June 16, 2010
I'm going to risk it all and swear to you that wasabi and cranberries go together like peanut butter and jelly. An unlikely combo, I admit.
So how did I come up with this odd marriage of flavors? I accidentally put dried cranberries into a container that had wasabi in it. I am still stunned at how well they go together... and after a few bites I knew that wasabi peas and dried cranberries would make one killer trail mix. Only I don't eat nuts (or trail mix) regularly... and when I do eat nuts, I don't eat roasted, salted nuts... the kind of nuts I'd want in a cranberry wasabi trail mix... (boo hoo hoo).
Still, I was determined to execute my idea... so, channeling my honey roasted "nuts" method, I baked the crap out of some salted chickpeas and success! They are a great alternative to salty peanuts!
Even if you think I'm totally nuts (heh! I said nuts!) and that wasabi should be left for sushi... still try baking up some chickpeas with a little sea salt... They are a great afternoon snack, especially with a little mustard.
Sweet, salty, tangy and crunchy -- this trail mix is loaded with flavors and textures but without all the fat in peanuts!
Preheat oven to 300 F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and set aside. Drain and rinse chickpeas, patting dry with a clean cloth to remove excess moisture. Transfer chickpeas to baking sheet, arranging them in a single-layer. Spray with cooking spray, shake tray so chickpeas turn over and spray again. Repeat as necessary until all the chickpeas are well coated. Baked 40-60 minutes, until chickpeas are a deep golden and crunchy. After 25 minutes of baking, generously sprinkle with fine sea salt, shake chickpeas and sprinkle again. Continue to bake. Once baked allow to cool then mix with wasabi peas and dried cranberries as desired.