Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Sweet and Spicy Roast Chickpeas

So this month is VeganMoFo...where bloggers are challenged to write at least 20 times in the month of September, celebrating vegan-ness!  In that spirit, I will do my absolute best to post 20 times this month...holy cow, thats a lot of gin, juice, and food!  We'll see how it goes...I usually like to post 1 - 3 times a week..not five!  Yet, here I am...starting late (surprise??) but starting just the same!  So, here...we...go!

Figured I'd start ya guys off with some sweet and spicy nuts....but I was out of raw almonds.  SO you get sweet and spicy chickpeas instead!  Chickpeas (garbanzo beans) are one of my favorite meal and snack staples.  They are packed with protein, and super versatile...they pretty much take on the flavor of whatever you cook them in!  They can be roasted, toasted, mashed, fried, baked...(anyone else reminiscing on Forest Gump here???)

In other thoughts, what mean person invented rolled parchment paper?  I mean, I get it and all.  It's so convenient on a fits in drawers nicely and rolls right out onto the pan.  But then, when you actually place it on the rolls back up!  Gah!  I may, or may not, have made some choice statements whilst baking these...

Never fear, I poured myself a glass of wine and started photographing my most recent snacking obsession...roast chickpeas.  I got my start with roast chickpeas when I first made OhSheGlows Salt n Vinegar Chickpeas to replace my obsession with kettle cooked salt n vinegar potato chips.  They're must check them out!

Roasted chickpeas awaiting their sugary glaze

I love how versatile chickpeas are for a roasted power snack.  You can make them super crunchy or, my personal fav, a little chewy in the center.  I have gotten so addicted to the crunchy and chewy taste of roast chickpeas, I coat these little boogers in everything!  My current favorite is a sweet and spicy mixture that has a mellow and sweet start, with a spicy finishing bite.

I have to admit, my husband hates these.  Can't win 'em all!  He does love the salt n vinegar ones though.  If sweet and spicy ain't yo' thang, these are fantastic without the chili powder.  Then they're just sweet, cinnamon and sugar chick peas.  Now, those he loves!

Sweet and Spicy Roast Chickpeas
*Makes about 1 1/2 cups of roast chickpeas

1 15oz can chickpeas, drained, rinsed and dried (important that you dry them all the way!)
1 tsp agave, or other vegan liquid sweetener of choice (maple syrup works well)
1 tsp coconut oil
1/8 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp allspice
1 tsp chili powder (not cayenne...that would be super spicy!)
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp coconut sugar
2 tbsp brown sugar

To Make:
1. Preheat oven to 375F.   Drain, rinse and completely dry the can of chickpeas.  While the chickpeas are drying, combine the agave, coconut oil, vanilla, cinnamon, allspice, chili powder and salt in a medium bowl and mix well.

2. Once chickpeas are dry, add them to the spice mixture and toss gently to coat.  Allow to sit for 5 minutes or so, then remove with a slotted spoon (you don't want extra syrup-y business on your baking sheet...learned that one the hard way!).  Place the chickpeas on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

3.  Roast for 30 - 45 minutes, checking every 15 minutes or so to turn and ensure they aren't burning.

4.  Remove from the oven, and sprinkle with the coconut sugar and brown sugar.  Return to the oven for 10-15 minutes, or until slightly caramelized.

5.  Allow to cool slightly so you don't burn your tongue off, and enjoy!

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