The Sweet Chickpea

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Guest Post by Sabra Chef Colombe Jacobsen

Guest Post by Sabra Chef Colombe Jacobsen

Photo: Sabra Chickpea Chocolate Bark with Golden and Dried Figs (recipe below)

When I meet someone who loves Hummus but doesn’t know what it’s made of, they often think it’s odd that a food so tasty is made of mostly chickpeas. Chickpeas are a remarkable food. Not only are they high in protein and fiber, making them a healthy part of your diet, but they’re extremely versatile.

You can puree them or use them whole, or you can eat them dried or roasted. Chickpeas can even be ground into flour and used in baking and other sweets.

There are several varieties too, even green and black ones. Chickpeas are cultivated all around the world, from the Mediterranean to Australia, Western Asia and India, and you can find them in many favorite dishes of different cultures.

Use them in dips, salads and stews – or use chickpea flour for baking. Sometimes I make a trail mix out of dried chickpeas and raisins.

Hummus is probably one of the most popular dishes made from chickpeas, but there are some other great uses for chickpeas used for hundreds of thousands of years in some cases. One of my other favorites, made from Chickpea flour, is Socca, a crepe specialty typically found in the French Mediterranean. Chickpeas are even used to make a fermented alcoholic beverage similar to Sake!

Lately I’ve been exploring more fun ways to use chickpeas in sweets. One of my most recent well-loved recipes is my Chocolate bark with dried chickpeas, golden raisins and dried figs. Here’s the recipe in case you want to try it! Enjoy…

Chickpea Chocolate Bark with Golden Raisins and Dried Figs

Makes about 4 cups

Ingredients:
2- (3.oz) bars of dark chocolate (I like Green and Black’s brand)
½ cup dried chickpeas
6 Tablespoons dried figs, thinly sliced
¼ cup golden raisins
1/8-teaspoon sea salt (I like Maldon sea salt)

Directions:
1. Rough chop the chocolate into small chunks and melt in a double boiler over medium heat, stirring occasionally being careful not to burn (about 5-8 minutes).
2. When the chocolate is thoroughly melted, using the back of a spatula, spread the chocolate in a thin layer evenly onto a parchment lined baking sheet.
3. Sprinkle the chickpeas evenly, then the dried figs, golden raisins and sea salt.
4. Chill in the refrigerator until firm, about 30 minutes. Break into smaller pieces and serve. Keep chilled until ready to serve.

Find great Mediterranean recipes on BakeSpace.com

By the Sabra Chef Colombe Jacobsen
Visit her blog at sabrachef.blogspot.com for more great tips!

Colombe is a graduate of the Natural Gourmet Institute, where she developed her understanding of the correlation between the food we eat and its effect on the body and mind. With a culinary perspective focused on high quality, fresh, seasonal, and local ingredients, she has always favored Mediterranean cuisine. This has inspired her extensive travel to the traditional coastal cities of France, Spain, and Italy, the vibrant souks of Morocco, and the rustic villages of Turkey. Along the way, she has been influenced by the Mediterranean’s varied offerings of authentic flavors, local produce, and traditional cooking techniques.

Colombe recently appeared on the Food Network in season 3 of “The Next Food Network Star”; she is best remembered for her creatively healthy approach to everyday meals. Named in 2007 as one of Shape Magazines “Woman who Shape the World”, Colombe also coordinates Harvest Time, a non-profit in Harlem that teaches children nutritious, yet practical cooking techniques and recipes.

Hi! I’m Babette, the Founder of BakeSpace.com. You can also find me on BAKESPACE.COM and on Twitter @BAKESPACE.

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