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.