{snack time} Faux Nuts Two Ways

{drained and rinsed}

This recipe obsession started months back when I was visiting my cousin and her family for a birthday party. I believe this was mid/late summer. There were a stack of old {now-defunct} Cookie magazines sitting neatly in a basket, next to the toilet, and I snagged one on my way out to read while avoiding extended family members and my son who was being watched by my parents…what did I find?

A healthy, allergen-free snack that I’ve never heard of: Spiced roasted chickpeas/garbonzo beans. The recipe write-up claimed the chickpeas once roasted tasted like a nutty snack, with the crunch and earthiness flavor while also being a blank canvas for a variety of spices to take center stage.

Had I been living under a rock?
Why had I not seen the light?
Thank you Lu for your stack of old magazines in the potty.
The recipe that almost got away.

I asked Lu if I could rip out the recipe. When given the green light, I did so immediately then plotted my spice mixes in my head on the drive home. Since that day in Lu’s bathroom, I have seen this basic recipe everywhere; Whole Living Magazine, in Mark Bittman’s new book Food Matters Cookbook, probably a blog that I can’t remember…

I make a can or two of these beans, with various spices, almost weekly and Miles never grows old of them. He takes them to “school” (daycare), eats them as a side dish to dinner/lunch or part of a snack with some slices of oranges. This kid is addicted. Now, as a newly two-year old, his language skills are advancing everyday and this is what I hear the moment I make a batch: “More beans please…mooooore beans”.

All. Day. Long. Could be worse, so I smile and say yes to more beans!

I make these in double batches, since my oven has two shelves. Which is also handy if you wanna make one batch salty/spiced and the other cinnamon/sugar, both my versions are below. Please experiment with your spice rack and report back.

{In the mixing bowl}

Faux “Nuts” Two Ways
adapted via Cookie Magazine, Whole Living Magazine & Mark Bittman’s Food Matters Cookbook

1 (or 2) can(s) of garbonzo beans/chickpeas, drained & rinsed
(or make your own cooked beans, so much cheaper! I wish I did that!)
1 T neutral vegetable oil for sweet version OR 1T olive oil for salty/spiced version
1/2 t sea salt for both versions. I step the salt up or down depending on how much of a player I want it to be.

Then the spices are yours to choose from, seriously, go wild…
My Sweet Version: 1/4 t ground ginger, 1/4 t cardamom 1/2 t cinnamon, 1 t brown sugar
My Salty/Spiced Version: 1/4t ground ginger, 1/4 t cumin, 1/4 t turmeric, 1/4t smoked paprika and sometimes a dash of curry powder.

{Almost ready for oven. They still need to be spread evenly on the tray}

DIRECTIONS:  Preheat oven to 425F. Drain & Rinse the canned beans OR make your own cooked beans. Add to mixing bowl with the oil and all the spices. Spread evenly on a baking sheet. Throw in oven for 30 minutes*, turn the beans with a spatula about halfway through. They are done with they are browned and look like they have lost most of their moisture. Make sure they do not burn as they will taste seriously awful. Like little tiny bits of coal. Oh, and don’t take them out too soon or you’ll just mushy spiced canned beans. Miles hates that. You want them to be hard and crunchy, that’s the appeal. Like a nut.

*As with all my recipes with oven times: every oven is different so check these suckers often as they burn easily.

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Categories: Food Allergies, Kid Friendly, recipe, Snack


Finding her true calling, connecting people to their local foodshed, Christina is the Editor & Founder of From Scratch Club and a proud CSA Member & Market Crew member of Kilpatrick Family Farm. At the homestead, she is the Chef de Cuisine, Master Baker & Head Food Preservationist to her husband Charles and their 2 year old son, Miles Jae. Although always a supporter of local, sustainable, humane and whole foods, Chris is now on a serious mission to bring those principles into her kitchen due to Miles Jae’s multiple food allergy diagnosis, asthma and the rare disease, EE. All of her recipes are dairy, soy, tree nuts, peanuts, gluten/wheat, pea, corn & sesame free.

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12 Comments on “{snack time} Faux Nuts Two Ways”

  1. January 22, 2011 at 6:59 am #

    Christina this is awesome! I have a question for you…would be much easier to explain on phone. If you feel moved to call me:) my business line is 253-8334

  2. Amanda
    January 22, 2011 at 7:47 am #

    I am so excited to make these. Making them TODAY and bringing them as a app to a birthday celebration tonight!!!

  3. January 22, 2011 at 12:00 pm #

    I love roasted chickpeas. My kids would probably eat them until they got sick if I let them. :)

  4. Dianna
    January 22, 2011 at 4:16 pm #

    This sounds great. I am preheating my oven as we speak to try it.

    • January 24, 2011 at 3:49 pm #

      Dying to hear how it went… I need to add part to the recipe directions to mix in the beans on the edge a few times so you don’t burn the ones on the edges and then uncook the rest of them….

  5. Ann P
    January 23, 2011 at 9:44 am #

    These are great!! I decided to try cooking the dried beans myself. I found directions for cooking them in a crockpot on-line. So simple, beans in crock pot with a little salt and 6 cups of water. Cook on high for 2-3 hours until tender but not mushy. EASY! Then I roasted them. Yummy!

    • January 24, 2011 at 3:51 pm #

      WOO HOO! Thanks for trying the recipe, glad you like them. A wonderful healthy snack!!! Oh, and I too have made batches of beans in the Crockpot!

  6. Erica
    January 26, 2011 at 6:26 am #

    I made these Sunday while I had some football fans in the house. They LOVED them :) I did burn one batch though haha.


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