Plantain Chips

Hi guys,

Commence my almost-week-late post about the first step on my plantain exploration journey. Allow me to explain a little further: I recently moved into a neighborhood where there are a lot of wonderful fruit and vegetable options available that I am depressingly unfamiliar with…plantains being among the most tame. There’s also plenty of yucca and other similar root vegetables that I don’t even know the name of, stands with spikey, unfriendly looking fruits that I’m mildly terrified of, etc. I like to try things. I also have a hard time pushing myself to actually try these things. So, plantains serve as my baby-step towards all these crazy fruits and veggies. I digress:

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Plantain chips! These are pretty much as simple as it gets. I baked mine with coconut oil and they came out quite lovely if I do say so myself. I tried out two varieties in one batch: one sweet and one savory. For the sweeter ones I used a riper plantain and tossed with cinnamon–the savory ones got a green plantain with turmeric and cumin. I found that the greener plantain yielded a crispier chip, but the choice is yours!

2 plantains, sliced as thinly and uniformly as possible (1/8″ish)
2-3 tsp. melted coconut oil
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. turmeric
A pinch of cumin
A pinch of pepper
A healthy sprinkle of salt

Preheat your oven to 350° and either line a baking sheet with parchment paper or grease with coconut oil. Slice your plantains and put in two separate bowls. Toss each with 1-2 tsp. of the coconut oil plus your spices (cinnamon for sweet ones, turmeric, cumin and pepper for the others) and lay them out on your baking sheet. Sprinkle the savory ones with coarse salt and pop ’em in the oven for 20-30 minutes (mine took closer to 30 but I’d keep an eye on them starting at 20…every oven is different). When they’re looking crispy-brown around the edges, they’re done! Take them out and let them cool in order to crisp up. They’ll be crispiest if you eat them day-of, but they’ll keep semi-well in a sealed tupperware for a few days. If they soften up a little, I bet sticking them in the toaster oven for a bit would do the trick.

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Aren’t they lovely? More plantain goodies soon. Happy Monday!

Love,
Emily

Fall Granola

Hello loves!

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If you (like I) are a granola fan and have never made it yourself, do yourself a favor and try it. It’s really so much better. So fresh and so yummy and you control exactly what you put in it! Personalized granola! What could be better? This “fall granola” is a simple, seasonably appropriate apple-cinnamon-pepita combination but you can switch this up as much as you’d like to taste. Like I said last time I posted about granola, as long as you have a sweetener, an oil, and some oats, you can really just do whatever you want as far as the nuts/seeds/fruits go. You could even add chocolate chips if you wanted (gettin’ craaaazy up in here).

But seriously though. Make granola. It’s ridiculously easy, smells awesome, and tastes even better.

2 c. old fashioned oats
1/4 c. raw pepitas
1/4 c. raw sunflower seeds
1/4 c. sliced raw almonds
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. vanilla
1/4 c. coconut oil
1/4 c. honey
1/3 c. dried apples, chopped into little pieces
1/4 c. raisins

Preheat the oven to 300° and lightly grease a large cookie sheet with coconut oil. Combine your oats, nuts/seeds and cinnamon and set aside. Melt your honey and coconut oil together in the microwave for about 45 seconds and stir in the vanilla. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and stir to combine. Spread the mixture evenly on the cookie sheet and place in the oven for about 45 minutes, stirring every 10-15 so that the granola browns evenly and doesn’t get too toasty. Once you take it out of the oven, let it cool completely before adding your dried fruit! Breathe in the delectable, cozy smell that will now feel your apartment. Store in an airtight container and try to pace yourself with your granola consumption (it’ll be hard).

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Have a beautiful day, friends. I’ve already decided I’m going to have granola for dinner, so I know I will.

Love, Emily

Maple Cinnamon Granola

Helloooo friends!

