Fresh Alternatives to Chips to Complement Your Summer Cookouts on the Suncoast
We all know the scene well – a grill churning out chicken, hot dogs, and hamburgers. Friends and family gathered for summer fun and games. There on the table are all the sides, including hips, cold salads, and such, which are staples of summer entertaining. Except for the fact that the fat, caloric count and do not actually make the best compliment to keep you beach ready and nutritionally balanced. That said, we have a few interesting alternatives to chips you can quickly make at home for your summer cookouts that might be healthy alternatives and tasty to boot.
Sure, you might enjoy a crisp apple from time to time, but have you considered making your own apple chips? Using a mandolin to slice super thin, this is an effortless, guilt-free snack from young and old alike will enjoy. Add just a dash of cinnamon for a little variety for your tastebuds.
- ¼ cup lime juice
- ¼ cup water
- 1 tablespoon white sugar
- 1 Granny Smith apple, sliced into 1/16-inch thick rounds
- 1 red apple (such as Paula), sliced into 1/16-inch thick rounds
- fleur de sel (sea salt) to taste
- Preheat oven to 170 degrees F (77 degrees C). Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and lightly oil the paper.
- Stir lime juice, water, and sugar in a bowl until sugar is dissolved.
- Soak apple slices in lime juice mixture to combine flavors, 2 to 5 minutes.
- Drain and discard liquid.
- Arrange apple slices in a single layer about 1/8-inch apart on prepared baking sheets.
- Sprinkle with Fleur de Sel.
- Bake apples in the preheated oven until dried and crisp, about 4 hours.
- Cool completely before carefully peeling from the parchment.
Salt and Pepper Zucchini Slices
Now we will acknowledge, not everyone likes zucchini. That said, these healthy, unique, crisp alternatives to chips could just hit the spot this summer. And they are so easy to try. So why not throw some out there at your next gathering and see who takes a nibble.
- 1 lb аbоut 4 сuрѕ thіn ѕlісеd Zucchini*
- 1/4 tѕр salt
- 1/4 tѕр рерреr
- 1/2 tѕр оlіvе оіl thіѕ саn be оmіttеd
- 1 tsp apple сіdеr vіnеgаr
- Using a mandoline cut the zuccini into thin slices.
- In a mеdіum bowl whіѕk ѕаlt, рерреr, olive oil (if uѕеd), and vinegar
- Add ѕlісеd zucchini
- Toss with the “drеѕѕіng” tо соаt.
- Arrange ѕlісеѕ оn dеhуdrаtоr trауѕ
- Dеhуdrаtе аt 135 dеgrееѕ fоr 5-6 hours or until сrіѕру
Cheesy Nacho Spinach Chips
Some people love kale or other chips made from greens. This is a take on those healthy alternatives and a hint of those other cheesy good snacks not so healthy for you. We dare you to try and eat just one of these!
Measurements will depend on personal taste and the amount of spinach.
- Bunch of clean, dry spinach (With stems removed)
- Oil (Olive, Grape Seed, ect.)
- Chili Powder
- Garlic Powder
- Nutritional Yeast
- Pinch of Salt and Pepper
Pre-heat oven to 350°F.
- Add spinach to a large bowl. A large bowl is better so the fairly delicate spinach leaves have space to mix.
- Add enough oil to lightly coat the spinach, don’t drench it. Mix spinach gently, scooping around the sides of the bowl.
- Add seasoning, gradually while mixing. (One example: even amounts of garlic powder, cumin, and chili powder, more nutritional yeast, and a little salt and pepper.)
- Lay one layer of spinach on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. You don’t want to have spinach overlapping or it won’t dry out evenly.
- Bake for 10 – 12 minutes. You’ll probably want to check on them at about 8-10 minutes, and after that keep an eye on them until they’re crispy!
Paprika Parsnip Fries
Parsnip boasts half the carbs, just as much flavor, and even more fiber than chips. These baked fries are sure to be a hit with adults and kids alike to accompany your summer cookout. Play around with the flavoring for just the right paring to make all the mouths water over this amazing alternative.
- 1 pound parsnips (about 4)
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 2 teaspoons paprika
- Salt and black pepper to taste
- Pesto sauce for dipping (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
- Wash and cut the ends off of your parsnips.
- Cut them into strips to make fries.
- Place them on a lined baking sheet and drizzle the oil over them.
- Season with the paprika, salt and pepper and toss to combine.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes, until soft on the inside and slightly crispy on the outside.
- Serve with pesto or your favorite dipping sauce.
Pineapple Chips n’ Dip
Of course, we had to add fruit into the mix, and this combination might be quite a surprise on paper. When the sweetness of the pineapple and the spice of curry guacamole hit your mouth you are in for a surprise. We know you are wrinkling your nose but try it, and see if we are wrong.
- 1.5 avocados (pitted and skinned)
- 1/4 tsp turmeric
- 1/2 tsp ginger
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 3 tbsp coconut milk
- 2 tbsp lime juice
- 1/4 cup diced onion
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 2 pineapples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced
- 1/8 cup lemon juice
- sprinkle of salt
- Combine all ingredients and blend until smooth.
- Put sliced pineapple in a bowl, add lemon juice and toss until coated.
- Lay out on a rack or dehydrator tray.
- Sprinkle lightly with salt.
- How long it takes to make the chips is dependent on how thick the fruit is sliced (and the outside humidity: rainy days take longer to dehydrate).
- Bake until they are mostly crisp, once they cool they will crisp up a little more.
There you have a few sure-fire healthy alternatives for your chips to accompany your favorite summer foods. Bet you find a favorite or two that you make year-round, as easy as these recipes are. Of course, these are just suggestions and you can fiddle with the ingredients to make your own amazing fresh alternatives to chips. Happy gathering, and snacking to everyone here on the Suncoast this summer!
Photos courtesy of Deposit Photos