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Kalyn's Kitchen

Low-Glycemic and Gluten-Free Chickpea Crisps Appetizer (with or without Za’atar)

Low-Glycemic and Gluten-Free Chickpea CrispsYou may not think these chickpea crisps belong with the Christmas Recipes, but when you’re starting to feel sugar overload, here’s a holiday appetizer that’s sugar free, gluten-free, low-fat, and low glycemic, and it’s also so delicious and unusual that your friends will be asking, “What is this?” the minute you serve it. You’ll have to plan ahead for the dough to rest, but these crispy nibbles made with chickpea flour are also easy to make. I used the Za’atar I got in the mail from Maris to season them, but if you don’t have Za’atar, look after the recipe for some other seasoning ideas.

The idea of making the chickpea crisps in the shape of a triangle was inspired by this cast-iron scone pan I got in the mail from Georgie at AskGeorgie.com. When I admired it on her blog, Georgie told me she had two and offered to send me one. (Have you noticed I’m on a roll here with blogging friends sending me things in the mail. Not sure if I deserve all this stuff, but I’m certainly grateful!) If you don’t have a pan like this, any type of heavy oven-proof pan will work, but a cast iron frying pan or griddle would be ideal.

The batter is similar to Farinata or Socca, but I added just a hint of granulated garlic to the chickpea flour, salt, water, and olive oil. This needs to sit for 1-2 hours before you cook it.

Preheat the oven, then put the pan in and heat it for ten minutes. (You can’t tell, but this pan is smoking hot!) Then put a tiny bit of olive oil in each section of the pan. (I have a squeeze bottle filled with olive oil that works perfectly for this type of thing.)

Put about 1 1/2 – 2 tablespoons of batter into each section, or pour out batter so it’s less than 1/4 inch thick if using a regular pan.

Then sprinkle on the Za’atar or other seasonings. (I tried baking the chickpea crisps first and sprinkling the Za’atar on after, but I like it better sprinkled on before baking.)

Bake about 15 minutes, or until crisps are starting to brown and feel slightly crisp on the surface. These don’t get crisp clear through like a potato chip, but they shouldn’t be soft either. Serve hot, with Parsley Hummus, Tzatziki Sauce, White Bean Dip, Cilantro Salsa, or even Guacamole to dip into if desired.

Low-Glycemic and Gluten-Free Chickpea Crisps (with or without Za’atar) for a Holiday Appetizer
(Makes about 16 small triangular crisps, recipe adapted from Farinata at Lucullian Delights and Socca at David Lebovitz.)

1 cup chickpea flour
1 tsp. salt (I used fine grind sea salt)
1/2 tsp. granulated garlic
1 1/4 cup water
2 T olive oil, plus more for oiling pan before each batch is cooked
Za’atar for seasoning the chickpea crisps (If you don’t have Za’atar, you could use any spice or spice blend you like the flavor of like Sumac, Paprika, Cumin, Chile Powder, or even Spike Seasoning.

Put the chickpea flour, salt, and granulated garlic into a bowl or glass measuring cup and stir with a fork so the seasonings are mixed into the chickpea flour. Whisk in the water, then the olive oil, then cover the batter and let sit for 1-2 hours at room temperature.

When you’re ready to cook the chickpea crisps, preheat the oven to 475F/250c, or as high as the temperature will go. (My toaster oven only goes to 450, but I used the convection setting.) Put the scone pan, heavy frying pan, or cast iron griddle into the oven and preheat for 10 minutes.

Remove pan from oven, being careful not to burn yourself. Drizzle a thin layer of olive oil over the pan. (I used a squeeze bottle filled with olive oil to squirt some into each section of my scone pan.) Then pour on a small amount of batter (less than 1/4 inch thick, or 1 1/2 – 2 T in each section if you have a scone pan.) Sprinkle the batter with Za’atar or other seasoning of your choice.

