Veggies into Crispy Baked Snacks

Potato chips, corn chips, tortilla chips, Cheetos, popcorn…etc, etc…

The bane of a healthy diet, right?

I’m not going to say that these recipes are as good as the pre-packaged, greasy, salty snacks that make you feel really good while you’re eating them, and really bad after the bag is empty and you’ve ripped it open to lick the salt off the tinfoil. Or is that just me?

On the other hand, depending on how you make these, they can be a slightly salty alternative that can curb the craving for something crispy and very bad for you. At least that’s what I found when I actually tried these recipes.

I love to dip my broccoli and zucchini chips in my low-carb ranch dip. The kale is very crumbly when cooked, so dipping isn’t an option.

Zucchini Chips

The Perfect Zucchini Chips

  • Large Zucchini
  • Salt
  • No-salt seasoning
  • Olive oil and oil spritzer if you have one
  1. Find the largest zucchini you can. The one I got was about 12″ long and at least 2.5″ in diameter. Cut off the end at a diagonal and start slicing. VERY thin (or use use your mandolin if you dare – they scare me because I’m constantly cutting myself anyway, and one tried taking off my middle finger a few years back) The thinner the crispier they will be. I used about 1/3 of the zucchini for a batch because they have to lay flat to cook, only what fits in the pan.
  2. Layer the slices in a colander in the sink, sprinkling just a bit of sea salt on each layer. Leave sitting at least one hour. Mine was there for over 2 because I had to make and consume dinner before I got back to them. The salt will draw out a lot of moisture from them and help them get crispy.
  3. After they’ve soaked in the salt for a while, rinse thoroughly! These do shrink in size, and so the taste of the salt will intensify. Rinse, rinse, rinse.
  4. Then lay them out on paper towel and blot to dry as possible.
  5. Preheat oven to 250 degrees.
  6. I use a large jellyroll pan, and cover it with parchment paper. Parchment is very important because no matter how much oil you use, they will stick to metal pans.
  7. I use an olive oil sprayer, and lightly coat the parchment paper. You can also use a pastry brush and brush the paper. Oil is very important.
  8. Lay your zucchini slices out in a single layer, no overlapping. Spray their tops (or brush) with olive oil.
  9. Season as you like. I do not add any extra salt because there’s still some left from the soak. I simply added a tiny bit (remember shrinkage and gets stronger flavor) of Mrs. Dash garlic and herb.
  10. Put them in the oven. It will take anywhere from 45 min to 1.5 hrs to reach a pretty golden brown color. Check them often after 45 min. When they reach golden brown, shut off the oven and leave the pan inside for at least an hour. I shut off the oven at 10pm, so I left them in overnight. When the oven has cooled, you should have crispy (though slightly chewy like dried apples) zucchini chips.

3.5 oz of raw zucchini is only 16 calories. Even though these shrink when they bake, the calories are still there. I find them very easy to overeat, but if I make just one batch, I can eat the whole thing with zero guilt.

Kale Chips

Kale Chips

  • Bunch Kale (I like the very curly kind)
  • Salt
  • Olive Oil
  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F
  2. Wash kale leaves and dry very well.
  3. Using kitchen scissors, cut out the thick rib, then chop leaves into pieces.
  4. Place kale in a large bowl and drizzle with oil. Mix well with hands so that every bit of the leaves are lightly coated.
  5. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Lay kale in a single layer on the baking sheet and sprinkle with salt.
  6. Bake for 8 – 12 minutes, just until crisp. Start checking at 8 minutes – don’t overcook or they’ll burn! They get a very bitter taste when they’re burnt. You want the moisture gone, and if there’s any browning along the edges, just the very tiniest bit. The browner they get, the bitterer.
  7. Remove from oven and let cool for a minute or two, then serve.

3.5 oz of raw Kale is only 45 calories. These are super healthy, and you can eat a whole batch if you want!

Baked Broccoli

Baked Broccoli

  • 1 bunch broccoli
  • olive oil
  • seasoning of choice (I used Mrs Dash garlic & herb or McCormick’s Greek Blend)
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Wash and dry broccoli and cut into florets.
  3. Lay on baking sheet covered with parchment paper, spritz with olive oil and sprinkle with seasoning of your choice OR place it in a bag, drizzle with oil and shake it up then put it on the parchment paper and sprinkle with seasoning.
  4. Bake for about 30 min. The outside will be a little brown and crisp. Awesome dipped in ranch!

3.5 oz raw broccoli is only 34 calories, and filled to brimming with awesome nutrition.


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