Monday, March 29, 2010

Healthy Snack Options

I have to admit, when I think about snacking (or any food, for that matter) I don't usually consider fat content. If it's obvious, like lots of mayo or drowned in butter, I'll think twice, but the average day has me eating for flavor more than anything.

Most snacks that are low fat aren't very flavorful or interesting, especially the fat-free varieties. I adore vegetables, but apart from that, I tend to seek out snacks with too much fat - but not on purpose.

I had been seeing kale chips all over the place lately and decided to give them a try. They aren't anything new - in fact I found mentions of them several years old, but they seem to be a big deal right now. Along with kale chips I also made two snacks from my favorite legume - chickpeas. I made roasted chickpeas and a fat free 'hummus'. I can say for sure that each of these had so much flavor that I'll be making them again and again. See what you think.

Kale Chips
Kale Chips

1) Kale chips are nothing but clean, dry kale leaves roasted in an oven until crisp. You can salt them or spray with olive oil before toasting, but I found that I really liked them just plain - and even better, my kids loved them! The two youngest got their hands on them and demolished an entire sheet tray! That's one awesome snack. These are totally fat-free if you toast them without olive oil and have a small amount of fat if you mist them first with oil.

Kale Chips
This is for one pound of kale, which makes several baking sheets of chips.
1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
2. Wash kale and remove large stems and veins. Dry completely with a salad spinner or paper toweling.
3. Tear into bite-sized pieces and lay on parchment lined baking sheets. Mist with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt - or leave plain.
4. Roast for 7 to 10 minutes and remove before they brown. Cool and enjoy!

You MUST tear these into bite-sized pieces unless you want a big mess each time you bite one. I made the mistake of leaving them larger and they fall apart when you bite into them.

Roasted Chickpeas
Roasted Chickpeas

2) Roasted Chickpeas are so good. Garbanzos have a small amount of natural fat to them and there's no way around that, but you don't need to add any at all for this recipe. I used Moroccan spice from my Moroccan Spiced Beef Roast and Sweet Potatoes recipe and it was awesome. This was another one the kids couldn't get enough of ... me, either.

Moroccan Spiced Roasted Chickpea Snack
Makes 2 cups
1 can chickpeas, drained
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
Toss beans with seasonings and lay out on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
Roast for 45 minutes stirring every 15 minutes so they don't burn and cook evenly.
Check for doneness (they should be crunchy and not soft at all) and put back into the oven for 5 minute intervals if they are not ready).

Fat-Free 'Hummus'
Fat-Free 'Hummus'

3) I have a hard time calling this one hummus as it is missing a vital ingredient to hummus - sesame paste (tahini). It is very good as-is and, just like the chickpea snack, there is a small amount of natural fat. No matter, add whatever you like to this basic recipe to up the flavor if you like.

Fat-Free 'Hummus'
1 can (2 cups) chickpeas - drained
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 cloves garlic - minced
1 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt

Whir everything together in the blender or food processor until smooth. Serve with chips or crackers - or kale chips! I like this with some red pepper or green onion added in.


Lo said...

Kale chips rock! And roasted chickpeas are my new favorite addiction. Good calls on both.

Not sure how I feel about hummus with no tahini (you need some fat for your body process all the good stuff in that kale) :) But, I think I can forgive you!

Lehigh Valley Transplant said...


Re: Hummus, I sometimes add some sesame seeds for a little flavor variety and texture without buying sesame paste.

I just bought some tasty kale chips, in case anyone is interested in checking out the flavor before making them from scratch... they are made regionally and I think the brand is Dave's. I got them at Frey's Better Foods in Hellertown.

Anne Coleman said...

Lo - I was going on the fact that they could all be eaten on their own or with something else- BUT ... there IS fat in the hummus - just not so much. I really prefer it with tahini, but this is good for a really low fat version.

LV - no way! I'll have to look for those. How do they hold up in the bag? The ones I made were very fragile.

The Short (dis)Order Cook said...

Kale chips rock. They really do get my husband to eat his greens. Kale isn't always the most palatable veggie for many, but crisping them in the oven works wonders.

I love roasted chick peas too. I got tired of hummus and I found roasted chick peas gave a whole new taste and texture dimension. Awesome as a snack.

Deborah Dowd said...

I tried the kale chips, but mine kept getting overdone, leading to a nasty taste. I guess I need to try again, but it was not easy to get the crispiness without going too far.

Irene T. said...

The kale chips sound awesome! I definitely have to try them out! And double points for being fat-free!! I'm gaining a few pounds lately lol =)

Unknown said...

hi kale!
your chips looks nice . i and my family is going to picnic spot we always buy to chips , snacks to a shop but thanks this time i make the delicious chips only thanks to u .it's yummy, look amazing. only thanks to you!