Crunchy Roasted Chickpeas

We are still on a quest for healthy munchies to replace standard bar snacks to nosh with cocktails. Chex Mix and Corn Nuts are definitely out, and although peanuts are rich in protein and "good" monounsaturated fat, the purchased salted versions are loaded with added oil and sodium for taste. Peanuts are also highly caloric which is not a checkmark in the healthy snacks column.

Enter chickpeas (also known as garbanzo beans or ceci beans). They are a trifecta of goodness: low calorie, low fat and cheap. Roasted chickpeas contain a considerable amount of protein and dietary fiber as well as calcium, magnesium, potassium and folate. Chickpeas are also slow to digest, which helps keep you feeling full for as much as two hours after eating. You can even add them to a salad in lieu of croutons for a protein boost to meals without introducing meat or unnecessary fat to the dish.

2 (15-ounce) cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)

Preheat the oven to 400°F and arrange a rack in the middle. Dry the chickpeas on a paper towel to remove excess moisture.

Place the chickpeas in a large bowl and toss with oil and spices until evenly coated. Spread the chickpeas in an even layer on a baking sheet and bake until crisp, about 30 to 40 minutes.

That’s it! Easy huh?