Tuesday, July 5, 2011

5 Tasty Substitutes for Potato Chips

This time of year there are summer cookouts galore.  Lots of burgers and dogs, baked beans and potato salad…and potato chips. Chips and dips and more chips!

There is something about potato chips that is so appealing. The combo of crunch, salt, and carbs can be hard to resist.  If you are concerned about the calories, never fear!  If you love chips, you can still eat them!  Just grab a handful and eat them in moderation. A handful here and there won't hurt. 

If you find yourself in the potato chip aisle with a big bag of chips in hand, flip over the bag and check out the ingredients. You want to buy chips with only 3 ingredients: Potatoes, oil, and salt - that’s it!  If there are more ingredients listed, put that bag back and check out some other brands.  Personally, I think Cape Cod are best– they come in a reduced fat version too…

On the other hand, if it is too difficult to put a lid on your chip consumption (we all have those days!), there are some tasty substitutes that you can try. They may not have the exact salty-greasy-crunch that you are craving, but here are 5 healthier substitutes that you can bring to your next cookout – even if all of them are not your standard BBQ fare…

1.   Pop Chips - Hands down, Pop Chips are #1. Made out of potatoes, they are popped, not fried. They have 6 varieties - something for everyone - including Original, BBQ, Sour Cream & Onion, Cheddar, Sea Salt & Vinegar, and Paremesan & Garlic.

2.   Snapea Crisps – Watch out, they can be addictive, but at least you are eating real pea pods that contain fiber and nutrients like iron and calcium. You can find them at most grocery stores, Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods, or order them online.

3.    Terra Chips – Be careful here because sometimes these can be as caloric as regular potato chips, but they pack one serving of vegetables into a good handful. They have a potato chip version (Terra Kettles), but I prefer the combo Mediterranean bag of beet, turnip, and sweet potato chips. Delicious!

4.    Guiltless Gourmet Blue Corn Tortilla Chips – The Blue Corn tortilla chips are made from stone ground organic blue corn, expeller pressed canola/safflower/sunflower oil, salt, and a little lime. All of their 7 flavors are made with organic corn.

5.    Kale Chips – Kale Chips are a low calorie nutritious snack. You can make them yourself easy-peasy. They are great for parties and a good conversation topic. They are simply kale, a little olive or coconut oil, and sea salt all mixed up and spread out on a baking sheet and baked at 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes (ovens vary so watch them to make sure they don’t burn.)  I eat them by the handful - and often for breakfast!!

Try something new for your next backyard cookout and treat your friends and family to some new crunchy snacks this summer. I hope you enjoy them!