Unfortunately, there’s one universal truth to snacking. If it’s tasty, it’s usually bad for you. But that’s no longer set in stone. Today, we cook up some healthier options to replace potato chips.
What’s that famous tagline: Betcha can’t eat just one? Many of us are guilty of having laid on the couch, popping chip after chip while watching TV. That’s why we’re so excited when we hear about new, healthy alternatives.
What’s in a Chip?
The first step to a healthier chip is replacing the potato. Potatoes, while delicious, are filled with starches and carbohydrates which are linked to weight gain and hypertension.
There are healthier alternatives, starting with vegetables. At this point, it’s easier to ask what vegetable can’t replace potatoes for chips. While kale chips are the most popular, everything from beets to mushrooms are viable options. Even sweet potatoes have thrown their hats into the ring!
At this point, it’s easier to ask what vegetable can’t replace potatoes for chips.
If vegetables don’t strike your fancy, you have other options. Dried or baked fruits are a sweeter alternative to vegetable chips. Apples and bananas are two of the most popular. There are others, like pears and plantains if you want to try something different.
So, we’ve covered veggies and fruit. What does that leave? Oh yeah, meat! Meat chips do exist, and they aren’t hard to make. If you’re looking for crispy and salty, look no further than porkitos. If you love crispy bacon, this is the snack for you. There are also recipes out there for salami chips and pepperoni chips. They may not be as healthy as the previous examples, but they’re worth mentioning!
The How is as Important as the What
The cooking method plays a huge role in a chip’s nutritional value. Most store-bought potato chips are fried which ensures chips are crispy, but packs in the calories. The secret to making chips healthier is baking them. The specifics of each vegetable or fruit is different, but the general method to bake chips is the same.
The specifics of each vegetable or fruit is different, but the general method to bake chips is the same.
Preheat the oven to about 350°. Look to your individual recipe for exact temperature and time. Thinly slice your future-chips, whatever food they may be. Next, lightly drizzle them in oil, and season them with your choice of spices.
Throw the unbaked chips onto a cookie sheet, and place the sheet in the oven. Times may vary depending on your temperature and the thickness of the chips. Generally, baking them in 10-20 minute shifts is a safe bet, turning them after each shift. This helps them to bake evenly. Make sure you watch the chips as they crisp up to your liking.
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These healthier alternatives will go a long way towards improving your diet. There is one final thing to consider, and that’s all things in moderation. The recipes and alternatives are healthier, but 2,000 calories of kale chips are the same as 2,000 calories of potato chips.
That said, swapping your favorite foods for their healthy alternatives is a smart way to feel fuller, healthier, and try something new. Happy snacking!