Maple Cinnamon Roasted Chickpeas

Today I was panning on sharing a delicious recipe for grain-free gingerbread-red velvet cupcakes with cashew frosting.  Yes, they sound as good as they taste.  Sinfully good!  But before I get you too excited, you should know why I am not sharing this recipe today.  See my puppy Stella agreed that those cupcakes were good.  So good that she snuck onto the counter when nobody was around and ate every last one of them!  Ahhh I was so mad because I only had tasted each individual component of the cupcakes and was waiting for a friend to come over to dig in.  Very upsetting.

Anyway, there is no use crying over spilt milk when I found the silver lining in the situation by creating this fabulous recipe for maple cinnamon roasted chickpeas.  I was left empty handed with a serious sweet tooth craving (and a very sick puppy), so I got to work on making another sweet treat. Only this time I decided to go easy on the richness factor because I know I’m going to be eating my fair share of treats over the next few weeks.

Full of protein and fiber while low in calories and sugar, these roasted chick peas are the perfect way to snack smart this holiday season.  They are crunchy, salty, and just the right amount of sweet and spicy without any refined sugar in site.  Another plus about these little guys is they are satisfying and filling.  Everything you could possibly want in one little crispy bean!  I grabbed a can of chickpeas from my cabinet to make these because it was an emergency snack (usually I soak and cook my own beans).  What I’m getting at is you can make these with very little prep or work at all.  I’m actually planning on making these to give out as Christmas gifts because I think everyone can use a little more healthy this holiday season!  Hopefully these will tide you over until I re-make the gingerbread cupcakes…:)

Maple Cinnamon Roasted Chickpeas

1 15oz can chick peas (or about 2 cups soaked and cooked chickpeas)
1/2 Tbsp coconut oil, melted
1 Tbsp pure maple syrup, room temperature
1/8 tsp vanilla extract
1/2-3/4 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp salt

*All the measurements for the spices are an estimate as I just sprinkled them on top of the roasted beans.  Feel free to add more as desired, to taste.
**This makes about a cup of roasted beans.  I highly recommend doubling or tripling the recipe so you can snack on them for a few days!

1. Preheat oven to 375 F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
2.  Drain and rinse the beans.  Pour them on a dishtowel and gently pat them dry.  Lay on the prepared pan in one layer and cook for about 45 minutes, or until crispy.  Stir every 10 minutes or so.
3.  While the chickpeas are cooking, whisk together the coconut oil, maple syrup, and vanilla.
4. When the beans are done baking, remove from the oven and immediately toss them in the maple syrup mixture.  Sprinkle with cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt.  Spread them back out on the parchment paper pan and cook an additional 10-12 minutes to caramelize the seasonings.   Allow to cool completely before storing in an air-tight container.  Snack away!

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