Have you been to the chip aisle lately in your grocery store? I’ve been trying to avoid lingering there for years as the selection has been meager for those trying to make healthier choices.
Now many area grocers offer crunch-seekers a huge variety of chips to satisfy our craving and boost our daily nutrition intake. Several manufacturers have been making vegetable chips for years. If you’ve ever sampled Terra’s Sweet Potato Chips, you know they are as addictive as the best of any potato chip.
Our children have turned us on to kale chips for snacking. You can buy them or make them, and both ways are quite satisfying, although they are a bit delicate for dipping and scooping. I love to create seasoning combinations. Preparation is easy enough for the younger cooks, who will probably enjoy eating this homemade crunchy version of a super vegetable.
Wonderfully Raw makes chips, called Brussel Bytes, from Brussels sprouts. Though a little fragile, Chili Pumpkin Seed Crunch Brussels-Coconut Snack Mix was a hit. My husband and I practically devoured Wonderfully Raw’s “Snip Chips,” a parsnip-coconut snack mix seasoned with chipotle, lime and cilantro. I think it was that sweet parsnip and coconut punched up with the heat of the chipotle. These are certified gluten-free.
Simply Sprouted offers chips made from sprouted grain. Their Pita-ahh Chips are made from sprouted red fife and spelt, touted for better nutrient absorption and digestibility than typical grain.
Of course, you can also make your own pita chips by cutting pita bread into little triangles and drying them in a 300-degree oven until crisp.
But the convenience of the Simply Sprouted Way Better Snacks is great.
The Beanitos original bean chip company has a great high fiber and protein chip that, like many on the market these days, is gluten-free.
They are corn-free, all-natural, and contain no trans fat, preservatives or monosodium glutamate. They also are certified kosher and low-glycemic. And if that’s not enough, these lightly salted chips are cholesterol-free and vegan. We liked the Chipotle BBQ flavor.
Boulder Canyon Natural Foods’ Hummus Chips made with corn and garbanzo beans and black sesame seeds are crunchy-good. They are gluten-free, kosher and contain no trans fats or cholesterol.
You may already be acquainted with Terra Vegetable Chips. I couldn’t resist picking up their new Stripes & Blues. These trans fat-free chips are a combination of candy-striped Chioggia beets, blue potatoes and red sweet potatoes, which will make for a great addition to a Fourth of July picnic or cookout. I also enjoyed their Exotic Harvest Blend, with yummy Kabocha squash, carrots and blue potatoes.
Guiltless Gourmet bakes its organic and gluten-free, all-natural blue corn tortilla chips. It is always a good idea to read the fine print, as the facility making the chips also processes dairy, wheat, soy, sesame and sunflower seeds. These chips have only 27 calories from fat in a total of 120 calories per ounce, with no cholesterol or saturated fats.
Our favorite chip made with organic blue corn is the Garden of Eatin’ Sesame Blues. The fat-to-total-calorie ratio is a little higher at 70 calories of fat to 150 calories per about eight chips, with 3 grams of protein, but their flavor makes them worth eating a smaller serving.
Our children introduced us to lentil chips. The numbers and glycemic index of these chips are great if you are into watching what you keep on hand to munch and crunch. Their shape makes them great for scooping hummus and salsas, which are good value nutrition with not so many calories. Our go-to variety is the red pepper lentil chip made by Mediterranean Snack Foods. They also make a rosemary chip. Only 30 calories from fat in this 110-calorie-per-ounce chip. and you get 22 chips to the ounce.
The chip aisle certainly isn’t what it used to be, and that’s a good thing.