Inspired by a recent article in the NYT by one of my food idols, Mark Bittman, I decided to break open my glass jar of garbanzo bean (GB) flour and make something out of the ordinary. I purchased the flour a while back because I loved the idea of using it as an alternative to white or wheat. GB flour is not only gluten-free but has 21% of your DV for dietary fiber, 10% of your iron, and 6g of protein per serving. Compare that to whole wheat flour’s 12%, 8%, and 4g respectively (white flour doesn’t even hold a candle), and GB flour takes the perverbial cake.
Don’t get my wrong, these babies are still fried (though grapeseed oil keeps them light and crispy) but they’re an excellent nutritional alternative to the golden arches or BK. Give them a try and I promise you won’t want anything to do with the French kind.
Garbanzo Bean Fries w/ Lemon Aioli
What You’ll Need:
- 1 1/2 cups garbanzo bean (GB) flour
- 3 cups water
- 2 tbs olive oil
- 2 tbs Herbes de Provence
- Salt & pepper (to taste)
- Grapeseed oil (amount depends on pan size, for frying)
How to Make Them:
- Grease an 8-by-8 baking dish with some oil or spray.
- Boil 3 cups of water in a medium saucepan.
- Put the GB flour in a large bowl and when the water comes to a boil, slowly add it to the bowl. Whisk constantly as you pour to prevent lumps. (Tip: you can also do this in a KitchenAid standing mixer if you have one. If you do it by hand–as I did in the featured photo–the batter will inevitably have a lump or two.)
- Scrape the mixture back into the same saucepan you used, add a little salt and pepper, and bring it to a boil (it should take just a couple minutes). Reduce it to a gentle simmer, add in the 2 tbs of olive oil, and cook for one more minute.
- Scoop your doughy mix into the baking dish and spread it into an even layer, which should be about 1/4-1/2 inch thick. Let it cool all the way then cover it with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least an hour or as long as a day.
- Heat at least 1/4 inch of grapeseed oil in a large skillet over medium. Let it heat until a drop of water makes the oil hiss and spit (stand back!).
- Slide the chilled dough out onto a cutting board (this is why you greased the pan) and slice the GB mixture into the shape of fries. These don’t have to look perfect–think handcut or as my Italian familia would say, al rustico! Pat dry with a paper towel to remove any excess moisture.
- Working in batches, gently sliding them into the hot oil. Nudge them around occasionally until they’re golden all over, cooking for about 4 to 5 minutes.
- Transfer your fries to paper towels (removing the excess oil) and immediately sprinkle with salt, pepper and Herbes de Provence. Serve immediately for the tastiest results.
What You’ll Need:
- 1 cup organic mayonaise (you can go reduced fat here if you like)
- Zest of one lemon
- Juice of half a lemon
- 2 cloves of garlic
How to Make It:
- Combine all ingredients in a food processor and pulse until the garlic is well-blended. If you don’t have a food processor, you can easily do this by hand–just mince the garlic before mixing.
- Cover and let marinate in the refrigerator for at least one hour.
My GB Fries and Lemon Aioli make for a great appetizer or side dish to my homemade Quinoa Black Bean Zucchini Burgers. Enjoy these tasty bites with no guilt and maybe even your favorite icy brew. A wise woman once said: “everything in moderation, including moderation.”