Potato chips and sour cream dip, tortilla chips and queso, pita chips and spinach artichoke dip — is your mouth watering yet? Such combos are party-hosting and
football-watching staples for tasty reason. But there’s also an appetizing — and healthy — reason to expand your chips-and-dips repertoire into pairs that include DIY chips. “When making your own chips, you can control the type and amount of ingredients, as well as experiment with flavor combinations,” says Joy Dubost, a food scientist and registered dietitian in the New York City area. You can also control what they’re made of — and the options go far beyond potatoes. Here are five types of chips to get you started:
Vandana Sheth’s kids learned early to eat their veggies — and not because they were force-fed or bribed. Instead, Sheth, a registered dietitian and spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, made kale chips from the dark leafy greens she grew (and still grows!) in her backyard and her kids ate them without complaint. “I love making kale chips,” she says, “because they are so easy to make and a fun way to add more veggies to the diet.” One recipe recommends tossing the leaves with olive oil and salt, laying them on a baking sheet and baking them at 275 F for about 20 minutes.
Brussels sprouts are in the same vegetable family as kale and their leaves can be baked similarly. “Cruciferous vegetables are low in calories and nutrient dense,” Sheth points out. “They are good sources of vitamins, minerals and fiber, and are rich in antioxidants.” Feel free to season them — as well as other alternative chips — however you’d like, says Heather Mangieri, a registered dietitian in Pittsburgh and author of “Fueling Young Athletes.” “If you love garlic, toss garlic and onion powder on them,” she says. “The options are endless.”
Mangieri isn’t into carrots, but she is into carrot chips. “If I roast them or bake them into crispy chips, I can easily polish off an entire bag,” says Mangieri, also a food, fitness and nutrition consultant. Just slice them into thin rounds or even try using a peeler to create thin strips and curls, toss them in olive oil and spices of your choice (maybe Cajun spice or paprika?), and bake for 10 to 12 minutes at 425 F, one recipe dictates. Root vegetables like carrots, Dubost says, are great potato chip alternatives because the similar carb content helps “to maintain the firm structure and shape of a chip, which is perfect for dipping.”
Who says only vegetables can become chips? Fruit like apples and pears work well, too, and can be transformed into a savory snack or a sweet dessert. “Include spices like dill, cardamom and garlic to make a savory flavor,” Dubost recommends, “or add cinnamon or drizzle with honey and yogurt to enhance the natural sweetness.” One way to cook pear chips is to slice the fruit thin, lay the slices on a lightly oiled baking sheet, sprinkle with your seasonings of choice and bake them for two hours at 200 degrees, turning over halfway through.
(Getty Images/iStockphoto/Liudmyla Chuhunova)
This once-neglected vegetable first made a comeback in the form of “ noodles,” and it’s just as useful in place of potatoes when baking chips. You can cook zucchini in a number of ways depending on your desired crispiness; some recipes even call for baking them with cheese and breadcrumbs. Outside of the nutritional benefits, making your vegetable chips typically means spending less than buying pre-made varieties, Mangieri points out. It also means a more festive party. “Make a few sheet trays using a variety of vegetables, then mix them together in a big bowl,” she recommends. “The mix of vibrant colors adds beauty to any party spread.”
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5 Healthy Homemade Chip Ideas originally appeared on usnews.com