Say hello to my latest obsession! Yes, those who know me, know I get easily excited about things…I can’t help it! I’m a fanboy by nature. So, it was no surprise (to my husband at least) that I would do a little happy dance in the kitchen after tasting these little gems. Who knew when the first spoonful entered my mouth that my tastebuds would jump for joy! Man, I just LOVE healthy food! Especially when they are given a wonderful flavour boost using only natural ingredients. Great for your tastebuds, great for your body, great for snacking. That’s what these balls of goodness are. Ergo obsession kicks in.
I should mention this is actually the first time I’ve ever cooked with sumac. I was inspired to give it a go after seeing a hummus recipe in a magazine which had sumac in it and the write up saying how well it goes with chickpeas. Seems to be the perfect match. Originating from the Middle East, sumac was used to add a bit of acidity to dishes before lemons were introduced by the Romans. No need to worry though, this spice isn’t overpowering or overly acidic. It actually has a beautiful fruity-tart flavour which just adds a bit of kick. Perfect, as they say, in sprinkling over chickpeas which act as a perfect base for a variety of flavour combinations. Especially when roasting. Roasted chickpeas become these little, crunchy on the outside chewy on the inside, power balls which are excellent as a crouton alternative in soups, or thrown in salads. Otherwise you can do as I do and eat them by the spoonful just as they are and as this recipe suggests!
Roasting veggies has become one of my favourite things to do on the weekends when we’re not running around like crazy. Making up a big batch of roast veggies to eat during the week is awesome and saves so much time. Particularly when you come home from work and are too tired to make an elaborate meal. Having roasted vegetables on hand means you can throw them into whatever meal you want, helping to bulk up the meal at the same time. I also love how the oven helps to warm our small apartment with the added bonus of the aromas that permeate the air from the herbs and spices. And roast veggies of any kind really are the perfect comfort food. Particularly as we start to crave more warming foods with winter around the corner here in Australia…no denying that chill in the air.
In case you are wondering, chickpeas are not the enemy contrary to what some fad diets might suggest. They can sometimes get a bad wrap because of their tendency to be a bit harder on the digestive system. But just see how you go. Everyone is different. They are actually an amazing source of protein, fibre and iron. Fantastic for anyone on a mainly plant based diet due to these nutritional qualities.
Now it should be said that soaking your chickpeas is a great option if purchasing uncooked, and it’s one I prefer to do when I have the time. Soaking (and sprouting if you want to go one step further) makes it a lot easier to digest, but it’s not absolutely crucial. So on those occasions when you don’t want to fuss about, then don’t stress. There is always the tinned variety. I strongly recommend you go with the organic, BPA free, cans where possible though. It’s just another way of reducing the intake of the chemicals in the can that can leach into the foods, and also choosing organic means you are getting a more natural, pesticide free version of the food. Most health food stores will now sell these, or you can buy online. I tend to go for Global Organics.
- 1 can chickpeas, rinsed and dried thoroughly
- 1 Tbs olive oil (don't be tempted to drench in oil as this will effect their crispiness)
- 3 Tbs sumac
- 2 Tbs garlic powder
- 1 tsp himalyan crystal salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- Preheat oven to 200C
- In a bowl, mix together the chickpeas, olive oil, sumac and garlic powder
- Ensure the chickpeas are well coated
- Pour into a baking tray and season with salt and pepper
- Roast the chickpeas for 15-20 mins or until golden, checking often to ensure they do not burn
- Remove from oven and set aside to cool for a few minutes before serving