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Ohhhhh my god. Oh my god. Make this right now. This was my first time making my own granola and I don’t know what took me so long. My favorite muesli from Trader Joe’s was out of stock yesterday when I went grocery shopping and, although at first I was devastated, it made me realize I have a ton of perfect granola-making supplies in my cupboard and I should just do it myself! I need granola for finals. Need it. It’s my go-to “I don’t feel like preparing a real meal right now” meal that’s sufficiently healthy-ish (kinda) while still being snack-y. I promise you I will be on a granola-binge this week as a result of all the finals/move-out/end of the year stress that I will be experiencing. At least now I’m sufficiently prepared.

I just ate a bowl of this nutty, oat-y goodness with milk and sliced bananas and I’m fairly sure I will never be quite the same. This was SO EASY and it’s SO YUMMY and it made the apartment smell like cinnamon and maple syrup. I’m back on my breakfast binge, ladies and gentlemen. And I don’t even regret it. Yet.

3 c. old fashioned oats

1 c. coconut flakes

1/4 c. maple syrup

2 Tbsp. agave nectar (or honey!)

1/4 c. coconut oil

1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1/2 tsp. nutmeg

dash of salt

1 c. mixed nuts, chopped (I used cashews, peanuts, walnuts and pepitas)

1 c. dried fruit (I used mixed raisins)

Preheat the oven to 350. Line a baking sheet with tin foil and set aside. In a large bowl, mix everything but the dried fruit–but including the coconut, of course–until everything is sufficiently coated. (You may need to microwave the coconut oil for a few seconds to make it liquid-y.) Spread the mixture on your cookie sheet as evenly as possible. Stick it in the oven for 15-30 minutes (I do realize this is a big range, bear with me for a second), stirring every 5 minutes or so to make sure everything gets evenly toasted. Let it cool completely before stirring in your dried fruit and storing.

I only left my granola in the oven for about 20 minutes or so, but I’ve seen recipes say to leave it in for as long as 45. I checked mine every 5 and it seemed like the edges were nearing their toasty peak by the 3rd time I checked, so I re-stirred and took it out soon after. I’m sure a lot of it has to do with your oven–just don’t make this when you absolutely must be otherwise occupied since you’re going to have to check it. You definitely wouldn’t want your precious granola to burn.

This goes without saying, but you can obviously use whatever ingredients you’d like in your granola. If you don’t like coconut or something, omit it. If you’re really into dried cherries, add ’em. I bet you could make a really awesome banana-y granola using ripe mashed bananas. Or you could even add cocoa powder. Whatever you’d like, really! I’ll probably try more varieties and keep you posted.

For everyone who’s crazy busy right now: hang in there! You can do it! Make some granola, it’ll make you feel better.

Love, Emily

Cinnamon Honey Ricotta Toast

Hi all,

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Okay this probably doesn’t warrant an entire “recipe” post but it was honestly so delicious I couldn’t help but share. It was the perfect pre-work breakfast. Quick and easy. Also, new and exciting! I always love a fried egg on toast (eggz 4ever*~), but it’s always nice to change things up every once in a while. This is a nice, sweet breakfast without being one of those “let’s put you in a sugar coma with obscene amounts of butter, powdered sugar and syrup!” kind of breakfasts.

The past couple days have been UTTER MADNESS. I am borderline out of food, so I’m relying more or less on breakfast foods and snacks for survival. I have to make it two more days before I replenish my grocery supply. I must survive! Yesterday for breakfast breakfast, I had these pieces of toast and a cup of coffee. For lunch breakfast, I had a granola bar and a gingerbread americano. Linner breakfast: a yogurt parfait. Dinner breakfast: a bowl of muesli and a banana. See? I wasn’t kidding. Breakfast for every meal. Plus there are those delicious scones that I made the other day that–although extremely delicious–add even more to my breakfast binge. My first non-breakfast type dish in literally 3 days was tonight when I finally broke the streak with chicken and broccoli (shoutout to Jade for providing the chicken, otherwise I would still be stuck in breakfastland). Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE breakfast foods. Adore them. They’re probably my absolute favorite, in fact. I never thought I would hear myself say this, but I really did get kind of sick of eating breakfast for every meal (gasp!). Really though! How many times can you eat eggs, yogurt, or some form of granola before it gets old? 72 hours is my limit, apparently.

