What is FOOD?

Here Chickie, Chickie, Chickpea

Roasted Chickpeas
Image by fritish via Flickr

I was rummaging through my parents kitchen cupboard looking for something to snack on. My mother, annoyed that I was invading her “sanctum” inquired “What the heck are you looking for? You just finished lunch. You’re snacking and eating all the time!” To which I retorted, “Well, HELLO??? I am on the I LOVE FOOD DIET after all.”

I was at my parents house in Florida this past week as my kids had their Winter Break and we all needed a break from the brutal NYC winter weather.

Unfortunately all my parents had in their cupboard was carb filled chips, pretzels and other “no’s no’s that would not suffice on the I LOVE FOOD DIET. Just as I was about to give up and delve in to the “Party Size” bag of Lays Potato Chips, I spotted a lonely and dusty can of Garbanzo Beans way in the back of the shelf.

Eureka! I hit the jackpot. I was going to make a batch of my delicious and nutritious spicy roasted chickpeas! I took out the baking tray from the toaster oven and wrapped it in aluminum foil (easy clean up!).

Then I opened my can o’beans. I drained the beans and then rinsed them in cold water. By doing this you remove the extra starches that ruminate in the canned liquid. I then patted my little golden nuggets with a paper towel and laid these little balls on the baking sheet. I drizzled the chickpeas with a little olive oil and then sprinkled the legumes with salt, pepper, cumin, garlic powder and a teeny bit of cayenne pepper. I popped these babies into the toaster oven at 450 degrees for about 30 -40 minutes until they were brown and crunchy.

Delicious, salty, crunchy and savory  with just a little kick from the cayenne, I munched on these poolside with a few light beers the rest of the day. Yum! 🙂

Chickpeas also known as  Garbanzo beans, Indian pea, Ceci beans or Bengal grams is an edible legume packed with protein. Chickpeas have a long history dating back thousands of years. In fact depictions of chickpeas have been found on pottery during the late Neolithic (3500 BC) period in what is now Greece.

Further, in their book, Domestication of Plants in the Early World, authors Daniel Zohary and Maria Hopf cite evidence of drawings of chickpeas in a cave in Southern France dating as far back as 6790 BCE.

Chickpeas are chock full of zinc, folate, protein and fiber. While they do contain some carbohydrates  (approximately 70 grams for the can), it’s a whole lot less than the 227 grams of carbs, not to mention the huge amounts of fat, in the bag of potato chips I was about to devour.

As the saying goes, beans, beans, good for your heart….

Guiltless snacks. I love the I LOVE FOOD DIET!

Chow for now!

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