Immediately put the pan back into the hot oven and cook for about 15 minutes, or until the crisps are starting to brown and feel crisp on the surface. Remove from oven. If you used a large frying pan or griddle, use a pizza cutter or sharp knife to cut into triangles. Serve hot.

These are delicious plain, but they could also be served with something like Parsley Hummus, Tzatziki Sauce, White Bean Dip, Cilantro Salsa, or even Guacamole to dip into if desired.

These are best made just before serving. I had some leftover ones that I reheated in a hot oven, but they were decidedly non-crispy when reheated, so I recommend making them just before eating.

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South Beach Suggestions:

Every type of flour is forbidden for phase one of the South Beach Diet, even chickpea flour, but for a holiday appetizer, this is really very low-glycemic and diet friendly. When you’re eating these remember they’re made with beans, and if you have digestion issues with bean dishes, use portion control!

More Tasty Treats with Chickpea Flour:
(Recipes from other blogs may not always be South Beach Diet friendly; check ingredients.)
Farinata with Rosemary and Pepper from Kalyn’s Kitchen
Socca (Garbanzo or Chickpea Flatbread Pancake from France) from Kalyn’s Kitchen
Farinata with Zucchini and Eggplant from AskGeorgie.com
Zucchini and Chickpea Pancakes from Just Hungry
Tortillita (Tiny Seafood Pancakes with Chickpea Flour) from Mark Bittman
Savory Chickpea Flour Pancakes from Not Eating Out in New York
Chickpea Flour Pizza from Live to Eat
Chickpea Flour Pancakes with Crushed Peas, Ginger, Chilies, and Cilantro from Lisa’s Kitchen
Gluten-Free Chickpea Crackers from Fat Free Vegan Kitchen
A “Pizza” from Chickpeas from A Life(Time) of Cooking
(Want even more recipes? I find these recipes from other blogs using Food Blog Search.)

This interesting appetizer made with chickpea flour is my entry for the last Weekend Herb Blogging of 2009, hosted this week by the talented Haalo at Cook (almost) Anything At Least Once. You can write about any type of herb or plant ingredient for Weekend Herb Blogging, so if you’d like to join in, check the rules, and send your entry to Haalo.
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33 comments on “Low-Glycemic and Gluten-Free Chickpea Crisps Appetizer (with or without Za’atar)”

  1. Britt, so glad you liked them. There is a good chickpea salad with sumac coming up soon!

  2. Made these today with homemade chana dal flour (besan or gram flour) for a lower glycemic load and also with homemade za'atar and it was great! I cooked it at 550 degrees in a 12 inch cast iron skillet for 15 minutes and it was perfect. Sprinkled the za'atar on before baking. Thanks for an awesome recipe. Would love to see more with chickpeas/chana dal!

  3. Alexandra, I like the idea of Cajun seasoning! It does have to be pretty thin if you want it to be crisp, and it doesn't stay crisp that long either, but I like it too.

  4. I have made this many times now, and my husband and I really like it. My version is 1/2 the recipe in a smallish cast iron pan with a cajun seasoning. It doesn't come out crisp, but we like it all the same. Probably need to use less batter.

  5. Wonderful recipe, I will definitely try this at home and see if I can start a healthy vegan lifestyle for my family this 2010!

  6. What a very interesting looking snack! Beautifully done.

  7. Nice way to work out something creative.

  8. These sound like fun, Kalyn. And, as you say, very similar to socca – one of our favourite things.

    Almost before having any Christmas goodies at all, I'm on sugar overload. Thank you for reminding me to make some tasty alternatives to the really rich sweet things on offer.


    P.S. You might also like my sister-in-law's oatmeal health biscuits.

  9. Those look great. I love that pan! Why bother with scones when you can have these crisps. Another great way to use Zaatar. I'm in. Looks like a good thing to make with 20 inches of snow outside.

  10. Vegeyum – If you want to pay for it, I'll get one and ship it to you. (I have no idea how much the cost is to ship.)

    I dont remember where I bought the pans from, but a search of "Lodge cast iron scone pan" brings up several retailers, such as amazon, target and others.