1-2 slices of this fabulous wheat bread (or, store bought of course…less exciting though)

Ricotta

Honey

Cinnamon

Toast your toast (shocker), spread as much of ricotta as your heart desires on it, drizzle with honey, and sprinkle with cinnamon. Simple.

I bet this would be great with some slivered almonds sprinkled on top too. Oh, yum. I’ll probably do that tomorrow, in fact. Cannot wait for the morning.

Love, Emily

Best Ever Brownies

Hello again, friends,

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Here, in my second post of the day, I am about to share with you something incredible. These brownies were so. So. So good. Before I get much further in my discussion of these brownies, let me warn you: they are made with almond flour, so if you’re in any way allergic to almonds/dislike them or something, I apologize for getting your hopes up. But really these are SO GOOD. It is taking every ounce of will power I have to not eat the entire plate. I’ve only had one today–well, on top of all the batter/crumbs I ate, but those don’t count–which is a huge victory for me. I’ll definitely have another one after dinner. Definitely.

I used this recipe for these brownies…didn’t even adapt it at all. The only thing I changed was that I used vanilla extract instead of almond, but only because I didn’t have any. I wish I did! That would’ve been even more fabulous. Almond meal is kind of hard to come by–I happened upon a cute little nut/dried fruit shop downtown that had tons of it (as well as walnut meal! Imagine the possibilities!), so naturally I stocked up. It’s just such a wonderful thing to have. I use it to “bread” everything that requires breadcrumbs! And now that I have successfully experimented with baking with almond meal, I can’t wait to try more. Yippeeee! The only thing is, if you’re going to use almond meal as “almond flour”, you need to make sure it’s super fine. If it’s too coarsely ground, it won’t bake quite right. As soon as I finish writing this post, I’m going to eat another one of these little morsels of awesomeness. I simply cannot wait.

3/4 c. almond flour

1/4 tsp. salt

2 Tbsp. baking cocoa

1/2 tsp. baking powder

3/4 c. sugar

3 eggs

1/2 tsp. vanilla (or almond extract if you’re lucky enough to have it and want things almond-y!)

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1/2 c. butter

3/4 c. chopped bittersweet chocolate or chocolate chips (separated into 1/2 c. and 1/4 c.)

Preheat the oven to 350. Grease an 8×8″ pan and set aside. Put half a cup of your chocolate into a microwavable bowl with your butter and microwave for 30 seconds. Take it out, stir it up, and put it back in for 20 seconds at a time until the mixture is completely melted, then set it aside and let it cool. Whisk the eggs and sugar together in a separate bowl until they’re combined, then slowly add the cooled butter/chocolate mixture, stirring constantly, until it’s all mixed together. Then, add your vanilla. In a separate bowl, mix together your almond flour, salt, cocoa powder, baking powder, and cinnamon (make sure to get rid of any lumps!). Pour your dry mixture into the wet one and stir until combined. Fold in the leftover 1/4 c. chocolate and pour into your prepared baking dish. Bake for 30 minutes or until the center has completely set and is slightly crackly on top. Let them cool in the pan before you cut them, then enjoy!

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Make sure you are around to enjoy the smell of these brownies as they bake…it’s really one of the best smells in the entire world, I’m pretty sure. I’m almost positive that’s how my own personal heaven would smell. Like almond-y, cinnamon-y brownies baking. Ugh. It kills me.

Again, be safe in this hurricane, lovelies! Being a California baby, this is my first hurricane, so it’s a little intimidating. I’ll be sure to keep bakin’ and cookin’ (assuming the power stays on), so you’ll be hearing from me again soon!

Love, Emily

Pumpkin Snickerdoodles

Chers mes amis,

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See? I told you there would be more pumpkin goodies. And I’m SURE there will be more this entire week, seeing as we have the leftover pumpkin puree to have tons of fun with (heh heh heh BRING ON THE PUMPKIN). Oh and this post goes out to mah main gurl MARIANNE aka my only loyal blog-reader and my best fwiend. Thanks for loving me always, boo. <3

So guys! I bought a cookie jar today! His name is Francois–he’s very French, as you can see. My roommates and I decided it was about time we have a cookie jar in the apartment; I can tell we are going to get along great. Francois has a lot to offer, really. Just look at how happy he is to offer us cookies! What a guy.

