You know those delicious nuts that you get on top of your favorite salad at restaurants? I love those but they can be high in fat, sugar and calories. I was trying to think of a way to get that sticky, caramelized nut without the nut. So I decided to swap out the nuts with chickpeas instead — Wow! They are fabulous! I came up with this the other day and couldn’t wait to share it with all of you. I would love to know what you think. Try making this healthy snack for company instead of nuts. They’re great for any game day snack too. We eat them as a snack after dinner and my kids love them in their lunch boxes. And, of course the reason for the recipe in the first place, to put on top of salads. Enjoy these any and everyway you can think of!
Nutrition: calories 109, fat 0.9 g, carbs 23.5 g, fiber 3 g, sugar 14.6 g, sodium 140.1 mg, protein 3 g
Sweet and Salty Chickpea “Nuts”
- 2 – 15 1/2 oz cans chickpeas or garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed well
- 1/2 cup sugar, you can use any sugar, sometimes I use coconut sugar
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 1 tbsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp apple pie spice
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- course sea salt on top, optional
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees
- Place the beans in a medium pot with enough water to cover them with about 1 1/2 inches of water over the beans. Add a pinch of salt as well.
- Add 1/2 cup sugar, 1 tbsp cinnamon and apple pie spice. Mix gently with a heat proof rubber spatula. If you don’t have one you can use a small wooden spoon. Remember to mix gently; you don’t want to crush any of the beans.
- Bring to a boil over medium heat and reduce to simmer over low heat for 25-30 minutes. Gently stir once or twice.
- Take off heat, add the vanilla extract and stir gently. Let sit in the pot until cooled (about 15-20 minutes).
- Drain the cooled beans thoroughly. Do not rinse.
- Place beans on a cookie sheet sprayed with cooking spray. If you have a silpat that works great too.
- Lay the beans flat, not overlapping. Remove any loose bean skins. Spray the beans with cooking spray and then sprinkle the tbsp sugar along with 1/2 tsp cinnamon.
- During baking you may want to shake the pan a few times for even baking. Turn the pan around once also for the same reason.
- Bake for approximately 45 minutes or so, until browned and crisp. If you see that the beans are getting too dark then reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees.
- Remove from the oven. Sprinkle a bit more sea salt if using. Let cool completely. Keep in a sealed container up to 3 days on counter in a cool place.