Honey Cinnamon Roasted Chickpeas

I very rarely pay attention to the nutrition of the recipes I share with you. Occasionally, I'll notice that something I've made has turned out unusuallyhealthy, but it's always an accident (and never quite on purpose). I love butter, sugar, and heavy cream. I don't want to imagine my life (or desserts) without it.

Despite my affinity for decadent desserts, I volunteered to develop a few healthy low-calorie, low-fat recipes for a local magazine. I thought it would be a cinch until I sat down to work out the recipes. It turns out it's a lot harder than I gave it credit for. What I thought would be a simple task became a new challenge, with one important question to answer.

How do you remove the unhealthy ingredients of most decadent desserts and still keep them delicious?

As I've been trial-and-erroring my way through recipes the last week, I realized something important. Maybe it's obvious, but it took me a bit to figure it out. I shouldn't have asked myself how to turn a decadent dessert into a healthy one. Instead, I should have been asking how I could turn a healthy food into a decadent dessert. As it so happens, starting with an already healthy food is half the battle.

Or, in the case of these chickpeas, all of the battle.

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I've always associated chickpeas with hummus and little else. After a little research, I learned that chickpeas are so much more than just a bowl full of hummus. Roasting chickpeas in the oven turns them into something very similar to a crunchy little nut (but so much healthier!). Since I love all things sweet, I added a little honey and cinnamon to these roasted chickpeas to make an amazing snack I pretty much devoured in one sitting.

Though these little babies didn't make it into the magazine, it certainly wasn't because they weren't delicious or healthy enough. On the contrary, they were too good not to share with you immediately. I hope you make a batch of these for yourself. Finally a snack you can feel good about eating!

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These Honey Cinnamon Roasted Chickpeas are simple to make, with minimal ingredients, and taste just like your favorite roasted nuts. Roasting chickpeas turns them from a soft bean to a crunchy wonder. I added honey and cinnamon to bring a light sweetness and spice to these addictive roasted chickpeas. Fair warning: You might want to double this recipe right away. You can thank me later.

One Year Ago: Fig & Balsamic Jam

Honey Cinnamon Roasted Chickpeas

Yields about 2 cups

15 ounce can garbanzo beans (or 2 cups cooked chickpeas) (FYI: chickpeas and garbanzo beans are the same thing)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon honey

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees F).

Drain and rinse garbanzo beans, running them under cool water for several minutes to clean off the starch. You may optionally remove the skins from the beans (it does take a few minutes) or you can leave them onβ€”it's your personal preference. Dry off the beans.

In a small bowl, whisk together the oil, cinnamon, and sugar. Place beans in bowl and stir until evenly coated. Spread out the beans on a large baking sheet and bake for 35-40 minutes, or until beans are crunchy and no longer soft in the middle. Test taste every few minutes until desired texture is reached.

Place hot, roasted beans in a small bowl and coat evenly with honey. Spread beans back out on baking sheet and allow to dry. Store in an airtight container at room temperature.