Saturday, July 7

10 ways with chickpeas..

There is one food item that features heavily on my weekly shopping list.. It is by far the most versatile food I have ever met. And yes I have met Potato & Egg. Chickpeas are Number 1 on my list. I usually buy 4-6 cans in my big groceries and often have to go back for more! My favourite way to have them is baked as an everyday healthy snack. Chickpeas are naturally low in fat, high in dietary fiber and rich in vitamins and minerals so make the most of them! Here are a few of my favourite ways to have them.. 

1. Baked in the oven for 15minutes with a dash of Olive Oil, Tamari and Paprika. My absolute favourite snack!

2. Throw a can in the blender with a handful of olives, sundried tomatoes, sprinke of mixed herbs,, 1/2 cup of any flour and 1 tsp Baking Powder. Knead into a loaf and bake for 15minutes. Amazing Gluten Free Focaccia Bread! 

3. Throw them in a bowl with some freshly chopped Mint, Coriander, Parsley and Lemon Juice. Eat just like this or add some Feta and Baby Spinach for a complete salad. 

4. In a pot cook a teaspoon each of Garlic, Ginger and Chilli. Add 1 can Chickpeas and 2 cups stock. Cook until water is evaporated and stir through fresh Coriander.

5. Stirfry a can of chickpeas with a can of crushed tomatoes, 1 Tablespoon cumin, and 1/2 can coconut milk. Add any vegetables you prefer and serve on brown rice. 

6. Blend with 1 Tablespoon each of Tahini and Lemon Juice, Clove of Garlic and dash of Cumin. Easy Hummus!

7. Stirfry 1 chopped Leek in a large saucepan. Add 4 cups of Vegetable stock, 1 Tbsp Soy Sauce and Lemon Juice. Pour in a can of chicpeas and 1 grated Carrot. One of my favourite soups!

8. Have them for lunch mixed with a can of Tuna and Baby Spinach leaves. 

9. Add a can of Chickpeas to your Roasts - Yum!

10. Bake on a low heat, around 150 celsius for 30 - 45 minutes. The chickpeas will go hard and crispy and you can store them for longer than soft chickpeas. Try adding any flavouring you can think of! Salt & Vinegar? BBQ? Experiment and find your favourite! 


Almond Butter Goodness!

This has got to be one of my favourite cant-live-without foods at the moment. I have mine every morning spread on my favourite Venerdi Ancient Grain Toast with sliced Banana on top or mixed in with my Oats & Apple. It makes breakfast just a little bit more exciting and adds a powerful health kick to your meal. Loaded with Vitamin E and Manganese, Almonds are a great antioxidant and help prevent heart disease, cancer and skin problems. Almonds are also fantastic for satisfying hunger and prevent over- eating. They also contain more nutrients than any other nut. Its no wonder they are so popular! They happen to be the only ingredient in this simple but time consuming recipe/. But trust me, a little bit of patience brings great rewards!

Place 200grams of Almonds in a Food Processor for about 20 minutes.
Blend on high, scraping down the sides when necessary. (Which is about once a minute during the grainy process - hence the patience!)
Your Almonds will first become chopped in to small grainy pieces. This part seems to last forever and you may start thinking that its not going to work...

But stay strong! Keep this going for about 10minutes and suddenly the pieces will start clumping together. This is because the natural ioils from the Almonds have been released. After clumping around for a bit in the processor the lumps will start breaking up again and will start becoming runny. Depending on how nutty/smooth you want your nut butter, this is when you can start taking yours out. I leave mine in for another 3 minutes or so until a silky liquid starts forming on top.
Transfer your nut butter to a jar and seal. I store mine in the fridge, but if you are using it within the week then the pantry is fine! Next week I am planning on creating some type of Almond & Carob Cups... Yum! I'll keep you posted - Enjoy! xx