Chocolate Coated Chickpeas | Healthy Whoppers

A simple sweet treat that’s high in fiber and a source of protein; vanilla & cinnamon roasted chickpeas covered in chocolate.

My oldest son Owen has autism. In his IBI (Intense Behavioral Intervention) therapy program,  they often used his favorite treats to motivate him to work. One of his favorites was Malted Milk Balls or Whoppers (we call them Maltesers in Canada). He reached for them at the store the other day and that motivated me to come up with a healthy alternative.
I immediately thought of chickpeas. They are the perfect shape after all…
After soaking my chickpeas over night and then boiling them tender (learn more about soaking seeds and nuts). I then roasted them with some cinnamon, Organic Traditions Ground Vanilla, coconut oil and maple syrup. We are sensitive to honey, but that would work as well, or you could skip it altogether. The recipe is so simple…you could also add cardamom and coarse sea salt…you really can’t go wrong! You can also stop right here and forgo the chocolate. Roasted Chickpeas are an amazing snack and there are many other flavor options.
Now for me, the whole inspiration behind this recipe was to re-create the Whopper; so once I covered them in chocolate, I let them cool on a wire rack in the fridge in a single layer and then sort-of broke them apart as needed into individual balls. However, one could save some effort by just making more of a cluster or mound of the mixture and letting them cool like that. Kind of how you would for haystacks, Macaroons or Nut Clusters. Either way, these little Gluten-free, Grain-Free and Vegan suckers are delicious and HIGHLY Addictive! You have been warned 🙂
P.S. Remember the time it takes to soak your chickpeas over night and cook on the stove.
Chocolate Coated Chickpeas | Healthy Whoppers
Recipe type: Snack, Dessert
Cuisine: Gluten-Free and Vegan
Serves: 12
Cinnamon and Vanilla Roasted Chickpeas coated in chocolate
  • 4 cups cooked chickpeas
  • 1 tablespoon of cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon of ground vanilla bean (or 2 tsp pure vanilla extract)
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil liquified
  • 2 tablespoons pure maple syup (optional)
  • 10 oz of chocolate ( I used enjoy life mini chocolate chips)
  • ½ teaspoon of coconut oil
  1. Preheat oven to 375F
  2. Place your cooked chickpeas in a large bowl and add the cinnamon, vanilla, liquid coconut oil and maple syrup. Stir well to coat all of the chickpeas evenly.
  3. Pour on to a baking sheet in a single layer.
  4. Roasted for 20-25 minutes, stirring them around occasionally.
  5. Remove from the oven and allow them to cool in a large bowl
  6. Meanwhile, melt your chocolate and ½ teaspoon of coconut oil in a double boiler on your stove top.
  7. Pour into bowl of chickpeas and gently stir to coat evenly.
  8. Prepare your cooling rack on top of another tray to catch any chocolate drippings.
  9. Pour the coated chickpeas in a single layer on the rack and allow them to cool for about 30 minutes in your fridge.
  10. Gently flip your rack over and push the hardened chocolate chickpeas off the rack.
  11. Break apart into balls.
  12. ALTERNATIVELY: use an ice cream scoop or large spoon to drop haystack style treats on to a parchment lined baking sheet and allow them to harden in the fridge.
  13. Store in a sealed container in the fridge.

Danielle Rouse is the creative energy behind the allergy friendly recipe blog, Fresh4Five | Real Food, Fresh Ideas. This mother of three has a passion for nutrition and cooking with  fresh and wholesome ingredients. Danielle has become and expert at developing  recipes to meet the complex dietary needs of her family. She is currently studying to become a Registered Holistic Nutritionist at the Canadian School of Natural Nutrition. Fresh4Five hosts  an array of family friendly recipes that are paleo-friendly and free of gluten, dairy, soy, and nuts.

Read all of Danielle’s posts here.

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  1. Amber says

    I’ve only ever used canned (gasp!) chickpeas before for my hummus and other needs, so I was wondering how long you soak and roast them? Also, if I use vanilla extract, does that affect how much oil I should add or is it not sensitive to the amount of liquid needed to coat the chickpeas? Thanks for a yummy sounding recipe!

  2. Naomi Phillips! says

    I am definitely going to have to try this! Do you cook the beans in salt water for flavor or just plain water?

    • says

      Hi Naomi, thanks for asking. I likely should have talked more about the soaking/cooking process.

      I often add a piece of Kombu sea vegetable (kelp family) to any grains or legumes I am cooking. It helps soften them and make them more digestible. The item being cooked also absorbs some of the amazing minerals and nutrients in the Kombu. It does add a slightly salty flavor. HTH 🙂

  3. says

    Hi Amber,
    I have canned in my cupboard as well for quick use! The more I learn about BPA the more I do try and make my own (and freeze)…I am sure there is a BPA free can source out there…I haven’t investigated mine 🙂

    Anyway, the canned peas are already soaked and boiled, so you can make this recipe as stated with the same roasting time. You would need 32oz likely 2-3 cans. If you use the liquid extract, I don’t think it will affect the recipe at all. It evaporates quite quickly leaving only the flavor 🙂 Let me know what you think if you try them!

  4. jeri says

    Oh wow, I can’t wait to try this. I confess to using canned more than I’d like, but when I have the time, I get the dried from my local Indian market. They take their chick peas very seriously in India and well worth the extra effort. In the summer I cook them in the crock pot and they come out very well.

  5. Tammy says

    This might be a dumb question but the one time I bought dried chickpeas so I could make hummus (didn’t want the canned BPA either) I thought I had to remove that outer shell on the pea after cooking because I had read it was too tough to eat, is that true or not? I swore I’d never take the time to do all that again! LOL Did you just soak and cook without worrying about that? That would save me so much time!

    • says

      There are no dumb questions! 🙂

      Funny the first time I cooked them and saw the skins kind of coming off, I started out taking them off…and then quickly stopped because it was just too much! I don’t bother. They blend well into hummus and they are the thing that gets nice and crisp in this recipe. I must admit I was picking out the crispy skins and eating them right off the pan before they went into the chocolate. I say they are fine to leave on and eat. Not tough at all. 🙂

    • says

      Hi Christine, you could use any oil here. My next personal choice would be a bit of Ghee (dairy-free) or butter because they are more stable and less likely to be damaged/oxidized by heating. Avocado, macadamia, or olive oil are moderately stable as well. HTH

  6. says

    Tried the haystack version of these last night – yum! Great way to get my kids to eat chickpeas! Haha! 🙂 Thanks for the great recipe Kimi!

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