Sometimes you just wanna eat a damn chickpea.
And what would prevent someone like me from eating a chickpea? Um, neuroses, in a nutshell.
I’ve spoken before about the complicated relationship I have with food, and the fear that eating certain foods might worsen my symptoms of Crohn’s disease. Problem is, there are so many conflicting dietary philosophies about nutrition and inflammatory bowel disease that it can be challenging to sort through them and reach clarity.
I avoid chickpeas most of the time because I worry that they will bother me. And then, when I decide to eat them, they do bother me – but then I wonder if I truly can’t digest chickpeas or if I have a stomachache because I’m so stressed about eating them. Self-fulfilling prophecy anyone?
Chickpeas have a lot going for them, though. They’re a great source of vegan protein, and they’re packed with fibre and iron. Digestively speaking, chickpeas are mostly made up of insoluble fibre, which offers bulk to our poop and prevents constipation. Insoluble fibre doesn’t get broken down until it reaches the large intestine, where it’s transformed into a number of nutrients that fuel the cells found along the wall of the colon.
Plus, chickpeas are freaking delicious. Who doesn’t love their buttery texture and versatility?
On the other hand, chickpeas contain long-chain carbohydrates and according to certain dietary philosophies like SCD, they are extremely difficult to break down and digest, leading to excess fermentation and discomfort in the gut (and, unfortunately for your loved ones, plenty of tooting).
Soaking and rinsing chickpeas can help make them more digestible, along with adding gut-supportive spices to the pot while they cook. Which is exactly what I did to the chickpeas in this recipe, plus I added a generous pinch of ‘stop-freaking-the-eff-out’ for good measure.
And you know what? Eating one or two of these didn’t bug me at all; though I’m certain eating the whole batch would. I applied willpower. It was hard.
These chickpea cookie dough bites are a fantastic mid-morning or mid-afternoon snack that will satisfy that craving for something a l’il sweet. And no, you can’t taste the chickpeas: my husband is living proof of that.
I used a third of a cup of sweetener in this recipe, and if you’d like your bites a little sweeter, add in a bit of maple syrup so the dough doesn’t get too dry.
If you’re feeling lazy, you could also pack the mixture into a loaf pan and then cut them into squares or bars. I’m here to make your life easy, OK?
- 1 cup wheat-free rolled oats
- 1 cup cooked chickpeas
- ⅓ cup coconut sugar
- 2 tbsp coconut oil
- ½ tsp vanilla powder, or 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- pinch of salt
- ¼ cup cacao nibs
- maple syrup to taste, if needed
- Dump the oats into the bowl of a food processor and pulse for about 30 seconds, until the oats begin to break down.
- Add the chickpeas, coconut sugar, coconut oil, vanilla, cinnamon and salt to the bowl and blend until the mixture comes together. The dough should stick together when you pinch it with your fingers.
- Taste the mixture, and add a tablespoon or two of maple syrup if needed.
- Toss the cacao nibs into the bowl and pulse a few times to combine.
- Roll the mixture into balls, using about a tablespoon for each cookie dough ball. Place on a plate or in a container.
- Chill the balls for about 20 minutes before serving. Store in the fridge, covered.