I’ve been a member of the chickpea “fan club” ever since I was a kid. OK, so not really! But I guess that’s one thing that can happen when you have a Lebanese mother who was an amazing cook (and caterer)! No complaints here … my nutritionist self loves that these pulses offer plenty of protein and fiber. Though, if my mother were still around, she’d probably be a bit bewildered by all of my non-traditional chickpea concoctions. This is one of those.
They’re basically just chickpeas that are baked until gently crisped. But I’ve transformed the flavor so they’re full of sesame goodness—inside and out. They’ve got natural sweetness from coconut nectar (though you can use agave nectar or honey, if you prefer), which is balanced with a just-right amount of saltiness. Coconut nectar is a natural liquid sweetener that’s the sap of coconut tree flower blossoms. Two brands I like are Big Tree Farms and Coconut Secret.
By the way, if this recipe seems familiar, I stole the concept from my sweet-n-salty sesame popcorn recipe that I pop up regularly! I enjoy these roasted chickpeas as a snack–or sprinkled onto salads and main dishes where sesame works well, like in some Middle Eastern and Asian cuisine. These chickpeas don’t store all that well. So whichever way you plan to enjoy them, do plan to eat them right after baking. Have fun with these!
sweet-n-salty sesame roasted chickpea snacks
Yield: 4 servings
Serving size: 1/3 cup each
- 1 (15-ounce) can no-salt-added organic chickpeas, well drained
- 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
- ½ teaspoon fine sea salt or pink salt
- Pinch of cayenne pepper or freshly ground black pepper (optional)
- 1½ tablespoons coconut nectar (or agave nectar or honey)
- 1 tablespoon hulled white or black sesame seeds (or mixture)
- Preheat the oven to 425°F. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with unbleached parchment paper.
- Wrap chickpeas in a clean kitchen towel to assure they’re well drained. Add the chickpeas to a medium mixing bowl, sprinkle with the oil, salt and (if using) pepper, and toss or stir to combine. Arrange the chickpeas in a single layer on the baking sheet.
- Bake the chickpeas for 20 minutes.
- Transfer the chickpeas to the clean medium bowl (make sure it’s heatproof!), sprinkle with the coconut nectar and toss or stir to combine. Transfer the chickpeas back onto the baking sheet. Sprinkle with the sesame seeds.
- Bake until the sesame seeds are toasted and chickpeas are golden brown, about 12 minutes more. Transfer the baking sheet to a rack to cool. Chickpeas will be slightly crispy and slightly sticky on the outside and still slightly creamy on the inside.
- Enjoy as a snack. Or sprinkle onto a salad or meal, like they’re croutons or nuts.
Per serving: 180 calories, 6g total fat 0.5g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 280mg sodium, 25g total carbohydrate, 4g dietary fiber, 7g total sugars includes 6g added sugars, 6g protein
(Hint: For crispier chickpeas on the inside, bake at a lower temperature for a longer time.)