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Ugh okay also: I’m really irritated at how gross my pictures are lately. I am so, so sorry. It probably isn’t nearly as big of a deal as it seems to me at the moment, but I’m FREAKING OUT about how not nice-looking they are. Long story short, my camera got knocked off of a shelf, fell lens-first onto the ground, and the lens survived (thank GOD), but the UV lens filter shattered and got dented, so I can’t get it off. And clearly I haven’t had any time to take it in somewhere to get it looked at…so funky, blurry photos it is. Sorry ’bout it.

Alright, down to business. Pumpkin snickerdoodle business–the best kind of business there is. I adapted this recipe here (although I’m sure there’s an original somewhere, this one worked out just fine). These were lovely cookies. Very puffy and soft. I was super into them. The ooone thing is, they weren’t all that pumpkin-y! They had a nice pumpkin aftertaste kind of flavor, but other than that, they were mostly just a really good snickerdoodle. Which, seeing as I consume more pumpkin than the average person, was kind of okay with. If you want a PUMPKIN-Y pumpkin cookie, however, I would suggest the chocolate chip pumpkin bars I have in my Pumpkin Appreciation Post. Those are really just the best.

Cookie:

2 c. flour

3/4 tsp. baking powder

1/4 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

A pinch of nutmeg

1 stick unsalted butter, room temp

1/2 c. sugar

1/4 c. dark brown sugar

A very heaping 1/4 c. pumpkin puree

1 egg

1 tsp. vanilla

Sugar coating:

1/4 c. sugar

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1/4 tsp. ground ginger

In a medium bowl, combine the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg) and set aside. Cream together the butter and the sugars with a spoon (or electric mixer, if you’re one of the lucky few with one of those…I’m a little bitter, it’s fine) until combined. Add the pumpkin, egg and vanilla to the butter and sugar mixture and stir together. Gradually add the dry mixture to the wet, stirring constantly until all is combined. The next part is the hardest–cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for about an hour (ooor as long as you can stand it; in my case, 47 minutes). I KNOW it’s tempting to skip this step, but it really helps the cookies stay thick and soft! I recommend sticking with it. Although I know it’s torturous. I know. Don’t forget to preheat your oven to 350 during the time you’re waiting for your dough to chill! Once your hour is up, take the dough out and combine your sugar-spice coating mixture. Roll heaping tablespoons of dough in your hands until round, into the sugar mixture until covered, and place them on a lightly greased baking sheet. Flatten them slightly with your hand so they don’t come out completely round–that would be silly. Bake them for 10-12 minutes (mine took exactly 11) and let them cool on the cookie sheet for a few minutes before transferring them elsewhere. Like your mouth, for example. Or your cookie jar.

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Saturday night well spent. My bed is calling. Sweet dreams, friends

Love, Emily

Pear Scones

Hi loves,

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Mmmmmkay. After these, I am done with baking with diced fruit for a while. Do you guys have any idea how time consuming/irritating it is to peel apples or pears without a peeler? I did it by hand! With a knife! Not that I had anything else to do. So it was fine, I was just so over it by the time I finished. But it was absolutely worth it. Baking on a college budget/in a tiny apartment is always rather challenging, but I make do. I don’t know what I would do without baking, seeing as it is the only thing keeping me at least somewhat mentally stable at the moment. Peace, love and scones 4ever.

I was home alone and in a funk this morning that only baking could cure (as usual). Aaaand I was in the mood for scones. And I recently bought pears. So pear scones it was! My morning was spent blasting the new Band of Horses and Grizzly Bear albums at an obnoxious volume, drinking iced coffee, and baking/dancing around with no pants on. Pretty standard morning for me, to be honest. Hey, it made me feel better, so why not? I just used my version of my delicious go-to, basic scone recipe (this one for cardamom ginger scones–which are DELICIOUS by the way–minus the cardamom and ginger of course) and tweaked it a little to make these delicious bits of scone goodness. As usual, I halved the recipe (2 dozen scones for the 4 people living in this apartment would have been a bit much), but I’ll post the full one for all of you lovelies.

