive oil to help the spices stick to the beans. The beans should not be dripping, just lightly moist.
- Toss the chickpeas with your homemade cajun spice until they are coated the way you like. We use all 3 tablespoons on ours!
- Lay the spice coated bean in a single layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet or copper baking sheet.
- Roast for 35 minutes, until the beans are golden and crispy. Stir the batch at the 20-minute mark so they are evenly cooked.
Make Dehydrated Spicy Chickpeas
This recipe can be made using either canned or dried chickpeas. (see above for cooking directions)
Dry at 150°F for 6 to 8 hours
Directions for dehydrated chickpeas:
Drain and rinse the chickpeas. Leave them a little wet so the spices will cling to the water on the chickpeas. Toss all ingredients in a bowl or plastic bag. Spread the chickpeas in a single layer on dehydrator trays. Dry until the chickpeas are dry and crunchy, about 6 to 8 hours.
The Herbalists Healing Kitchen by Devon Young
Ms. Young is the founder of the holistic lifestyle blog Nitty Gritty Life, where she writes about using wholesome foods and herbs from your garden to enhance our life. Her newest book is a collection of recipes that will help you recharge, restore, thrive and invigorate your health – all through food.
She believes that instead of looking to your medicine cabinet to banish headaches or congestion you can use fermented foods. Need to soothe an upset stomach, why not munch on Homemade Ginger Thins? Even your skin can get a boost from the healthy recipes in her new book.
In the Herbalists Healing Kitchen, (Amazon) Devon says “I am going to show you to identify foods and herbs for their medicinal value and nourishing health benefits. You will come to see your pantry, refrigerator and even the grocery store in a whole new light – one where your daily food choices become customized medicine for your mind and body.”
Now, who doesn’t want to get new health benefits from the food they love! She’ll show you how.
Disclosure: I was given a free copy of this book so I could provide an unbiased review. I got to create a terrific new healthy snack chickpea recipe in the bargain!