6 Veggies That Make Ridiculously Good Chips

Article posted in: Diet & Nutrition
veggie chips

Salty, crunchy, and with another one just inside the bag … when it comes to potato chips, it’s probably not the “potato” part that you love the most. And while you shouldn’t sit in front of the TV with a bag of anything—eating mindfully, after all, results in eating less—it’s comforting to relax on the couch and snack during your favorite flick. So try making one of these six simple low fat vegetable chips instead. You’ll get all the salt and crunch you’re looking for, and still stay on-plan.

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Kale Chips: The Unlimited Diet Snack
One of the keys to great diet veggie chips is getting them crispy without burning the vegetables, which is why this is one time you won’t want to use olive oil. Olive oil has a “smoke point” of 190 degrees, meaning it will start to burn off and smoke at that temperature. Using an oil with a higher smoke point, like canola, sunflower or coconut, means you can potentially cook the chips longer (and get them crispier) without burning. You can also use zero-calorie cooking spray, which has the properties you need to get good chips without the calories.

Kale chips are one of the easiest to keep from burning, and a great place to start. And they’re great to finish, too: They won’t keep in the fridge, so it’s encouraged to finish them all not long after they’re out of the oven. And since they’re an unlimited food, you can do so without a shred of guilt!

You’ll need:
1 large bunch kale, cut into one-inch strips
Zero-calorie cooking spray
Salt and black pepper

To make it:
1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
2. Spread the kale evenly on a baking sheet and spray with zero-calorie cooking spray.
3. Season the kale liberally with black pepper, and lightly with salt.
4. Toss the leaves and re-spread into a single layer.
5. Cook them in the oven for 15-20 minutes, or until the edges turn brown and crispy.

Like a little more spice? Try this kale chip recipe, which features onion and garlic powder, too!

Sweet Potato Chips: Orange You Glad You Made Them
The orange color means Vitamin A: More than 700 percent of your daily intake is in just a cup of sweet potatoes, as well as 25 percent of your daily fiber. Here’s the trick to getting them crispy enough to dip in ketchup: Slice the sweet potatoes super, razor thin. If it’s available, use a mandolin for uniform, thin slices that will get crisp instead of cooking brown. If you don’t have a mandolin, use a sharp knife and take your time to get the thinnest slices possible—the results are worth it. A half cup of these chips counts as one SmartCarb and one Extra on Nutrisystem.

You’ll need:
2 cups of sweet potatoes, sliced ultra-thin
2 tsp. salt
1.5 Tbsp. oil

To make it:
1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
2. Toss the sweet potato slices in oil, coating thoroughly.
3. Season with salt, and toss again.
4. Spread the slices on parchment paper on a baking sheet in a single layer.
5. Bake for about 8-10 minutes, then flip the chips.
6. Bake for 8 more minutes.
7. Turn on the broiler and broil for 2-3 minutes per side to make them really crispy.

Broccoli Chips: Turn Trash Into Diet Snacking Treasure
Not the florets. The stumps! Instead of trashing that big, fat broccoli stem, slice it thin and turn it into a salty diet snack that’s perfect with hummus or a light ranch option. You can eat as many as you want, all while packing in Vitamin B, iron and 5.1 grams of filling fiber per cup.

You’ll need:
1-2 broccoli stumps
Zero-calorie cooking spray
Salt and black pepper to taste

To make it:
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
2. Cut the broccoli stumps into coins, as thin as possible (if possible, use a mandolin. Otherwise, go slowly with a knife).
3. Coat the broccoli with the cooking spray.
4. Spread the chips evenly on a baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
5. Bake for about 10 minutes or until they crisp up.

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Beet Chips: A Sweet Weight Loss Surprise
Beets are sweet for a simple reason: With four grams per beet, they’ve got more sugar than most other vegetables. But unlike the added sugar you’d get from a cookie or candy bar, the four grams of sugar in the beet come with potassium, iron and Vitamins A, B and C that make the small blood sugar spike worth it. The fiber in the beet also helps to manage the sugar spike so it isn’t as drastic as with an added-sugar snack. Which makes these sweet-and-salty beet chips a satisfying choice when you’re craving sweetness and trying to lose weight. Enjoy all of the chips, and you’ve eaten two Vegetables and one to two Extras, depending on how much oil you use.

You’ll need:
2 large beets (about two cups), sliced as thin as possible
1-2 tsp. oil
1 tsp. salt

To make it:
1. Take one of the racks out of the oven, and place it on the counter.
2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
3. Toss the beets with the oil and salt in a bowl.
4. Spread the beets on a parchment-lined baking sheet in a single layer.
5. Put another baking sheet on top of the chips to keep them flat.
6. Bake for about 20 minutes, then uncover the chips.
7. Bake for 10-15 minutes more, or until the color lightens and the ends start to curl.
8. Put the chips on the wire rack until cool. They’ll crisp up there.

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Zucchini Chips: Crisped Up by Parmesan
If you’ve ever spilled some Parmesan over the edge of a food that you’re baking or pan-frying, you know that the cheese cooks into a delightful, salty crisp that’s a bonus for the chef. Time to share that secret: By lightly coating coins of zucchini with the cheese, the squash turns into a pile of potassium-rich chips that you’ll love. Enjoy half of these chips and you’ve eaten two Vegetables, one PowerFuel and about one Extra on Nutrisystem.

You’ll need:
4 cups zucchini, cut into super-thin coins
1 Tbsp. oil
1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan
Low-calorie cooking spray
Black pepper

To make it:
1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
2. Toss the zucchini with the oil in a bowl. Drain off any excess.
3. Pour the Parmesan in the bowl and toss until the zucchini is evenly coated.
4. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray, and arrange the coated zucchini in a single layer.
5. Bake about 15 minutes, then flip the coins.
6. Bake for 10-15 minutes more, or until they’re crisp. Remove from the baking sheet immediately to keep them from overcooking or getting soggy.

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Garlic Chips: Great as a Diet Snack or Salad Topper
Garlic chips are surprising: Bursting with flavor that pairs phenomenally with the salt they’re topped with. And they’re great for more than a diet snack: Without the salt added, they can be an ideal, crunchy replacement for croutons that can add flavor to salad without packing on extra calories or carbs. The trick with garlic, though, is not to burn the chips—err on the side of caution, removing them from the pan and letting the chips dry on a paper towel rather than burning them. This entire recipe counts as two Extras on Nutrisystem.

You’ll need:
1-2 bulbs of garlic, separated into cloves and peeled
2 tsp. olive oil
1 tsp. large-grain kosher salt

To make it:
1. Slice the garlic cloves as thin as possible.
2. Heat oil over medium in a frying pan.
3. Add the garlic and spread it out so it’s in a single layer. Saute for 5-10 minutes, or until lightly brown and crispy.
4. Remove the chips to folded paper towels. Allow to drain and dry slightly.
5. Sprinkle with salt (optional) and serve.

BONUS: Click here to get a ridiculously good recipe for Air Fryer Apple Chips!