3 1/3 c. all purpose flour

1 tablespoon + 1 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. salt

1 tsp. cinnamon

1/3 c. unsweetened applesauce

1/2 c. unsalted butter, cut into 1/2″ pieces

1 c. cold milk

1 egg

1 large pear, peeled and diced

Egg wash:
1 egg

4 tablespoons brown sugar

Preheat the oven to 400. Grease a baking sheet and set aside. In a large bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. Add butter, milk, an egg, and your applesauce and mix together until just combined. Don’t worry if your butter isn’t all the way mixed in–it’s okay if there are still some little chunks. Don’t overmix it! Once ingredients are sufficiently combined, fold in your pear pieces. Place very heaping tablespoons of dough on your greased baking sheet a few inches apart, whisk together your brown sugar and the other egg, and glaze each scone with the mixture. Bake for 15-18 minutes or until the edges are golden brown; mine took about 16 minutes. Don’t bake them for too long or they’ll dry out and won’t be nearly as delicious!

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As usual, I always recommend you eat one warm. Prooobably with a glass of milk. I may or may not have already eaten two of these. No regrets, just scones.

Wishing all of my New York fwiends a nice, cozy thunderstorm day!

Love, Emily

Apple Cinnamon Muffins

Hey babes,

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So I just had a conversation that went a little something like this:

Me: Want a muffin? They’re waaaarm
Roommate: They smell heavenly but I’m so full. I don’t know if I can do it.
Me: (takes a bite of a muffin)
Roommate: (looks distressed)
Me: Maybe just a bite of my muffin?
Roomate: Mhmmmmmm
Me: (feeds her bite of muffin)
Roommate: OH MY GOOOOD WHY IS EVERYTHING YOU BAKE SO GOOD I THINK I JUST TASTED HEAVEN I need to eat a whole one oh my god (etc. etc.)

I kid you not. This seems to happen a lot with my baking. My roomies are the most lovely little culinary-confidence boosters. I love ’em. Anywaaaaays. Okay, I’m not trying to brag, but these were some pretty awesome muffins. I adapted the recipe from Smitten Kitchen who adapted it from some other recipe (King Arthur Flour?)..lots of adapting. Regardless, these muffins turned out wonderfully! Mine are not, however, whole wheat. Being a college student with limited baking resources, I do not own whole wheat flour. Maybe someday. If I’m feeling ambitious. Also I did not have buttermilk OR plain yogurt. But I made do just fine. And they turned out FAB soooo yay try my version!

2 c. all purpose flour

1 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. baking soda

1/4 tsp. salt

1 Tbsp. cinnamon

1/2 c. unsalted butter, room temp.

1/2 c. sugar

1/4 c. dark brown sugar (plus some extra to sprinkle on top!)

1 c. vanilla greek yogurt

2 apples, peeled and chopped (I used one pink lady and one granny smith…ha)

Preheat the oven to 450. Mix together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon in a bowl and set aside. Cream together the butter, sugar and brown sugar in a separate bowl until combined and fluffy, then add the egg and mix again. Next, gently mix in the yogurt until just combined. Finally, fold in the apple chunks (ugh I had the word CHUNK but it had to be said) and divide the batter into a greased muffin pan (again, I used my go-to coconut oil) and sprinkle some brown sugar on of each muffin so they turn out nice and crunchy and yummy. Bake for 10 minutes, turn the oven down to 400, and bake for another 5-10 until a toothpick comes out clean. Mine only needed an extra five, and even then they were a little crispy. I probably could’ve taken them out sooner, but they were fiiine.

The batter may seem super thick, but don’t worry! Mine certainly was. I blame the greek yogurt. But it made the muffins super moist and perfect so I’m okay with it. The original recipe said this made a dozen muffins, Smitten Kitchen said 18, and I ended up making 16 soooo I guess it really depends on your batch!

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I’m so glad I decided to buy a muffin pan immediately upon moving into my apartment. Solid investment.

