Garlic Roasted Beans

A few weeks ago my friend David made a delicious snack by roasting Garbanzo beans. They were tasty, salty, and crunchy—the three things I look for in a good snack. I ate them with impunity, knowing I was getting protein and folic acid along with my snack-food fix.

Roasted garbanzo beans are a traditional Spanish tapas— but why stop at garbanzo beans? I had a jar of beautiful anasazi Beans so I tried them. I also tried white beans. The garbanzo beans held their shape the best; they went in the oven looking like garbanzo beans and came out looking like garbanzo beans. The other beans opened up as they cooked. This gave them a delicious, airy crunch.

2 cups of cooked beans, drained (I start off with dried beans. Click here for bean-cooking details.)
1 garlic clove, minced
1 teaspoon of sea salt (or more to taste)
1/2 teaspoon of pepper (black or cayenne, I use both)
1 Tablespoon of olive oil (you can actually omit this if you want)

Preheat oven to 375º F.

Toss all ingredients until well coated.

Spread out in a single layer in a baking sheet with sides (if you omitted the olive oil, lightly grease the pan).

Bake for 35-50 minutes (smaller beans will take less time, large beans, more), stirring every 15 minutes or so. When done, they should be crispy.

Experiment with different spices/herbs. Cumin? Rosemary? Wait until after the beans are roasted before you add fresh herbs (or cheese…ymmm). Buen apetito!

Papaya Peppercorns

My friend Bill once told me that I would have made a great pioneer; I sometimes like to do things the hard way and I don’t like to see anything go to waste. That’s why I was excited to learn that you can use the seeds from a papaya. You can scoop them out and eat them fresh. They are sort of like a caper (though not pickled, but pickling them is an idea). They are spicy and slightly pungent.

You can also turn them into peppercorns. I thought this was very cool. The ground papaya seeds’ taste is hard to distinguish from regular black pepper. It’s easy to make and is an exotic pepper alternative.

Scoop out the seeds from a fresh papaya.
Place in warm water and work with hands to remove pulp.
Let soak overnight.
Bake for at 170 (or at the lowest temperature your stove will go) for 60 minutes or until the seeds are hard.
Cool, then place in a pepper grinder and use as you would pepper.

Apparently the seeds have the same good enzymes that the fruit has, so grind away!