So many of the current low carb snack items that you can order online or buy in the grocery store are basically processed food. Convenient snacks compliant with a low carb or keto lifestyle can be easily made from whole foods however. Try some chile lime salt on cucumbers or jicama for a great Mexican low carb treat. Or spice up your roasted chickpeas with some harissa spice. Both are awesome in flavor and add the health benefit that comes with whole foods instead of processed foods.
What is Tajin (or chile lime salt) & How is it Used?
Tajin is actually a company, but similar to Kleenex or Instapot, the spice blend itself is often referred to as Tajin, regardless of who made it. If you make your own blend or buy it from someone other than the Tajin company, it should be referred to as chile lime salt or chile lime seasoning.
The classic chile lime salt is a blend of chile peppers, salt, and dehydrated lime juice or lime peels. The resulting powder is tangy and spicy and is used to enhance the flavor of a huge variety of fruits and vegetables.
The Tajin seasoning is widely available in Mexico and at many US grocery stores, and is commonly used as a condiment on the tables of many Mexican restaurants, to season mango, melon or other fruits. You might also see it as a rimming salt for a Michelada (a beer cocktail).
If you want an alternative to buying the Mexican brand, try this tajin spice blend using pink himalayan salt, organic chipotle peppers and dehydrated lime peels. It is similar ingredients, but is a bit more spicy because the chipotle peppers are grown and smoked on our small organic farm and the resulting chile powder is quite hot. Click here if you want to try the milder chile lime salt from the Mexican company Tajin.
One other alternative is to make your own chile lime salt. Click here for a tutorial on making your own chile lime spice blend, and then using on Mexican street food snacks.
Probably my favorite way to use chile lime salt is sprinkled on cool cucumbers. A squeeze of lime juice on the cucumber slices before sprinkling the spice on them can add more tang and mute the heat of the spice a bit if that is your preference.
Roasted Chickpeas with a Harissa Spice Blend
Roasted chickpeas are quite popular as a low carb snack and can satisfy that crunchy, salty flavor that is sometimes missing from a low carb or keto lifestyle.
It can also be an extremely versatile snack to make, as you can roast them with an Indian spice profile, a sweet & salty blend, a Mexican blend, a Parmesan blend, etc.
I have used one of our harissa spice blends on the roasted chickpeas below. Click here for a DIY recipe for a herbal/parmesan blend that will give them a very different flavor. Either way, they are a win for flavor, ease and health.
Tips for making the chickpeas “crunchy”
Sometimes roasted chickpeas can look crunchy, only to bite into a soft “beany” center. They’re still good that way, but we’re going for the crunch that you might be missing from the lack of tortilla chips in your low carb lifestyle.
So, here are a few tips to promote the crunch:
- After rinsing the chickpeas let them drain in a colander or on paper towells for quite a while. Dab them with a dry paper towel after draining. You want to get them as dry as possible.
- Fold the chickpeas inside of a kitchen towel and gently rub the skins off. The skins keep the moisture in and this helps make them more crunchy. Don’t worry if some skins are still left on.
- Cook the chickpeas without any oil for the first half of the roasting process. Add the oil and seasonings for the second half. A lot of recipes mix the chickpeas with oil and seasoning before roasting and the coating prevents them from crisping up as much
- Bake (or roast) at 350 degrees F for about 45 minutes rather than a high temperature for shorter time (they will burn), or a lower temperature for a longer time (they won’t get crispy).
- After roasting, let them cool inside the oven for a bit with the oven door open and the heat turned off.
- Store them in a breathable container rather than a tightly sealed container.
And finally, while roasted chickpeas make an excellent snack, they are also awesome as toppings on all kinds of dishes. I’m having mine tonight on a salad. I’ve know several people that have them in soups or in all kinds of skillet sausage mashups.
Roasted Harissa Chickpeas
- 1 14.5 oz chickpeas
- 3/4 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 1/2 tsp harissa spice
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Rinse chickpeas and let them drain. Pat dry with paper towels. Wrap the chickpeas in a dry kitchen towel and gently rub and massage them to get the skins off. You want them as dry as possible for the crunchiest chickpeas. Don’t worry if a few skins are still left on.
- Spread out the chickpeas on a sheet pan and roast in oven for 15-20 minutes, shaking the pan every 10-15 minutes or so to avoid burning. Remove the pan from the oven and drizzle the oil on the chickpeas and sprinkle the spices over them. Using your hands mix everything together thoroughly to coat the chickpeas (let them cool a bit if they are too hot to handle)
- Roast coated chickpeas for another 20-30 minutes, shaking the pan every 10-15 minutes or so. Turn off the oven, open the oven door, and let chickpeas cool in the over for about 15 minutes. Cool and store in a breathable container.
For another great recipe for low carb roasted chickpeas with Worcestershire sauce and parmesan cheese, click here.