Tag Archives: chips

Favourite Things: Salty Snacks

12 Mar

If you ask me what’s my vice, sweet or salty, I’d always say sweet. I love dessert more than anything else, and I don’t just have a sweet tooth – it’s more like a whole mouth! That being said, I like a good crunch as much as anyone else. Salty snacks are great for parties or movie watching, and they don’t necessarily have to be unhealthy. Here are a few of my favs.

1. Popcorn

This has to be at the top of my salty snack list. I just love popcorn – always have, always will (fun fact, and I’m just putting this on here to annoy my sister: my sister didn’t like popcorn when she was little :P). My grandpa actually started a small local popcorn company with his best friend, so it was always something we had growing up in our house as a snack, at our house or when we were visiting my grandparents. I don’t smother it in butter though. My favourite way to enjoy popcorn is plain, air-popped popcorn topped with butter spray and salt. Butter spray is the ideal topping for popcorn – it’s got the flavour of butter, and it coats the popcorn so perfectly. And since popcorn is super-low in calories and high in fiber (did you know it’s a whole grain?), I can eat it in large amounts and not feel guilty (see that bowl in the photo – that’s one serving for me šŸ˜€ ). I also enjoy 100 calorie popcorn packs when I’m looking for a bit more portion control. They’re another great option (and easier if you don’t have a popcorn popper). I like the basic butter flavour, but I LOVE 100 calorie packs of kettle corn (which are harder to find in Canada, I usually stock up in the US)….it’s that sweet and salty thing I can’t say no to!

2. Pop Chips

Have you ever tried Pop Chips? They are relatively new in Canada, so you may not have seen them yet. They are called POP chips because they are popped – not baked or fried (read more about it here). Just the other night, I recommended them to my friend Megan, a die-hard chip lover who is trying to cut back. She texted me about her love for them, and said that I needed to blog about them (so Megan, you are the inspiration for this post :)). They come in all those great classic chip flavours – sour cream & onion, barbecue, cheddar, salt & vinegar. You won’t believe how good they taste, with better texture than a lot of baked chips and none of the greasy fingers of classic fried chips. I can’t say enough about how good these chips are, but the bottom line is, you need to go try some!

3. 100 Calorie Classics

I blogged awhile back about 100 calorie packs. To be honest, when it comes to salty snacks, I don’t reach for the 100 calorie packs that often. I am a volume girl, which is why I typically go for popcorn, as I enjoy the HUGE serving size. That being said, 100 calorie packs have their place. I love 100 calorie Cheetos, Doritos and Sunchips, as these treats are something I enjoy, but it’s super-hard to control portion sizeĀ  with high-calorie salty snacks out of the big bag. The 100 calorie packs allow me to enjoy my favourites. I even mix them together sometimes to make my own snack mix.

4. Cross-Border Crunch

I love being Canadian, but one thing I don’t love is that there are many low-fat/low-calorie favourites of mine that aren’t readily available to me. Since I live fairly close to the US border, I occasionally make shopping trips to stock up on some of my favourites. For salty snacks, they include fat-free Pringles, Rold Gold honey mustard pretzel twists (which have all of the flavour of the pretzel nuggets I love, but waaay less fat), Lay’s light chips (I have to hide these when I but them, my mom loves them SO much) and 100 calorie packs of kettle corn. If you happen to be state-side shopping, stock up on some of these goodies!

5. Guiltless Gourmet Tortilla Chips

I can’t believe I almost finished this post without mentioning these! If you haven’t tried them: YOU MUST (that is an order). Why would you want to eat plain old fried tortilla chips when you could have Guiltless Gourmet in flavours like spicy black bean (my fav), chili lime, mucho nacho, chipotle and spinach artichoke Parmesan (haven’t tried that one yet and really wanna)?! These can be harder to find, but they are becoming available at more and more grocery stores these days (tip: they’re often in the organics section). I eat these more during the summer months – for some reason, nachos and salsa/dips are more of a summertime thing for me – anyone with me, or am I alone on this one? Next time you’re having nachos – grab the GG chips for a flavour fiesta you’ll never forget. They are great as dippers or in baked nachos – just TRY THEM!

So those are my favourite ways to get my crunch on when a salty craving strikes. What about you? Any favourites I haven’t mentioned here/need to know about?

P.S. I really want to try the new PC Blue Menu Lentil Chips but I couldn’t find them at the grocery store. šŸ˜¦ Hopefully I will soon and I can update you!


Extreme Makeover: Bagel Edition

25 Jan

I hate to waste food. And, as you have learned, I love leftovers. So what to do with 7 100 calorie mini cinnamon raisin bagels that have been languishing in my freezer since August? I think that since I bought them while on vacation, the novelty of a mini 100 calorie cinnamon raisin bagel seemed too much to resist, blinding me to my better judgment which would say that this item isn’t something I’d normally eat (they are good, but pretty small for 100 calories). By the time January rolled around, freezer burn had definitely started to set in. But I couldn’t very well just throw out 7 bagels – over half the package! What better way to use them up than by making bagel chips? Baking these lifeless bagels in the oven would crisp them up nicely, and the freezer burn wouldn’t be an issue.Ā  I thought I’d go about making bagel chips in a similar way as to make croutons. Here’s what I did:

I started by cutting the bagels into thin slices (if the shapes look a bit odd, it’s because the bagels had already been pre-sliced in half, so I couldn’t get perfectly round slices). Then I spread them in an even layer on my stone (but you could certainly use a metal baking sheet). I did two batches, mainly because I wanted to test half first to make sure they turned out.

I sprayed the cut bagel pieces with PAM and then sprinkled with cinnamon and Splenda. I tossed them around a bit, then applied a bit more PAM, cinnamon and Splenda. I baked the chips for about 50 minutes at 300, tossing the chips twice during that time to ensure they crisped evenly (since I was using a stoneware pan, I would check on these a bit earlier if you use metal).

I let the chips cool thoroughly at room temperature. The result? A sweet, spicy and crunchy snack – and no wasted bagels! I’m sure you could do this with any variety of bagel (100 calorie or not) – sweet or savoury, and switch up the seasonings. Wouldn’t ranch dressing mix be great on plain bagels? Or garlic salt (that really takes me back to the garlic bagel chips of my childhood – anyone else?) If you try any good flavour combos, please share them!

Since the bagels were 100 calories each, I divided them up into mini ziploc baggies by the number of bagels I started with (ie 4 bagels = 4 baggies) and had my own homemade 100 calorie packs.

I went beyond just eating the chips on their own – I incorporated them into the delicious parfait you see to the right….seriously yummy! I cooked a chopped apple in cinnamon, water and Splenda, and let it cool slightly. Then, in a wine glass, I layered one fat free sugar free vanilla pudding cup with the apple and one bagel’s worth of the chips. I topped it all off with fat free whipped topping and a sprinkle of cinnamon…and enjoyed a mug of tea on the side. It was a great combo of sweet, creamy, and crunchy. I also think the chips would be great at breakfast over yogurt.

Another thing I did with the chips? Mixed them into my original sweet snack mix! I mixed 1/2 cup of cereal, 1 small package freeze-dried apples, 1 package yogurt-covered pretzels (slightly broken up) and 1 bagel’s worth of the chips. I can’t wait to try this stuff!

If you any kind of freezer burned bread, don’t throw it away. You can make chips like I did, or cut it up and use for croutons (use the same basic method). It’s a great way to use up something that’s a bit past its prime and not let anything go to waste.

Have you ever turned a freezer-burned tragedy into a culinary triumph? What did you do?