Product Review: Nutty Bean Chick Pz! »
Clockwise from the left: Vanilla Chai, Sesame Crunch, and Sweet and Spicy Chipotle.
Hello, friends! Here I am with another product review! This time we have some healthy snack food: Nutty Bean Chick Pz. These are flavored roasted chickpeas. All flavors but the Honey Roasted are vegan. I tried the Chai Vanilla, Sesame Crunch, Sea Salt, and the Sweet and Spicy Chipotle (for those following along at home, that’s all but the Honey Roasted and BBQ). Nutty Bean sent me these flavors to try for free and now I will tell you all about them.
I’ve actually seen roasted chickpeas before; I used to go to the Italian festival in New Jersey every year (which I highly recommend—except for the cannoli eating contest; whatever you do, don’t watch the cannoli eating contest! You will vom!) and they had them in big burlap sacks. Haven’t seen them since then. I always thought it was a good idea though, seems like a healthy snack idea.
So, in brief: they are a bit weird…AND I love them. The weird part is the texture. They are crunchy at first—kind of like wasabi peas or something—but then when you bite into them, they have a kind of dusty texture? I think dusty is the best description. But I think you get used to it and then you can enjoy them with reckless abandon!
The really cool thing is that these are super healthy. If they were bad for you and had the unfamiliar texture, I might not be into them. But I think the health factor makes it a good gamble. There are two servings per package (a good size!) and each serving has 4 grams of fiber, 4 grams of protein and only 1.5 grams of fat. It also has 10% of your daily iron, so that’s nice. And a little shot of calcium to boot.
My favorite-favorite flavor is the Sweet and Spicy Chipotle. Yummy! It rules. I’m kind of a nancy about spice so these are a little too hot for me. My solution was to eat like four, then eat a handful of sea salt ones to relieve the spice. Funny Megan! But it worked great.
I didn’t like the Sesame Crunch that much; I think you would definitely like that flavor if you like those little sesame sticks they always sell in bulk candy sections. You know the ones? My mom used to buy those for us when we were hippies. I was never that into them. But if you were, this is your flavor.
As for the Vanilla Chai, I thought I wouldn’t like them because sometimes chai is über-sweet. But to my surprise, this was my second favorite flavor! Not too sweet but nice and cinnamon-clovey. Definitely yum and a nice sweet treat that’s not too sweet.
That’s the other good thing besides the health: these hit the spot. If you want a little touch of sweetness, you got it; if you want something salty, boom. And you can feel like you are doing something good for your body because of the iron, fiber, and protein! So it’s really a great snack option. I officially recommend!
Sicilian Chickpea Fritters, WELL HELLO. These remind me of Megan’s addictive chickpea frittata and I’m about to get down on a basket of these things. And not like a decorative basket that holds potpourri, I’m talking about a basket to carry towels around at beach resort. Or a clothes hamper, that would be good, too.
Make this: Slate’s peanut butter hummus! »
My ma sent me this recipe from Slate last week, all excited, and honestly, I was skeptical. Hummus with peanut butter? Nonsense.
But the author does make an excellent point about peanut butter being more affordable than tahini, and I also feel like smoked paprika is a genius ingredient from heaven, and beyond everything else hummus is way super-easy to make, so why not?
Results: Delicious, slightly pinkish-brownish, rich, creamy, tasty hummus. Highly recommended. You probably have all the ingredients right now! If you don’t have smoked paprika, get some immediately: It’s inexpensive and adds a dimension of taste to your foods you’ll hate yourself for missing.
Peanut butter hummus! It’s what’s for EVERY MEAL FOREVER.
[photo by Olga Vasiljeva via Flickr]
The Good Bean: chickpeas a-go-go! »
A few months back, my brother was diagnosed with celiac disease, which is a digestive disorder that makes one unable to process gluten and also be incredibly annoying about it to others. I don’t know whether this is true of all persons suffering from celiac disease or peculiar to my brother,* but after hearing about how celiac disease was the worst thing that could happen to anyone, and phone calls about how I should give up doing therapy because any and all clients I would ever see would not be suffering from depression and anxiety but undiagnosed gluten allergies, I thought that I would appease him by going on a gluten-free diet for a couple of weeks.
Unfortunately, being gluten-free is really hard: everything delicious has gluten in it. My brother is also an omnivore, so what he gave up in eating bread and pasta, he made up for eating five to 10 whole chickens a day. I, on the other hand, would have to give up all manner of veggie burgers, delicious Gardein, and sugary breakfast cereals. This, I was sure, would kill me faster in the long-term than celiac disease.
