Runners like to snack. I know during training I seem to have some days where I just cannot get enough food into myself. But making sure that the food that crosses our lips is healthy, nutritious, and giving us the most bang for our calorie buck is so important – it’s easy to fall into the belief that because we ran 5 miles or did speedwork that morning we can sit down with that handful of cookies or bag of chips and eat with impunity.
I’m kind of a nut for cooking from scratch. If I can source every ingredient for a recipe myself, whether that be grinding my own flour (thank you, Blendtec) or making my own almond milk (super easy), I’m a happy camper. Short ingredients lists, whole foods, knowing where it all comes from – that’s my mode of operation when it comes to what my family eats.
Last June while participating in the Pacific Crest Weekend Sports Festival we went to the Deschutes Brewery in Bend, OR. On the menu were the most delicious fried chickpeas I’d ever tasted. Lightly flavoured with lemon pepper and sea salt, I knew I needed to figure out a way to bring that snack into my repertoire when we got home.
I did a little messing around in the kitchen, and came up with a pretty decent copycat of their product. Mine aren’t fried, they’re baked, and oh my do they ever pack a delicious punch. And the kids can’t get enough of them either!
- 1 cup dried chickpeas soaked overnight, rinsed
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1.5 tbsp lemon pepper seasoning or to taste
I usually soak dried chickpeas overnight in water with a tsp of apple cider vinegar in the water, then simmer them for about an hour on low in a pot of water (use 3 cups for every one cup of beans) with a strip of dried kombu for added nutrients and minerals – kombu also helps increase digestibility of the beans. Alternatively you can use canned chickpeas, but make sure to rinse thoroughly and only use the Eden Organic brand as the lining in their cans are BPA-free.
Preheat oven to 400.
Drain chickpeas from the pot once done cooking, rinse with cold water and discard the kombu strip if you used one, then lay out in a single layer on a clean kitchen towel for about 15 mins to air dry.
Grease a cookie sheet with the oil, I used a basting brush to spread it around. You want a few little puddles for the chickpeas to get coated in the oil as well. Alternatively you can lay out parchment paper and spray the chickpeas with cooking spray.
Spread chickpeas out on cookie sheet, making sure you “toss” them a bit in the olive oil. Bake them for about 40-45 mins until crispy.
Pour the chickpeas into a bowl, it’s okay if there is some oil still left on them as this helps the seasoning to stick. Add the seasoning and stir everything around so the chickpeas get nice and coated in flavour. If you need salt you can add this as well.
Serve as an alternative to nuts, or use on salads as a topping option.
These will disappear very quickly. I make a double batch usually and try to get in a few handfuls myself before the family discovers them.
Click here to read a little more on the health benefits of adding chickpeas to your diet.