Cancer Treatment Centers of America

Snack on this scrumptious protein booster

Looking for a healthy snack to fuel your hike or bike rides this summer? Samantha Quagliano, MS, RD, a dietitian at our suburban Phoenix hospital, has a recipe for Chickpea Bites, an easy-to-make-and-bake energy and protein booster.

“This recipe is great for patients and caregivers who are looking to increase their protein intake from plant sources,” says Quagliano. “It’s also a tasty snack option for people who are focusing on managing their weight or striving to lose a few pounds.”

Baked Chickpea Bites

  • 1-15 oz. can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • ¼ tsp. cayenne pepper
  • ½ tsp. oregano
  • ½ tsp. basil
  • Optional: Salt to taste and a pinch of black pepper

Preheat oven to 350º Fahrenheit. Mix olive oil, cayenne pepper, oregano and basil together in a bowl. Add the chickpeas and toss. Place mixture in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake in the oven for approximately 45 minutes, stirring mixture periodically, until the mixture has a light crisp on the outside.

Health benefits

  • Chickpeas, also called garbanzo beans, are low in fat and packed with protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals. Eating chickpeas regularly may help lower your cholesterol, reduce your risk of developing type 2 diabetes and heart disease, and promote intestinal health.
  • Olive oil is a good source of healthy dietary fat (monounsaturated fat). It may help maintain healthy cholesterol levels and lower the risk of heart disease.
  • Oregano and basil, herbs that have been used in cooking and medicine for thousands of years, are rich in antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. Both contain vitamin K, which aids with normal blood clotting and promotes bone growth and density.
  • In a study published in the journal Physiology & Behavior, researchers from Purdue University suggest cayenne pepper may help burn calories and suppress appetite.

Be sure to try these smoothie recipes too.

Watch our cooking videos to get more recipe ideas.