When you transition to a whole foods plant based diet, particularly a no oil and/or low fat version of this diet, you usually need to figure out some new snacking options. Many of the snacks we commonly turn to have a bit too much fat, or are processed. For me, it was nut butters. Those didn't factor into my new diet. So this was one of the options I turned to: different preparations of chickpeas!
Many years ago at a really great little middle eastern eatery, my husband and I discovered za'atar spice blend. It was on a flatbread "pizza" style appetizer that we ordered. The flatbread was covered in olive oil and the spice blend applied to that. Oh my gosh was it ever delicious. Thyme, citrusy sumac, and sesame seeds.
Yes, I love za'atar spice blend, so I thought I'd try a "dry" roasted option for chickpeas that didn't use oil in the baking/roasting process. And it turned out great! So here it appears on the website.
Za'atar is a middle eastern spice blend. You can either purchase the blend pre-prepared or make it yourself (it's easy to make). I will include the spices in the recipe below if you wish to make your own.
DIY Za'atar spice blend recipe
To make your own za'atar, combine the following spices:
- 3 Tbsp dried thyme
- 1 Tbsp toasted sesame seeds
- 1 Tbsp sumac
- 1 tsp of sea salt (optional)
You can find sumac at middle eastern grocery stores, or online here.
(Note the above is an affiliate link, and helps keep this website online).
Baked chickpeas, no oil
These chickpeas are dry baked without any oil. The remaining dampness from the cooked or canned chickpeas (also called aquafaba) is utilized to "stick" the spice to the beans. Make sure that you reserve the aquafaba (liquid) from cooking the chickpeas or drained from the can, because you can use it in other recipes.
Dry Baked Za'atar Chickpeas (no oil, vegan)
- 15 oz can chickpeas or 1 cup soaked
- 2 Tbsp za'atar spice blend see recipe on this page
- Preheat oven or toaster oven to 450 degrees.
- Drain, rinse, and pat dry chickpeas (or soak/cook from dry). Make sure they're quite dry before baking so they crisp up while in the oven.
- Combine chickpeas and 2 Tbsp of za'atar in a mixing bowl.
- Lay flat on baking sheet (optionally cover sheet with parchment paper), and bake at 450 degrees for 30 minutes.
- Bake for additional 10 minutes if necessary, or if you like them extra crispy (pictured). Chickpeas should be crispy and slightly browned.