My project for this week = snacks. I’m protesting trail mix and string cheese! I’m sick and tired of eating some variation on nuts and cheese. It’s really hard for people who have to limit sugar and carbohydrates in their diet to find interesting snacks to munch on. In my experience, food boredom usually equals diet failure. As soon as I start to grow tried of the old staples, I reach for the quick, easy, bad-for-you fill-ins.
An additional challenge is to find something that’s portable. A lot of healthy snack suggestions involve cooking, spreading, assembling or some form of preparation that I can’t accomplish in a wee little office cubicle. My co-workers would find it quite strange if I busted out a cutting board or toaster oven from underneath my desk. The last thing I need is to appear any odder; the bag lunch I pack every day is goofy enough! First of all, it’s silly to haul a bag lunch all the way from Long Island into Manhattan on an hour plus train ride and a 15 minute walk uptown. But I do it almost every day. It saves money and most importantly, calories! I know exactly what’s in the food I’m eating.
Inside this lunch bag is a meal that strongly resembles what a Mom might pack for her 1st grader; an array of little baggies, Tupperware and foil pouches of pre-measured meals and snacks. I snack all day long. It’s the only way I can manage to keep my blood sugar levels in check and maintain a healthy weight.
Always in search of clever snack ideas and in looking at various websites and blogs I read, I came across this idea to roast chickpeas. Chickpeas are a high fiber, high-protein food with very little fat. They also provide steady, slow-burning energy. They’re a really great addition to a healthy diet, but I’ve only had them tossed into a salad or ground down into hummus.
Roasted chickpeas take on the crunchy texture and nutty flavor of roasted peanuts and you can spice them however you like. My take on the snack vaguely resembles the taste of Cajun French fries. I’m calling them, SPICY GARLIC ROASTED CHICKPEAS.
A few tips to getting these to come out fabulous. First of all, moisture is your enemy. Make sure you really drain the beans well. Lay them on a paper towel to wick away any excess water. You also have to cook them enough. I could have gone a few minutes longer on mine for them to be 100% crisp. Be sure to let them cool fully before you pack up a container. You wouldn’t want condensation to soften the crunchy shell.
These came out so delicious that my husband and I ate half of them as they were coming out of the oven. Honestly, you could even pass these off in place of beer nuts to watch the ball game. I’m thinking they would also work on top of a salad in place of croutons. Go ahead, ditch the Polly-o String Cheese and get your crunch on.
* Get cooking. Let me know what you think. Love it? Hate it? I’m interested in hearing your feedback and suggestions.