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Tortilla chips are easy, delicious to make at home

Homemade chips can be made from tortillas or pita pockets. From left are fried tortilla chips with cinnamon sugar, baked whole wheat tortilla chips and baked whole wheat pita chips. 

Associated Press

Homemade chips can be made from tortillas or pita pockets. From left are fried tortilla chips with cinnamon sugar, baked whole wheat tortilla chips and baked whole wheat pita chips. 

Most of the time, we live in a chip-free home. No potato chips. No tortilla chips. Not even any vegetable chips.

It's not that we don't enjoy them. Just the opposite, really. And that's why we don't buy them. I'm not thrilled with the ingredients used in many chips. So, when we want them, we make them ourselves.

Do-it-yourself chips are simple to make and can be seasoned however you like. And depending on the method used, they can be on the table in about 10 minutes. That's fast enough that I sometimes make them as an afterschool snack for my son.

There are, of course, many ways to make chips, from the currently hip baked kale chips to slowly roasted beet chips to old school fried potato chips. But over the years, I have found three varieties that lend themselves particularly well to healthy eating and simple, speedy snacking — fried corn tortilla chips, baked whole wheat tortilla chips and baked whole wheat pita chips.

Let's start with the fried. Yes, they still are deep-fried, so there is some fat involved. But we do it at a very high temperature so that the chips fry faster, absorbing less oil.

Baked whole wheat tortilla chips are even easier. A little cooking spray, some seasonings and about 10 minutes in a 400-degree oven and you have some amazing chips. Just be sure to read labels when selecting your tortillas. You want a quality brand with no trans fats and one that uses 100 percent whole-grain flour.

Finally, for a more substantial chip, you can make baked pita chips. The technique is the same as for baked flour tortilla chips, but because of the thickness of the pita, they take longer to cook. You also can experiment with the various mixed grain and low-carb pita pockets available.

Pair any of these with guacamole or salsa and you have a healthy after-school snack packed with whole grains. And be sure to make extra; they pack well for school lunches, too. Just be sure to let them cool completely before bagging them up. Otherwise, they will steam in the bag or container and get soft.

The seasonings in the recipes are suggestions. You can season then any way you like.

>>easy

Fried Corn Tortilla Chips

(with cinnamon sugar)

Canola or vegetable oil, for frying

½ teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon sugar

Pinch salt

Four 6-inch fresh corn tortillas

Into a large saucepan, pour about ½ inch of oil. Set the pan over medium-high and heat until it reaches 400 degrees on a deep-fry thermometer. If you don't have a thermometer, heat the oil until it shimmers and bubbles slightly when the tip of a wooden spoon is gently lowered into it.

In a small dish, mix together the cinnamon, sugar and salt, then set aside. Line a plate with paper towels and have nearby.

Cut each tortilla into 6 wedges. Two or 3 at a time, use a slotted spoon to lower the wedges into the oil. Cook until crisp, about 2 minutes, then use the slotted spoon to transfer them to the paper-towel-lined plate. Immediately sprinkle with a bit of the cinnamon-sugar mixture. Repeat with remaining tortilla wedges, then serve immediately.

Makes 2 servings.

Nutritional information per serving: 180 calories (70 calories from fat, 39 percent of total calories), 8g fat (0.5g saturated, 0g trans fats), 0mg cholesterol, 26g carbohydrates, 3g fiber, 2g sugar, 3g protein, 85mg sodium.

Source: Associated Press

>>easy

Salt and Pepper Baked Whole Wheat Tortilla Chips

Olive oil cooking spray

Two 8-inch whole wheat tortillas

Kosher salt and ground black pepper

Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Lightly coat a rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray.

Cut each tortilla into 8 wedges, then arrange them on the prepared baking sheet. Spritz the tops of the tortilla wedges with cooking spray, then season them lightly with salt and pepper. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, or until crisp and lightly browned. Remove from the oven, let cool for a moment, then taste and season with additional salt and pepper, if needed.

Makes 2 servings.

Nutritional information per serving: 140 calories (25 calories from fat, 18 percent of total calories), 3g fat (0g saturated, 0g trans fats), 0mg cholesterol, 22g carbohydrates, 2g fiber, 1g sugar, 4g protein, 410mg sodium.

Source: Associated Press

>>easy

Baked Whole Wheat Pita Chips

Two large whole wheat pita pockets

Olive oil

Kosher salt

Garlic powder

Smoked paprika

Heat the oven to 400 degrees.

Split each pita pocket into 2 rounds. Cut each round into 8 wedges, then place all of the wedges into a large bowl. Drizzle the wedges with olive oil, tossing as you drizzle to ensure all are evenly coated. Sprinkle the wedges with salt, garlic powder and smoked paprika, tossing to coat evenly.

Arrange the wedges in an even layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until crisp and lightly browned. Serve immediately.

Makes 2 servings.

Nutritional information per serving: 230 calories (70 calories from fat, 30 percent of total calories), 8g fat (1g saturated, 0g trans fats), 0mg cholesterol, 36g carbohydrates, 5g fiber, 1g sugar, 6g protein, 580mg sodium.

Source: Associated Press

Tortilla chips are easy, delicious to make at home 07/29/13 [Last modified: Monday, July 29, 2013 6:43pm]

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