If you’ve wandered into the snack isle recently, you may have noticed a new set of munchies made from ingredients with high-caliber nutrition credentials. Yes, traditional garden-variety staples have now been compressed and manufactured into chips that you can buy at the store. But are they better for you than the regular chip you get made out of corn or potato?
It’s probably no surprise over-the-counter veggie chips aren’t an adequate substitute for the real thing, according to Lynice Anderson, Manager of Health Improvement Programs, Renown Health. She’s also a Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Educator.
But the good news is: they aren’t any worse than the typical snack foods. “What people have to keep in mind is that anytime you grind things up instead of using the actual food, you are losing something,” Anderson explains. “In my opinion, if you are going to have chips, it really comes down to portion size and keeping that down. And I can speak for myself, because I’m a chip-a-holic.”
Anderson acknowledges that some chip brands have a decent amount of fiber – 3 to 4 grams – and calories in the range of 130 to 190. Not bad for a serving of 13 to 14 chips. She is particularly impressed with Mrs. Mays’ beet chips. “They have actual cut-up vegetables and are vaccum-fried, and lower in sodium, but not low-calorie.” she explains. Terra beet chips and Beanfields’ line of black bean chips also make her list.
Of course, you can avoid the processed chips altogether and simply make your own. That way, you get the benefit of the whole vegetable.
“It does require that you have a good slicer, but you can make beet chips or sweet potato chips or even the kale chips right at home,” Anderson explains. “The baking, prep time and cooking time can all be done in under an hour for most of those. It’s just part of a weekend or an afternoon, and they are great.”
Skip the chip aisle and make your own veggie delights at home:
PREP: Cut out the big stem in the middle of the kale first – you can’t eat that! Then cut, chop or tear the kale into bite-sized chip portions. Toss with a little olive oil,salt and pepper to taste. Place on a baking sheet.
BAKE: Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Turn the chips over and then bake another 10 minutes.
PREP: Use your slicer to cut bite-size portions of the raw beets. Toss with a little olive oil, salt and pepper to taste; then place them on the baking sheet.
BAKE: Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes, then flip the chips over and bake another 15 minutes. Watch to make sure they cook evenly.
Sweet Potato Chips or Fries:
PREP: Use your slicer or cut up the sweet potatoes into chips or a French-fry shape; toss with olive oil, salt and petter to taste; then place them on abaking sheet.
BAKE: Bake at 375 degrees. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, depending on thickness.