My biggest problem was snacks, because often what was gluten-free was not cruelty-free and I was refusing to spend my 10-minute breaks at work chomping on carrots day after day. That really killed the gluten-free diet for me, and after three weeks of suffering my way through, I inhaled an entire bag of salt-and-pepper chips and never looked back. That is, until the Good Bean emailed Vegansaurus to inform us of a new vegan and gluten-free snack made of chickpeas. Hell yes! I love chickpeas with the passion of a thousand burning suns (and 15 women scorned).
I received the package from the Good Bean on a Saturday afternoon and was delighted to have a chance to try the different flavors immediately (only partly because I can stretch a tasting session into about four hours while watching old episodes of Bones when I should really be writing a paper). Fortunately, Allen had a friend over and I invited them to join me in the tasting process (only partly because if I hadn’t Allen would ask me why I was watching reruns of a show about forensic anthropology instead of writing the important paper I’d been moaning about for weeks), so we sat around the dining room table and discussed how we felt about roasted chickpeas.
We were all very excited about the fact that the snacks that the Good Bean produces are not only vegan and completely gluten-free but also low in fat and high in protein. And they come in stylish little packages that are easy to open (no scissors required) and carry-friendly! When we opened the packages, however, our excitement waned a little.
First of all, I have to warn you that roasted chickpeas are not as crunchy as you may believe they are. These chickpeas do not have the same texture and consistency as other roasted bean snacks that I’ve tried (the ones you may find at Mexican supermarkets, for instance) and are less firm than one would expect. The first bite, too, is a little bit of a shock; the chickpeas are very chalky in texture. Once you’ve had a couple, however, the texture is not only tolerable but welcome. In fact, I found that biting in became more and more pleasurable as I continued eating and became somewhat addictive. Allen and his friend did not warm to the texture, however, and while they enjoyed trying the different flavors, they both suggested that the roasted chickpeas might be more delicious if they were firmer.
We received four different flavors: sea salt, cracked pepper, smoky chili and lime, and sweet cinnamon. I am a huge fan of anything that features cracked pepper as a main ingredient and immediately downed a handful of that flavor, while Allen and Sunny both tried sea salt.
Our responses were mixed. While we all agreed that the snacks were pleasant, the texture took us by surprise and as mentioned, took a little getting used to before we could comment on the flavors. As for the flavors themselves, these too were a mixed bag. The flavor of the cracked pepper was strong and a little bit spicy, leaving a nice aftertaste that lasted perhaps a bit too long. The flavor of the sea salt snacks varied between too much and too little, making it harder to enjoy a balanced taste. Allen and I also agreed that the cracked pepper went much better with the texture and that the sea salt, while good, was not as congruous (I cannot believe I just used that word. Thanks, geometry!).
The other two were more of the same. Allen and I both enjoyed the smoky chili and lime flavor, but wished that the chickpeas were more firm, and we both agreed that the sweet cinnamon seemed like an unusual choice. However, as I am writing about it, I think that it would be nice to try sweet cinnamon chickpeas in a bowl of soy milk as a breakfast food, or sprinkled on top of a bowl of oatmeal. Let me know if any of you try that, because in my mind it is delicious and I wish I had some of that flavor left to try it with.
This brings me to an important point: I finished all of the snacks. No matter how unusual the flavors and the textures may have been, I enjoyed these snacks well enough to finish all four 2.5-oz. packages, and would eat more if I had them. As a fairly new snack, the Good Bean still has a ways to go, but is not unpleasant by any means. I would happily eat these snacks at a party or if offered to me by a friend, and I will definitely be interested in new flavors and improvements, but at this time I cannot guarantee that these snacks would be a permanent fixture in my shopping cart.
*100 percent sure it is the latter.
It’s Chickpea, Kale, & Cauliflower Currazy by Izzy of Veganizzm (formerly Nuts and Oats)! It has been like flood-the-earth raining here lately, and a big warm bowl of vegetables would be perfect. Thanks, Izzy!
The Kitchn (Ugh, that missing “e”! It kills me!) is representing today with this stellar-looking chickpea sandwich recipe. It’s a more-than-suitable replacement for a tuna sandwich (seriously you’re still eating tuna!? Why don’t you just go rape a baby turtle while you’re at it? That’s probably less harmful and disgusting than opening up a can of Chicken of the Sea HOW DO YOU GET OUT OF BED IN THE MORNING!?) and is quite delicious to boot. I make a similar sandwich with Wildwood’s Garlic Aioli (a.k.a., God’s only elixir that isn’t hard alcohol). Delightful!