Tuesday, June 25, 2013

The next best thing to salt and vinegar chips (and how I handle those crunchy, salty cravings)

I've never been a huge chip girl. I am more of a chocolate or artificial cheese flavored popcorn kind of girl. But every once in a while I get a hankering for some greasy, crunchy chips, preferably salt and vinegar flavored. The stronger, the better. I could eat them until it feels like there is a hole being burned in the center of my tongue from the vinegar-ness. They were the one snack food my mom would cave and buy if I was having friends over. (Typically we lived in a no junk food house.) So eating salt and vinegar chips not only gives me a party in my tummy but there is that deep seeded association that they are for super fun times. (Yay sleepovers!)

I am trying to avoid processed foods and really commit to clean eating, I knew I had to find another way. And since I don't really eat meat, I knew if I could get some more protein in my diet, it would be killing two birds with one stone. I turned to my friend the garbanzo bean. I knew they could be roasted and get super crunchy but I always found that I burnt them before I could get them good and crunchy. They were often burned on the outside and still soft on the inside.

So I channeled a much more patient person and tried to get them to take over my body to cook these
babies for me, because I knew what I had to do. Lower the temp and lengthen the time. (I am so not patient. At all.) I picked a time when I knew I would be home and I knew I would be preoccupied (like sitting at the dining room table and writing a blog post.)

I set the oven temp to 250 and let the oven preheat while I rinsed the garbanzo beans (Typically I use dried beans - it's super easy as long as you think ahead. I had some cans on hand for dinner emergencies and since we are moving across the country again I figured it would be smart to use them up.)

Make sure to dry the beans after they are rinsed. This really helps. I like to cook mine on parchment paper so if the paper gets wet from the beans it takes even longer for them to roast (and for this impatient chick right here, it takes long enough as it is. I don't need to add any extra time to this recipe.)

And I set the timer for 25 minutes. And I stirred them. And I set the timer for 25 minutes. And I stirred them. And I set the timer for 25 minutes and I stirred them (you get the idea.)

They roasted for probably 2 1/2 to 3 hours. This will vary based on your oven temp too. It is pretty easy to tell when they are done. They shrink up really small and sometimes crack in the middle. Once they aren't so hot they will burn a hole in your mouth, test one. If it is crunchy, they are done. If it crunches on the outside and is still soft in the middle, give 'em another stir and stick them back in the oven.

I have also had better luck getting them crunchy dry roasting them instead of tossing them in olive oil. I just rinse, dry and throw them in the oven. When they are done and it is flavor adding time, I can toss in olive oil and any seasoning I am feeling like. Plus I like the idea that I don't have to commit to making a whole batch one flavor. I can flavor them before I eat so I have lots of options depending on what I feel like (and anyone who has traveled with me knows I need lots of options, hence the entourage of suitcases I typically travel with.)

So for the salt and vinegar chip goodness, all I do is toss them with a little malt vinegar and some salt
and whala I have crunchy salty burn a hole in my tongue vinegary goodness. A really great, protein packed crunchy snack that is even good thrown on top of salads.

These babies, although they have lots of good for you nutrients, do have calories. All legumes pack a lot of calories (think along the lines of almonds and other nuts.) I like to have about a 1/4 or 1/3 of a cup of crunchy chickpeas with half an apple as a snack. The apple combined with the protein really helps fill me up.

Happy Eats!

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