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I had trouble getting used to legumes at first, since I found them starchy and mushy. If not for their nutritional and environmental benefits, I would have given up long ago. After many false starts, I finally learned to love them! Chickpeas are my favourite type of legume. They have a nice texture and pleasant hazelnutty flavour and are incredibly versatile!

As a snack!

The secret is out: roasted chickpeas are delicious and very easy to make. First, simply prepare a spice blend (for example, combine paprika, garlic salt, onion powder, turmeric and a bit of hot sauce, like sriracha). Next, rinse the chickpeas , pat dry with a clean tea towel, drizzle with oil olive and toss with spices! Roast the chickpeas, turning regularly, for about 45 minutes or until slightly crispy. That’s all there is to it! They’re perfect to snack on when you’re feeling peckish. There are countless sweet and savoury spice blends to choose from, all of which are delicious!

As an appetizer!

Almost everyone is familiar with hummus! This seasoned chickpea purée is perfect for dipping vegetables, crackers and even chips (when the craving strikes)! While store-bought hummus is great, nothing beats homemade. Here’s a great recipe idea: in a blender, combine 500 mL (2 cups) chickpeas, 125 mL (½ cup) marinated roasted bell peppers, 2 cloves of garlic, 125 mL (½ cup) tahini, 60 to 125 mL (¼–½ cup) water, cumin, cayenne pepper and salt to taste. Delicious!

For lunch!

The possibilities are endless. Try using chickpeas as a pizza topping, roasting them in the oven with vegetables and your favourite spice blend, eating them plain in a green salad or on pasta, or turning them into falafels… yum! Personally, I love chickpea stew. It’s a great comfort food and generally quick to make.

Not only are chickpeas cheap and versatile, they are also packed with vitamins, fibre and protein. In short, what’s not to love?

What’s your favourite way to prepare them?