When the Chips are Down… Healthy Alternatives….
If you love potato chips but want to eat healthier, try one of these recipes
Potato chips are a quintessential American snack, but they cannot be considered particularly healthy.
High in saturated fats and starchy carbohydrates, potato chips, especially eaten with regularity, can result in unwanted weight gain and a loss of energy. To combat the negative effects of eating potato chips, try a healthier alternative that cuts down on the fat but does not cut down on the taste. Here are five kinds of chips to try for yourself.
Kale may not seem like the most appetizing alternative to potato chips on its face, but it may come as a surprise how capably they fill the role. Making kale chips is a relatively simple prospect: per Greatist.com, preheat your oven to 375 degrees ; rinse, dry, and de-stem one large bunch of kale; shred kale into large pieces and toss in olive oil with the seasoning of your choice; and bake for 10 – 15 minutes until crisp. Tossing kale with a bit of salt and vinegar will provide the same crisp you expect from potato chips, only with significantly less fat and more antioxidants.
For a sweet alternative that works exceptionally well for dessert, try these apple chips as recommended by MarthaStewart.com. Start by cutting two apples crosswise in slices 1/8 of an inch thick, making sure to remove seeds from the core. Arrange on a baking sheet covered in wax or parchment paper, set the oven to 325 degrees and bake for 2 1/2 hours, flipping the apple slices at the 1-hour mark. To punch up the sweetness, add cinnamon or a pinch of brown sugar. If you want to try a unique flavor combination, season the apple slices with lemon zest.
Sweet potato chips
If you are married to the idea of using a potato for your chips, try the unique taste of sweet potatoes. A good natural source of vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin B6, fiber and potassium, sweet potatoes are also delicious in the form of baked chips. To avoid the hassle that cutting sweet potatoes tends to present, use a mandolin slicer to ensure a consistent thickness. OhMyVeggies.com recommends brushing the chips with 1 tablespoon of olive oil mixed with a clove of minced garlic, sprinkling with rosemary and salt and baking on the center rack of the oven at 400 degrees for about 10 minutes. To give your sweet potato chips a bit of a kick, instead try a blend of cayenne, cumin, curry powder, chipotle and sea salt.
FoodNetwork.com recommends this recipe for parmesan-crusted zucchini chips for those who want a healthier alternative, but also want a bit of delicious cheese. Zucchini can be sliced by hand or on a mandolin, depending on your preference, with the slices tossed in a bowl with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Dip each zucchini chip in a mixture of 1/4 cup of parmesan, 1/4 cup bread crumbs and a pinch of salt, then lay on a cooking spray-coated baking sheet and place in an oven preheated to 450 degrees for 25-30 minutes. The addition of cheese will net a bit more fat per serving, but the zucchini itself remains a great source of vitamin C.
Tofu makes a delicious alternative to the standard potato chip, and this recipe from Yummy.ph is as easy to make as it gets. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and apply oil to a foil-covered baking sheet. Slice a block of firm tofu into thin pieces and mist with cooking spray, then season. Yummy.ph recommends a mixture of salt, paprika, onion powder, black pepper and cayenne, but experimentation with different spices is a worthwhile practice for these chips. Remove from oven after 25 minutes or once the tofu has begun to brown.
These recipes will fill any void that the absence of greasy potato chips will leave, and given the personal touch that they involve, they will also make for a great conversation piece at your next gathering. Get creative with your snacking and try different combinations wherever possible, and you may soon stumble on a new favorite.