Oven-roasted chickpeas – a plastic free alternative to potato chips?

Oven-roasted chickpeas – a plastic free alternative to potato chips?

When we gave up buying food that came packaged in plastic, one of the hardest things for my boyfriend to give up was potato chips. He’d wander down the crisps aisle forlornly, rustling each packet and declaring I’m pretty sure this one is plastic-free! It feels like paper! See?

Sadly though, potato chips do not come in paper. They are all wrapped in plastic, even though the plastic is often cunningly disguised as paper, or foil (you can do the scrunch test to figure out if something is wrapped in plastic or foil. Scrunch it up; if it springs back into its un-scrunched position, it’s plastic).

Because of this we’ve had to find alternatives. I’ve not tried making my own from real potatoes yet, although I haven’t ruled it out for the future. We found a bulk bin store that sells sweet potato chips, but they are very expensive and not something we buy often. I’ve recently experimented with making kale chips (not as weird as they sound, although yes, they are made with kale), which are actually quite tasty, but you need a lot of kale for not that many chips, which makes them another costly option, and you can’t fit that many in the oven at once, so it’s quite a laborious process.

Our staple replacement is popcorn, made with popping corn kernels bought at the bulk bin store. It’s cheap, super easy/quick to make, and satisfying. Of course it tastes nothing like potato chips (it tastes like popcorn, obviously) but it meets that need for a savoury, salty snack that can be delivered by the handful.

Popcorn may be the current favourite, but there is now a new contender on the block – roasted chickpeas. I got the inspiration for this from a couple of places. I’ve seen them for sale in the bulk food stores, and if you’ve ever eaten Bombay mix or similar Indian-style snacks you’ve probably had them yourself. Secondly, I always buy dry chickpeas and cook my own, usually 1kg at a time, as they freeze amazingly well and I try to avoid cans where possible to save waste. This always seems like a great idea, but when I’m storing the resulting 3kg of cooked chickpeas I’m thinking of novel ways to try to use them up so I don’t feel quite so intimidated every time I open the freezer door.

I’m not going to tell you that they taste like potatoes. Of course they don’t. I am going to tell you that if you want a salty, crunchy alternative that you can munch away by the handful, plastic-free, then roasted chickpeas are seriously worth considering. They’re cheap and simple to make. Have them plain, or flavour them. I’m still experimenting with what flavours I like best, so I’ve given you a couple of ideas to get started.

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Recipe – Roasted Chickpeas

Ingredients:

2 cups cooked chickpeas (380g approx)
2 tbsp macadamia oil
Spice mix: 3/4 tsp turmeric, 3/4 tsp ground cumin, 1 1/2 tsp paprika (or omit altogether for plain chickpeas)
Salt and pepper

Method:

Pre-heat oven to 180°C.

Rinse chickpeas and spread onto a clean dry tea towel to remove excess water. Remove any loose skins and discard.

Put into bowl, add oil, spices (if using) and salt and pepper, and mix well until all the chickpeas are coated.

Line a roasting tin with greaseproof paper and empty chickpeas into tin, spreading out as much as possible. Place in oven and cook for 40 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking and to ensure they cook evenly.

Remove and allow to cool completely. They will continue to harden as they cool (don’t be alarmed if they still feel soft when you take them out of the oven). Store in a glass jar if not eating immediately.

Chickpeas2 Spicemix1 Chickpeaspices1 chickpeas3 roastedchickpeas roastedchickpeas2 Enjoy! If you have a go at making them, I’d love to hear what you think in the comments!

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22 Responses to Oven-roasted chickpeas – a plastic free alternative to potato chips?

  1. Thanks for the lovely recipe. I have tried this with Cashew, peanuts and almond (or any nut mix). Added some kashmiri chilli powder to the spices with peanut oil. You can use garam masala too. Super tastey with a little bit of kick to it.

    • Haha, I was thinking of you too when I wrote this! I think Glen doesn’t mind these (or kale chips) because he was expecting the worst, and was pleasantly surprised. I think he resents the sweet potato chips the most because they masquerade as a potato chip but they’re just not the same. At least these don’t claim to be!

  2. I’ll have to give these a try. My kids love potato chips, but I’d rather have them eat this :-). Pinning. Would love for you to come and linkup for the Let’s Get Real Blog Hop on Thur. 27th at 5PM EST.

    • Are they the ones that are suspiciously bright green?! My boyfriend insists on buying those when we goes to the bulk bin store (that or chocolate-coated licorice) – he seems to think that they must be healthy as they are sold at the bulk bin store. I’m less convinced… they are VERY bright green!

  3. Thanks Lindsay! As a plastic free wannabee my favourite salty snack is oven roasted cashews but this will be nice for a change.

  4. Trying this now, so far the ones that have completely cooled are still soft? Nice, but soft and squishy. But the second batch I think I will try a little longer in the oven :)

    • When I wrote this recipe I lived in a flat which had an oven that had a tendency to burn everything. Now I’ve moved, I have a gas oven and I’ve found that most things take much longer and the temp needs to be a lot hotter, so I might have to go back and edit my old recipes.

      The other thing I realised is that I buy small chickpeas. If you’re using the larger ones that would increase the cooking time too.

      I think maybe increasing the temp a little, and cooking for longer will make the crispy-ness you’re after. Let me know how you get on next time! : )

  5. Lindsay, I found your site by chance since I was looking for something else for my new craft beer bar I’m opening but I’ve found several of your recipes suit our needs very nicely since we want to offer something different instead of chips.
    Thanks for the effort; the site is very good.

  6. P.S. Is there any difference in starting with dry peas? I’ve noticed that when I rehydrate chickpeas, the peas take much longer to cook in soups. Does this affect the roasting at all?

    • You wouldn’t be able to roast the dried peas. Soaking them is very important for digestion – to release the phytic acid. No shortcuts I’m afraid! Although you may be able to roast them straight after soaking / sprouting I guess (so before boiling)… If you do give this a go let me know what happens!

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