Put the crunch on your health

Sherrel Jones shares tips for satisfying your urge to crunch in a healthy manner.
BY SHERREL JONES Published: August 27, 2013
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It is so important to read and compare labels when shopping for chips. That's how I found another favorite chip from Live Better Brands: Simply Sprouted Way Better Simply Unbeatable Blues. These tortilla chips include sprouted flax, chia seed, quinoa, radish seed and broccoli seed embedded into organic blue corn made with high oleic sunflower and/or safflower oil. You get 11 big chips per 130-calorie serving, with 80 mg of sodium.

Key to enjoying your favorite chips is to enjoy them in moderation. Count out a measured amount then put the package away. Take time to make healthy dippers for the chips you crave. Most beans can be rinsed, drained and blended into dips with a few spices and a little olive oil. Hummus, guacamole and a variety of salsas are available to assist in satisfying your crunchy cravings. Try my Squishy Mushy Bean Dip as an afternoon snack.

A little cutting and dividing is all that is needed to make tortilla or pita chips and even crispy shelf-stable bruschetta. Whether you have flour or corn tortillas, whole-wheat or regular pita bread or a baguette on hand, you can make some great healthier chips to serve with your favorite dips or spreads.

The great thing is they will keep well stored at room temperature in a plastic bag. One tortilla will make 8 chips, and pita bread will make 8 to 16 crispy wedges, depending on whether the pieces split in the middle through the process. A baguette can be sliced into dozens of ¼- to 3/8- inch platforms or slices depending on its length.



Healthier Homemade Chips or Bruschetta

4 flour or corn tortillas, each cut into 8 pie-shaped wedges, or 4 rounds of pita bread, each cut into 8 wedges

1 baguette, sliced ¼- to 3/8-inch thick

Optional: Olive oil or grape seed oil

Adjust oven racks to upper levels. Preheat oven to 275 degrees. Brush tortillas, pitas or baguette slices lightly with olive oil or grape seed oil if using. Cut tortillas or pitas and/or slice baguette. (A pizza cutter works great for cutting tortillas, while an electric knife makes quick work of slicing a baguette.) Spread slices in single layers on ungreased baking sheets and place in oven for 20 to 30 minutes until crisp.

Let cool and store in sealed plastic bags to keep until ready for use.

Cooking note: Adjust oven temperature down to 200 degrees if slices begin to brown quickly, as oven temperatures can vary.

Source: Sherrel Jones

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