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Roasted Ceci (Chickpeas) with Herbs A Healthy and Delicious Snack!

Chickpeas (also know as garbanzo beans) with herbs is one of my very favorite snacks!

Ceci” have been one of the Mediterranean’s staple legumes for many centuries. Growing up Italian, ceci have always been a staple in our kitchen and our love for this powerhouse of a bean is reflected in the many different recipes available, with each region having it’s own tradition.

Typically I roast chickpeas with either rosemary, oregano, parsley or basil or a combination of these herbs. Another favorite is to use “Herbs De Provence,” (can be found here —> https://amzn.to/2OmrVgx). An aromatic mixture of dried Provencal herbs and spices which traditionally includes a combination of dried thyme, basil, rosemary, tarragon, savory, marjoram, oregano, parsley and bay leaves and sometimes fennel and lavender flowers.

The Health Benefits of Chickpeas:

  • Chickpeas are a high-protein and bioactive-rich, plant-based superfood. Superfoods are nutrient-rich foods considered to be especially beneficial for health and well-being.

  • Chickpeas are rich in bioactives with known food-gene interaction, also known as nutrigenomics. Bioactives are a type of chemical found in small amounts in certain foods such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, oils, and whole grains. Research shows that bioactive compounds have actions in the body that may promote good health. Some examples of these bioactive compounds are resveratrol, flavonoids and polyphenols, to name a few.

  • Chickpeas provide essential and non-essential amino acids (non-essential meaning that your body can make them). Amino acids are the building blocks of protein.

  • In addition, bioactive food compounds of several spices and herbs have been shown in many studies to have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

Here is the recipe:

Prep time: 10 minutes + overnight soaking and cooking time for beans

Bake time: 50 to 60 minutes


For this recipe, I soaked dried chickpeas overnight and then cooked them, but feel free to use organic canned chickpeas if pressed for time.


Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cups dried chickpeas (or 15 oz can, drained and rinsed under running water)

  • 1 Bay leaf (if cooking dried beans)

  • Gluten-free all-purpose baking flour

  • Herbs of your choice

  • Sea salt to taste

  • Extra virgin olive oil

Directions:


For dried beans:

  1. Discard any beans that have floated to the surface of the soaking water. Then drain and rinse with cold water.

  2. Transfer beans to a two-quart Dutch oven and cover with fresh water. There should be about 2 inches of water above the beans. Add bay leaf and bring to a boil, then lower heat and simmer, covered for 1½ to 2 hours, stirring occasionally, until beans are tender but still keep their shape. Stir in one teaspoon of salt when beans are finished cooking. Drain and reserve the liquid, also known as aquafaba, which is used as a replacement for eggs and egg white in baking.

For roasting beans:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and prepare a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

  2. Flour chickpeas and shake off excess flour. Place floured chickpeas in a mixing bowl and add your herbs of choice and sea salt to taste. Place seasoned chickpeas in the prepared baking sheet and sprinkle with extra virgin olive oil then gently mix with a wooden spoon or using your hands. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes or until golden brown, turning them half way through.

  3. Cool completely before serving.

  4. Store in an airtight container for 2 days, if they last that long!

Enjoy!!





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