Love, Emily

Cinnamon Oatmeal Cookies

Bonjour mes amis,

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Okay. Just. Okay listen. I just ate three of these cookies in a row. I can’t be stopped. These are JUST SO GOOD. I want to be surrounded by the smell of them always. The apartment smells like cinnamon heaven. I can’t rave about these cookies enough. I really can’t. They were perfectly chewy without being undercooked; honestly they were just the epitome of cookie goodness.

I find that whenever I’m in a funk, the one thing that makes me feel better for the time being (guaranteed!) is cooking or baking. Put me in a kitchen with some music and some essential ingredients and for every moment that I am mixing and creaming and sifting, I am a happy, happy girl.

1/2 c. butter, softened

3/4 c. dark brown sugar

1/4 c. sugar

1 tsp. vanilla

1 egg

1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. cinnamon

1/4 tsp. salt

1 c. flour

1/2 c. oats

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Preheat the oven to 350. Lightly grease two cookie sheets (I used coconut oil) and set them aside. Cream the butter and sugars together in a bowl until they are combined, then add your egg and vanilla and mix until they are combined as well. Next, stir in the baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Now, add the flour, but do this SLOWLY. You want to mix as little as possible (while still combining the ingredients of course), otherwise the cookies will be less chewy, more tough and weird. Just do a little at a time (half and half works) and mix until JUST combined. Finally you can add your oats and, again, mix only until it’s just combined enough to roll into dough. Place on a cookie sheet at least 2″ apart (I got 2 dozen cookies out of this batch exactly) and bake for 8-10 minutes until the edges are lightly brown and the middles are still a little doughy-looking. Take them out of the oven and let them sit for a few minutes to set. TRY TO RESIST THE TEMPTATION TO EAT THEM RIGHT AWAY, I promise they will still be warm in a few minutes, but they won’t fall apart. Enjoy warm, preferably with a glass of milk.

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Ugh now I want another one. I’m gonna have to make these cookies again and again and again. They are too good.

Love, Emily

Cinnamon Sugar Chickpea Snack

Hi guys,

I know, I know. I’m a terrible blogger. I haven’t been consistent, it’s bad. I know I’ll get back on track once school starts and I actually have a schedule to follow (summer 2012 has been a laid back one for me, to say the least). Anyways! I’ll try to make up for it.

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The other day I was kind of in a slump. One of those “I’m so bored and antsy but I really don’t feel like doing anything productive” slumps. My solution to that has always been, naturally, to cook or bake something, so that’s what I did. I found some chickpeas in the pantry (what else is new) and I’d seen this recipe for oven-roasted chickpeas, so I thought I’d give it a try. They’re suuuper easy. Like minimal preparation and cleanup, and awesome result. My dad was all about these chickpeas. Try ’em:

1 15 oz. can garbanzo beans, drained

2 tsp. olive oil

1 tsp. cinnamon

1 tbsp. brown sugar

1/4 tsp. salt (or to taste, of course)

Preheat the oven to 450 (yes, that hot) and spread the chickpeas onto a cookie sheet. The recipe I used said to line the baking sheet with parchment paper, but I never had that on hand so I just used my go-to junk cookie sheet (the one I burned the living daylights out of when I made the roasted peppers, if you recall). Roast the plain, unseasoned chickpeas for about 30 minutes until they’re nice and crunchy. Some may get a liiittle toasty; if you don’t like that you can take them out earlier. Afterwards, just throw all the ingredients in a bowl together and mix! That’s it. Easy right?

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(Note my ugly cookie sheet. Oopsie.)

These are delicious at room temperature, but by no means does that mean you need to wait for them to cool. I highly recommend eating them while they’re still warm, they’re awesome. They won’t keep for too long–maybe a couple days tops, they get a little stale and funky after a while–but that shouldn’t be a problem, they’ll go fast. This recipe reminded me of a less seasonal roasted pumpkin seed kinda thing. I wish I could have fresh pumpkin seeds year round, but this is a pretty nice, summery substitute. Also, you don’t have to use just cinnamon, you can honestly use whatever spices you like. A spicy version of this might be kinda fun…I don’t know! Go crazy.

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Mmmmmm.

Love, Emily