Mix the batter for chickpea flatbreads ahead of time and fresh, warm bread can be ready in no time.
Mix the batter for chickpea flatbreads ahead of time and fresh, warm bread can be ready in no time. (Deb Lindsey)

My boys love bread. Most kids do. I quite enjoy bread myself, especially when it appears as a crusty baguette on the side of one of the many soups, stews, curries and chilis we are eating this time of year. It isn't an accident that curries are traditionally served with nan, chili with cornbread, and hearty minestrone with that crusty baguette. Crunchy likes smooth and smooth likes crunchy.

The minute I place that bread on the table, my boys devour it with nothing but small dunks into their main meal. Then they are full with nothing but baguette in their bellies. I could, and many times have, limited the number of pieces of bread they can have, but this lands us right in the age-old food struggle I try so hard to avoid.

So when a friend passed along this simple recipe for chickpea flatbread, I sprinted to the store to get the ingredients. The flatbread is packed with protein, so if my boys load up on it, they will also load up on many more nutrients than they would get from their customary bread.

These aren't time-consuming to make ' otherwise I wouldn't be making them. I dump the ingredients in a bowl first thing in the morning, which takes a mere minute. That evening, I pour the batter into my skillet and within minutes I have chickpea flatbread, full of protein and gluten-free. It's an ideal after-school snack with hummus or salsa, or a tasty substitute for crackers.

Few flours are as nutrient-rich as chickpea flour, also known as besan, gram flour or garbanzo flour. Along with the protein, it is a reliable source of magnesium, potassium, fiber and B vitamins, especially folate. I am experimenting with what else I can create with it. Ideas welcome.

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Casey Seidenberg is co-founder of Nourish Schools, a Washington, D.C.-based nutrition education company.