May 23, 2019 / by Jon Bellis / No Comments

Another long weekend – yay! And at this time of year there will no doubt be a few barbecues and lots of entertaining of guests. It’s standard practice when entertaining to lay out an assortment of salty and crunchy nibbles for the guests to enjoy with their first drink.

Of course, these nibbles are rarely healthy. Crisps, peanuts, tortilla chips, cheesy twirls, often with something oily and calorific to dunk them in. Or maybe cocktail sausages or lumps of cheese. Even pepper slices or celery sticks come with a greasy dip. Why not offer them something a little healthier like spicy baked chickpeas? Or why not just make this recipe as a snack to have for yourself?

There are some great things about this recipe. First, it’s essentially just chickpeas with no extra calories added. Second, this recipe is great if you’re vegan. We recently wrote about the pros and cons of a vegan diet and the challenges of getting enough protein. Well this recipe makes a good contribution to your protein needs. Third, spicy baked chickpeas are really going to fill you up and suppress your appetite to help you avoid overeating. For one thing, the high protein and fibre content will fill you up and, being very low on the glycaemic index, they will digest slowly and won’t leave you hungry soon after. Studies have also shown that spices help suppress the appetite, so you won’t feel like gorging yourself. All this is going to help you control your intake of calories during the rest of the meal.

Oh and I nearly forgot – it’s about as quick and simple a recipe as you could ever make!

So, here goes. For this spicy baked chickpeas recipe you’re going to need

  • 1 x 400g tin of chickpeas, drained
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • Pinch of salt

Here’s what to do:

  • Pre-heat the oven to 180 °C
  • Mix all the ingredients into a bowl
  • Lightly coat the baking tray with a cooking spray
  • Bake for 10 mins – remove from the oven and shake the baking tray to prevent the chickpeas from sticking
  • Bake for a further 10 mins

These are best eaten while still warm and crispy.

A tin of chickpeas will make you 240g of spicy chickpeas. If you have half a tin – sounds a lot I know – this will only deliver 150 calories. You’ll also get:

  • 3.5g fat
  • 19g carbs
  • 8.6g protein
  • 5g fibre

That’s a nicely balanced snack, with around 20% of calories each from fat and protein and the rest from carbs and fibre.

Chickpeas are really healthy, largely due to the fibre content and slow digestion, but also because of the assortment of vitamins and minerals they contain, being particularly high in folates.

But the health benefits of this recipe are really enhanced by the spice content. Among the health benefits of the 3 spices – cinnamon, paprika and cumin – are… deep breath…. anti-diabetes, anti-obesity, anti-cancer, anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, immune boosting, anti-bacterial, anti-microbial, anti-fungal, iron rich, digestion boosting, hormone balancing, cognition boosting, cardioprotective, gut cooling. That’s a long list! Read a bit more about these spices here.

So not only is this recipe super quick and simple, super tasty and filling, it’s also chock-full of health benefits. So, go on, make some spicy baked chickpeas and treat your body or your guests’ bodies to a tasty and health boosting snack.

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