Disclosure: I received free samples of this product to try, but was not compensated for this review in any way. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Chickpeas are having a moment, or maybe their 15 minutes of fame. It seems like chickpea recipes and ideas for using chickpeas, including appetizing-looking recipe Pins, are all over the internet, am I right? I must confess, however, that I am not a natural chickpea lover. I remember my mother cooking them when I was a kid and let’s just say that they were hard to swallow (at least the way she made them—sorry Mom). However, in an effort to get more protein into my diet, I am coming around to at least tolerating them, and I do like hummus, which as most folks know is made from chickpeas (aka garbanzo beans).
Anyway……I have found that I do like chickpeas most when they are roasted, toasted or otherwise made crunchy. Hence, I was willing to try Biena Foods’ Roasted Chickpea Snacks when they were offered to me by their nice PR agency folks. I was sent three bags of their snacks (2 oz. each), in the following flavors: Cinnamon Maple, Barbecue and Honey Roasted (there is also a Sea Salt variety, but I didn’t receive those to sample). If you’ve never had toasted, crunchy chickpeas you might be surprised at just how tasty they can be. Many times they are spicy, but they can also be sweet, tangy or savory—and of course you can make them at home any way you like, but these packaged chickpeas are mighty convenient. Each little bag contains about 1/2 cup of chickpeas, or about 2 servings. I found the portion size of 1/4 cup (a couple handfuls) to be perfect for me—they’re quite filling, given their fiber and protein content.
Nutritionally, each portion weighs in at 120 calories and provides 5 grams of protein, along with varying amounts of sodium (from 70-170mg per serving, depending on the flavor), about 6 grams of fiber and 3 grams of fat (no trans fat or saturated fat). Biena’s Chickpea Snacks are dry roasted (not fried), and are produced on dedicated gluten-free equipment (though they do share a facility that processes tree nuts, so be aware of that if you’re nut-allergic).
I liked the Cinnamon Maple flavor the best—it sort of tasted like cinnamon cereal to me (I don’t eat cereal anymore, but I do remember liking cinnamon-flavored cereals when I was younger). The Barbeque variety was my least favorite, but then again I don’t like any barbecue-flavored snacks.
Alternative uses for these snacks might be to top yogurt or cereal (the honey roasted or cinnamon maple versions), to toss onto a salad instead for some textural contrast, or as an ingredient in a gluten-free snack mix. The small bag size also makes them a handy snack to have at work or in your gym bag.