We have a new favorite snack around here. Roasted chickpeas.
You can roast chickpeas on your own, of course. We have. It’s not that hard.
However, since we found The Good Bean, we haven’t roasted any chickpeas around here.
Danny, Lu, and I had the pleasure of meeting Sarah Wallace at the San Francisco potluck for our cookbook, back in October. Sarah is fascinated by people, driven by passion, and dedicated to feeding people well. She brought some of her roasted chickpea snacks to the potluck, and no matter how good the rest of the food was, I found myself grabbing a handful of those chickpeas in the end.
They’re gluten-free, low-glycemic, full of protein and fiber, good for diabetics, and vegan. Pretty much they’re good for everyone.
(If you’re allergic to chickpeas, I can’t help you. I imagine that’s not many of you.)
The Good Bean chickpeas come in salt, pepper, sweet cinnamon, and smoky chile and lime flavors. If you’re like us, you’ll want to buy of each flavor and combine them together in a bowl. It’s far better than the cereal mix we all ate as kids in the 70s.
I want Sarah herself to tell you why she created these:
“I’ve always been a healthy foodie personally and professionally. My career thus far has been about building brands like Luna Bar, Pop Chips, Stretch Island Fruit Leather Fruitabu, and a number of other healthy food brands you see on shelves. A few years ago, I was working on a big brand project for Bear Naked Granola. The super cool and passionate (and very young) founders, Brendan and Kelly, really inspired me. That’s when I got the bug and started thinking, gosh, I’ve done this for so many entrepreneurs, can I do this for myself?
Fast forward another couple of years – I was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes. Surprising, given that I was fairly fit and ate well, but not shocking, given my family’s deep history with the condition. Scariest of all, my eyesight was affected. I decided to manage my careening blood sugar levels with diet and exercise alone, and decided to give up grains (not necessarily for everyone, but it worked for me). But I was stumped when it came to snacks. After living on kefir and coffee for a while, I started thinking about the roasted chickpeas I used to eat as a kid in school. Roadside vendors in Bombay, where I grew up, would walk around with little glass cases hanging from their shoulders, complete with coal braziers on which they would roast chickpeas and sell them in little paper cones. They were delicious. I found out that the specific kind of chickpeas they sold Desi were like manna for diabetics. One of the lowest Glycemic Index foods out there (which is a very good thing for diabetics). Also, I realized that they were naturally gluten free (another learning from my grain-free diet, my body liked not having gluten in it).
I went to India to study the process, came back to Berkeley, bought some beans and some machines, thought up some flavors, found an amazing partner-in-crime (Suzanne Slatcher, the other Bean, ex-Pixar animator who is responsible for the great packaging) and The Good Bean was born. It turned out that roasted chickpeas were a huge trend amongst healthy cooks all over the US too. Hundreds of thousands of roasted chickpea recipes abound online. When I think about the nutritional benefits of The Good Bean, and its benefits for people living a gluten-free life, or a soy-free life, or managing diabetes, or simply their weight, I am very hopeful. It’s the kind of snack, along with Roasted Seaweed, or Pumpkin Seeds, or Kefir, that I think can make a small difference in the health of Americans today.
What I think is great about The Good Bean is that is takes all the guesswork and unpredictability out of roasting chickpeas at home, and it also provides people with a healthier chickpea than the kind they find in cans (which are lower in fiber and protein). While I’m not suggesting that people stop making homemade snacks, The Good Bean is a brilliant option for when someone just doesn’t have the time, space, or energy to do so. The Good Bean is also great mixed into salads, topped up on soup, or with the Sweet Cinnamon, as a naturally gluten-free and high-protein granola substitute.”
Danny and I are happy to announce that The Good Bean is the latest sponsor of this website. This is the kind of company we love to support and promote: dedicated, passionate, interesting. And making great food.
(Plus, you have to love the packaging for these.)
In the past year, the distribution for The Good Bean has grown. These are now available in natural foods stores in Northern California, Oregon, Washington, New York, New Jersey, and Philadelphia. By the end of this month, they will be at New Seasons and Market of Choice in Oregon, as well as PCC here in Washington. At the same time, you’ll be able to find The Good Bean at Ralph’s and Gelson’s supermarkets.
If you’re not near there, or you just feel like ordering some of these delicious snacks, you can find The Good Bean on Amazon as well.
You can thank us later.
There’s another place you can find The Good Bean, as well as products from Bob’s Red Mill, Udi’s, Bakery on Main, and Starfish Seafood, among many others.
Welcome to Free from Gluten, another new sponsor with whom we’re thrilled to be working.
Free from Gluten is an online grocery store focusing entirely on gluten-free foods.
Need some Asian chicken dumplings? Free from Gluten has the good ones, from Feel Good Foods. How about Crunchy Flax cereal, certain to be free from any allergens? Would you rather have packaged gluten-free bread crumbs, rather than making your own? Free from Gluten can help you with that.
The website is clean, easy to navigate, and stocked with good foods.
Ivor Clarke, who heads up Free from Gluten, wrote this about the company:
“In November we started thinking about opening a gluten free marketplace after being at home with our families for the the normal Thanksgiving get togethers. Both my friend and I have sisters who are gluten intolerant and we had both ended up in long talks about some of the challenges that this can create, particularly when it comes to finding good shopping options. My sister is a naturopathic doctor in Montana and she often works with patients eating gluten-free who struggle from the lack of choice in rural areas.
Several of our employees are gluten intolerant and when we came back after the holiday the conversations quickly turned into a strong belief that we could create a better solution…and that the internet was of course the best way to deliver a gluten-free shopping experience.
After a few months of intense work, Free from Gluten was born. We’ve been working very hard to learn from our families and our customers about how to simplify gluten-free shopping and to continue to grow our offering. We are adding about 200 new products each month and have really enjoyed the response that we’ve gotten from the gluten-free community as we reach out.”
We’re pretty lucky, here in the Seattle area. Almost every store we visit has a raft of gluten-free foods. However, I also know (after hearing from so many of you who read here) that the rest of the country isn’t similarly well stocked. It can be hard to go without some gluten-free cereal or doughnuts once in awhile.
So we’re happy to point you toward Free from Gluten. This is a good source.