The Good Bean/Free From Gluten

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.

We’re thrilled to have both The Good Bean and Free from Gluten as part of this community.

19 comments on “The Good Bean/Free From Gluten

  1. kitchenvoyage

    I just watched a Nat Geo Documental about the searching of the original wild chickpea. Apparently the chickpea will very important for future, becasue they can grow-up in very harsh enviroment and contain a good source of proteins.

  2. nancy

    This is a brilliant idea. Roasted chickpeas are one of my favorite snacks but I rarely get around to making them. And they sell them in new york, yay!

  3. Emily

    I just had to say that I love your knitted vegetables in the first photo! 🙂

    Both companies sound wonderful! My husband and I have been obsessed with roasted chickpeas lately.

  4. Lizzy Adkisson


    I’ve started reading your blog in the last month or so and I really love it. I’m from North Carolina but I currently live in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic as a teacher. My fiance is Dominican, we met here, and we are staying here for awhile!

    It’s a great place to live for many reasons, but I have Celiac Disease, and finding gluten free anything is nearly impossible. I’m 24 years old, and I was diagnosed when I was 19. There is one grocery store I know of that sells a (decent-ish) gluten-free bread, and that’s it! I very recently started blogging (am I allowed to put my website here?) and I wish there was some way I could open up a gluten-free market in at in Santo Domingo, or at least increase the access to gluten-free substitutes. Living gluten-free abroad in the Caribbean is so much different from the States in the sense that you have to take advantage of the resources that are here: amazing fruits and vegetables and rice dishes. However, I still miss baked goods and anything made with gluten-free flours!

    Anyway, I just wanted to share a bit of my story and tell you how much I appreciate reading yours. During my planning periods at school, I find myself checking this website to see if there is anything new – for cooking ideas and general inspiration.

    Thank you.

    Lizzy Adkisson

  5. Caneel

    I didn’t even finish reading this before I was clicking on the amazon link and placing an order for the sea salt flavor. Can’t wait til it gets here! Of course I came back and finished the post – Thanks for sharing this with us!

  6. ELizabeth

    I am so excited to be able to share and hear how other who have GLutin sensitivity are finding great gluten free substitutes. I will definately try the roasted chick peas.

    PLEASE!!! Has anyone found a really good bread? I miss my crunchy delicious sour dough and French breads more than anything. I would be sooooooo greatful.
    I have tried at least 5 different brands and the only one I can tolerate the taste and texture of is “Udi’s” but I have to toast it.

  7. Beth R

    I was recently diagnosed with an allergy to chickpeas after an awful reaction to hummus. I was devastated, because I LOVE chickpeas. Everyone else in my house said, “It’s ok, we don’t really like them anyhow.” I had to comment after your remark on the recipe about those of us who are allergic.. Love your blog. Keep those recipes coming! 🙂

  8. Vive

    So funny that I discovered this today. I’ve been doing an elimination diet with a consultant/program to test for food intolerances. I wrote to the consultant this morning to ask for more suggestions for high protein/high fiber snacks, as I’ve found that keeping those around help abate cravings and keep my blood sugar steady. I haven’t heard back from her yet, but was driving home thinking about your previous post on nut butters. Logged on to find that and found my high protein snack. I’ve ordered the sample pack. Thank you!

  9. Lynne

    so great to see you online at Penny’s photo workshop/webcast! It was so inspirational and wonderful to watch her set-ups. I love what you said about bloggers making the food look so “neat”. It’s so true and before I saw some of Penny’s pictures yesterday and heard her talk, I NEVER thought about having messes in the pictures. It definitely makes it look more real though. I’ll be on the lookout for messes in your pictures, too. 😉
    The roasted chickpeas sound really good. I will definitely have to try them.
    Thank you for sharing!

  10. Donna Vieira

    Love the ceci! Love the knitted omiguri veggies…can you post a link for the patterns???

  11. Amy

    Thank you for the delicious looking gluten-free chick pea snack… going to order some for when I’m back in the US. We live in Provence (South of France). Have you ever made “socca”? They are crepes made from chick pea flour and olive oil- touch of cumin, black pepper… awesome and totally gluten-free.

  12. Melisa

    I love roasted chickpeas and buy them whenever I visit an Indian market, preferably in combination with peanuts and lip-blistering chili. Yum!

  13. Pam

    Great Article! Thank you so much. – Since I live in Montana, I will order them online! I make a lot of gluten free snacks myself which is sometimes time consuming. On busy days it is great to have something ready and packed to grab for on the go. Roasted chickpeas sound perfect!

  14. Fairin Woods

    I recently bought my first little bag of these. Smokey Chili Lime is the flavor I snacked on just minutes ago! They are flavorful with some heat. They were featured at River Valley Co-op, in Northampton, MA. Yeah for another healthy gluten free snack available nearby.

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