    FYI: Just be warned that cleaning the corners is annoying if you don't grease it well!

    Here's my farinata in it: http://askgeorgie.com/?p=787

    and of course, it makes beautiful scones!

    Georgie Fear RD

  11. Oh my goodness I want one of those pans! Sadly I can only find US suppliers who wont ship to Australia. 🙁

  12. Oh, you're right…I don't think I can look at another cookie anymore, so it is wonderful seeing some salty addition to all the festivity. And delicious as well1

  13. this is such a wonderful and easy to make recipe! very novel too, I haven't seen chickpea batter baked like this in a cast-iron pan. The dish sure screams 'make me' 🙂 I am so inspired to go out and buy zataar and cook with it!

  14. Thank you all! Susan, the headers are designed by my brother Rand and he just uses stock photos, but starting in Feb-March (after I get my blog re-designed) we're going to start using my photos. I'm kind of excited about that!

  15. I'm hosting a party this holiday where I need to cater to gluten free guests- this could be a great starter. I've been looking for Za'atar in Salt Lake and unable to find it, you've sealed the deal. I'll order it. Great post.

  16. Just noticed your new header and absolutely LOVE it! Did you take the photo?

  17. Brilliant, so brilliant. I love this idea.

  18. They look lovely!

    Nigella Lawson roasts chicken with za'atar and then serves it with a fattoush salad—which would be a good use for your crisps!

  19. What a wonderfully creative use of a pan meant for another use, and spices meant for another use, to create something new and completely your own. These would be great for a Middle Eastern spread.

  20. Glad people are liking this. I didn't have a link for where to purchase Za'atar but mine that I got from Maris is from Penzeys. The pan was a gift from another blogger, so I don't know where she bought it. Maybe leave a comment on her blog and ask her?

  21. Yummmm! These look great. I'm always looking for healthy crunchy things to go with dips.

  22. These look great! I followed the link for the cast iron scone pan, but did not see where to purchase it??

  23. This recipe sounds great. But when I followed the link to find Za'atar, I discovered that it is not currently available. However, I found a receipt for Za'atar on this web site: http://mideastfood.about.com/od/middleeasternspicesherbs/r/zaatar.htm
    The recipe seems to have the right ingredients.

  24. Oh, Kalyn, I love this. You're on the GF bandwagon! Thank you, thank you! This looks delicious and I've already printed out the recipe. Boy, you have a "gift fairy" making sure you're on the receiving end of all these fun culinary goodies! Love the looks of this pan.

    Merry GF Christmas and thanks for this recipe. I'll be trying it soon.


  25. My daughter will love these. I can't wait to try them!

  26. I have pan envy

    and I love this recipe. You are so right, too much sugar!!!!

    And the worst is to come this weekend… we are invited to 6 parties, 4 full meal dinners that we have to attend.

    i hope this recipe is on the menu at at least one

  27. Wooohooo! I'm glad to see my baby is getting lots of love! I do use mine for cornbread, farinata, scones, and even brownies (If youre a corner-lover it's the best!

    I've never tried zaatar, but now I think I'll go try it out!

    Well done Kayln!

    Georgie Fear RD

  28. Mmm, after you and David Lebovitz introduced me to socca, I'm happy to see another flavor combination. I'm also always happy to see za'atar in any dish. Growing up in an Arab American home, za'atar crackers were a mainstay, but just in the past few years have I seen the spice blend mentioned elsewhere.

  29. What a wonderful idea! I particularly like the Za'atar on top. Inspired!

  30. I have one of those "pans." I haven't used it since I made scones a long time ago. What a great use!

  31. Fantastic way to use this pan, Kalyn! At first glance the pan screams "Cornbread", but I like your idea much better.

  32. Amazing, once again, you've created an amazing Middle Eastern dish. This looks incredible and I will try for sure. Don't have that great pan, but will experiment. We sure have plenty of zaatar in our house!

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