On my quest for healthful, gluten-free snacks, I was recently reminded of roasted chickpeas. You can roast any legume, but chickpeas in particular never cease to delight me, whether in creamy hummus, hearty soups, fresh salads, or roasted up all crunchy and toasty on their own.
These delicious, Moroccan-spiced chickpeas are coated with a blend of health-promoting spices, such as powerfully anti-inflammatory ginger, turmeric, cumin, and cardamom. I prefer this blend with the peppery kick of paprika and cayenne, but if you can’t tolerate nightshades like pepper (or are on an elimination diet as I currently am), then you can leave the last two spices off the list and still enjoy a flavorful snack. I’ve listed the proportions for a single batch, so you can try out the blend and see if you like it before committing to a larger quantity, but the easiest way to make these is to mix up a triple or quadruple batch of the spices and keep them on hand in an airtight jar for the next time you need a quick fix. About 2 tablespoons of the final blend should be the right amount for 2 cups of chickpeas.
Don’t panic at the lengthy list of ground spices — admittedly, I would go bankrupt if I bought a fancy little name-brand jar for every spice on this list. I avoid paying exorbitant grocery store prices for jars of stale spices by buying fresh bulk spices in small quantities at my local food co-op, which makes this snack very affordable, in addition to being easy to prepare and both tasty and healthful to eat. It doesn’t get much better than that!
Another important anti-inflammatory component of this recipe is the choice of oil. I avoid refined oils, even canola (the health benefits of which are mostly stripped during the refining process), and stick with omega-3-rich, unrefined, monounsaturated oils such as olive, avocado, or grapeseed.
Moroccan-Spiced Roasted Chickpeas
2 cups cooked or canned chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 1/2 Tbsp olive, grapeseed, or avocado oil
1/2 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp coriander
1/2 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp turmeric
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp cardamom
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp cloves
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
Combine the chickpeas with the oil and spices in a medium bowl and toss gently until coated. Pour out onto a parchment or foil-lined baking sheet and spread out in a single layer. Roast at 350 F for 35 to 45 minutes, stirring occasionally, and watching carefully for the last ten minutes. Let cool to room temperature, then store at room temperature in an airtight container.