Thursday, May 30, 2013

Guilt-free snacks

I love snacks, it's the crunch. But so many options are totally processed, fried, addictive, and bad for you. From frozen grapes, to wickedly healthy crackers, to homemade granola bars, I'm always looking for easy, healthy options to snack on. I tried some of the store-bought kale chips when they first hit the health food stores, but they were so laden with flavorings, I didn't feel they were any better than a bag of Doritos. Try this kale chips recipe (below), so plain, you actually feel healthy snacking on them! 


a little goes a long way! 

  • Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C).
  • Cut off the tough taro and squash skins. 
  • Then, using a mandoline, thinly slice the vegetables 1/16" thick (1.5mm).
  • In a bowl, spray lightly with olive oil, using your fingertips to coat each slice evenly.
  • Lay on lightly sprayed baking sheets, without the pieces touching one another.
  • Bake for 12-15 minutes, until crisp. Rotate the baking trays after 6 minutes (top to bottom, front to back). Keep an eye on them for the last few minutes, and take out the pieces that have turned crisp and slightly golden first. They can go burn in a matter of seconds. If pieces are still quite soft, flip them over and put them back into the oven for another minute or so. If slightly soft, it will crisp up when cooling. Serve or let cool completely and store in an airtight container (if you have any left!) for up to 3 days.
A video posted by christine (@conscious_cooking) on
using 1 bunch, approx 8oz (225g)
  • Preheat oven to 300°F (150°C).
  • Wash and dry the leaves. Make sure they are thoroughly dry! Tear leaves off from the center rib, and tear into 3" pieces &-8cm) pieces.
  • Put the pieces in a large bowl, pour in 1 teaspoon olive oil and 1/8 tsp sea salt. Using your fingertips, toss and coat each leaf (all the nooks and crannies) evenly.
  • Place on baking trays lined with parchment paper, without letting any pieces touch each other.
  • Bake for 10-13 minutes, until lightly crisp. Rotate the baking trays after 5 minutes (top to bottom, front to back). Keep an eye on them for the last few minutes, and take out the pieces that have turned crisp. If the leaves turn brown, it can be very bitter, so keep checking them! Serve immediately or let cool completely and store in an airtight (if you have any left!) for up 1 day.

1 cup dried or one box/can of ready-to-eat chickpeas (garbanzo beans)

The photo above on the left, uses store-bought chickpeas, they absorbed the flavoring more, but weren't evenly crunchy. Perhaps I didn't dry them enough. The ones on the right were the soaked chickpeas, every one of them perfectly crunchy! I liked the ones made from scratch while the kids preferred the more flavorful ones. We decided that the perfect solution was to mix them up and eat them together! That works for me!

  • If using dried chickpeas, Rinse them well and discard any broken or discolored ones. Soak for 4-8 hours, or overnight, in plenty of water with 1 Tbsp baking soda. Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C).
  • Drain, rinse and thoroughly dry the chickpeas (for both the soaked and store-bought ones).
  • Toss and coat the chickpeas evenly with 1 teaspoon olive oil.
  • Bake on a baking tray for 30-40 minutes, until crisp. Rotate the baking tray (from back to front, top to bottom) after 15 minutes and shake the tray occasionally for even cooking.
  • When crisp, lightly spray with vegetable oil and sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon cumin, 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper and 1/4 tsp sea salt.