Sunday, March 11, 2012

Confessions of a Saltoholic

     I will take chips (not the baked kind - the greasy, salty, msg laden kind) over chocolate or sweets any day. I love salty snacks and have tried to curb my chip eating habit by replacing them with what I thought was a better choice. Roasted and salted fava beans, green peas, sesame crackers, corn nuts, trail mixes....the list goes on, but I realized they are all just as bad and unhealthy as chips, especially if they are the "bulk barn" kind and not "organic". They're loaded with sulphites, sodium, MSG and tartrazine.  I have provided links for each of these addi(c)tives just in case you aren't sure what they are or why they are bad for you, especially if you are someone like me who has IBS and a host of food sensitivities. I would get crampy stomach aches, headaches and skin reactions from eating foods with these. So to try and stop my bad salty snack habit I started making my own. This way I can control the amount of salt, oil and ingredients that go into what I eat.  Below are a few recipes that turned out quite good and are a terrific replacement for chips and the like. Even if you don't have salty snack issues, food sensitivities or stomach problems these recipes are delicious enough for anyone to enjoy. -B

1) Kale Chips
* Note: This is a dehydrator recipe. If you don't have one you can bake these in the oven but you won't get the same texture.

bunch of Kale
1 sweet red pepper
nutritional yeast or ground cashew (for cheesy flavour)
Braggs Liquid Amino Acids
garlic powder
sweet Spanish paprika
olive oil
half lemon fresh lemon

*Note: I haven't added any measurements for the ingredients because this is a "just wing it" kinda recipe. Mostly you just go by your taste.

- Wash kale well. Chop off stems and cut into pieces. I usually cut fairly large size pieces because they tend to shrink.
- If you are using cashews, grind to make powder (about a 1/4 of a cup worth).
- Wash red pepper. I used a Ninja to chop this. You can also use a Magic Bullet or blender. You kinda want a bit liquid so using a food processor or chopping wont work a s well. You want to be able to pour the pepper juice and chunks on the kale.
- Throw chopped kale and pepper into large bowl.
- Squeeze lemon over kale.
- Drizzle olive oil as much or as little as you like.
- Toss kale and red pepper so oil is evenly distributed.
- Sprinkle on spices. Again, as much or as little as you like.
- Sprinkle on cashew powder of nutritional yeast  (I used 1/2 cup) . Just sprinkle on until you think the kale in sufficiently covered.
- Give it a good toss making sure everything is evenly distributed. Get you hands in there if you need to.

*Note : I am using a Salton dehydrator for this. This is a pretty basic one. It has one setting: On/Off. It's fine for most of your dehydrating needs except however, for drying peas. They fall through the cracks in the tray. It's pretty inexpensive to buy new (around $50 or you can try Craigslist which is what we did. Most people use them once or twice then get rid of it). Some dehydrators are more fancy and way more expensive. Like the Excalibur.

- Turn on and pre-heat for 5 minutes
- Evenly space kale pieces on racks. (don't stack kale pieces on top of one another)
- Cover with lid and turn on dehydrator. I checked the manual for the times and it says 4-10 hours (pretty broad). I normally just let it dehydrate overnight so 6-8 hours should do it.

2) Taro-rizer (Taro Root Chips)
Taro root a tuber (or corm), also known as dasheen (West Indies), eddoe (India), and toran (Korea) is high in fiber and an excellent source of potassium, calcium, vitamin C, E and B as well as magnesium.

*Note; Some people with sensitive skin may have a slight reaction to juices secreted by the taro root so you may want to wear gloves or you can boil for a few minutes before peeling. Please also note that taro root is also very toxic in its raw state due to the presence of calcium oxalate so you must always cook it before eating. Never eat raw!

1 taro - They are quite large so one should be enough for 2 people (Taro can be found in Asian supermarkets)
sea salt (or himalayan salt)
garlic powder
olive or canola oil
cracked black pepper
Spray oil

- Pre-heat oven to 425°
- Peel or cut off thick outer layer and wash well. Get that slimy white calcium stuff off. I threw the slices in a pots of water and boiled them for a  minute (don't let them get mushy) first to get the calcium off. Drain and rinse well
- Cut in to thin slices (1/8 inch thick)
- Toss in large bowl. Drizzle on olive oil. Sprinkle on salt, pepper and garlic powder
- Spray pan with a bit of oil. Place slices evenly on baking pan and bake for about 20 minutes or until desired crispiness.

3) Lotus Root Chips
Lotus can be found in Asian supermarkets or of course in Chinatown markets.

Lotus root usually comes with two attached together so you can use both.
Olive oil
Salt, pepper, garlic powder and sweet paprika (If you prefer something with a bit more bite add chile flakes or cajun spices)
Spray oil for pan

- Pre- heat oven to 375°
- Wash and peel root. If you are not using right away you can soak in water a a bit of lemon juice to keep it from browning.  I boiled them first for a few minutes. Make sure to pat dry before baking.
- Cut root into 1/8 inch slices
- Place root in a bowl, sprinkle on olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic and sweet paprika.
- Spray pan with a bit of oil. Place disks evenly on pan and bake for about 20 minutes. Turning them occasionally.

No comments:

Post a Comment