I’m one of those lucky moms who’s children are willing to eat their vegetables and other healthy food choices. But don’t hate me yet — my two year old has a different aversion: meat. It isn’t that he doesn’t like the flavor, he doesn’t like to chew more than a few pieces. So, faced with the challenge of getting more protein in his diet, I turned to one of my favorite legumes: chickpeas aka garbanzo beans.
Chickpeas are a great source of zinc, folate and protein. They also contain a high amount of dietary fiber and that makes them a healthy source of carbohydrates. An added benefit over meat is that chickpeas are naturally low in fat and most of it is polyunsaturated.
Another benefit of these quick and easy snack cakes is the inclusion of a full cup of fresh carrots. Carrots are a good source of Thiamin, Niacin, Vitamin B6, Folate and Manganese, and a very good source of Dietary Fiber, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin K and Potassium. [source] This recipe is so flexible that you can easily add in any number of other vegetables such as chopped spinach or kale.
The recipe is simple to assemble and takes a very short time to prepare. If you have older children you can also make it a fun family time by incorporating their help in pressing the ‘patties’. Make sure to have them wash their hands well afterwards due to the use of raw egg. My little man isn’t quite old enough to do that yet, but he loves watching me make them. He thinks they look like the patties Sponge Bob makes so he’s even more eager to eat them afterwards!
Once finished the Chickpea Snackers can be eaten warm (yum! our favorite) or set to cool and taken on road trips, picnics and more. They are not greasy and don’t crumble easily so they are perfect for little fingers at snack time. They also make a great appetizer for your next adult get together – paired with a creamy Italian dressing for dipping.
|Quick and Healthy Chickpea Snackers||
- 1 can chickpeas (garbanzo beans) – drained
- 1 cup shredded or minced carrots
- 1/3 cup seasoned dry bread crumbs
- 1/4 cup low fat / fat free creamy Italian salad dressing
- 1 egg
- Preheat oven to 375°F
- Spray or butter baking sheet
- Mash chickpeas well in a bowl
- Stir in carrots, bread crumbs, salad dressing and egg
- Mix well until blended and moist
- Shape mixture into small patties – approx 1 tblsp per patty
- Place on sheet and bake for 15 – 18 minutes
- Make sure to turn patties halfway through
- Bake until golden brown on both sides