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Healthy Eats and Repeat

Highlighting Food, Recipes, and Ideas for a Healthy Lifestyle
kale chips - bigstock

Vegetable Chips: More than Potatoes

Posted by Caitlin Mellendorf - kale

From grapes and cheese cubes to carrot sticks and dip, fruits and vegetables make for great snacks. Vegetable chips - dehydrated, blends, and potato – are popular. Let's look at how their nutrition stacks up.

Nutrition

There are so many brands of vegetable chips. To see the specifics for the brand you buy, be sure to read the nutrition label.

  • Types:
    • Dehydrated Chips: Beet chips and kale chips are examples of dehydrated chips. These veggies are sliced thin, if needed, and dehydrated to remove water. Commercial brands may sell them plain, salted, or with added flavors. The plain varieties are low in calories and sodium. Salted varieties, of course, have higher sodium. Flavored varieties may add sodium too.
      Veggie-Blend Chips: When I say chips, you might think round. There are also brands that make other shapes. These chips are usually a blend of dehydrated potatoes and/or potato starch and dehydrated veggies. Because of other ingredients, like oil, salt, and sugar, the fat, sodium, and carbohydrates are often high in these brands.
      Potato Chips: Beyond classic potato chips, sweet potato chips are gaining popularity. One benefit is sweet potato chips are often made from the whole potato. They are, however, often still fried like regular potato chips and thus are a higher calorie and higher fat snack.
  • Buy: Choose dehydrated chips more often than the veggie-blend chips or regular potato chips.
  • Price: Price will vary by type of chip and brand. Choose a style that fits in your budget, and that you and your family enjoy.
  • Store: Unless the package says differently, all types of veggie chips can be stored at room temperature.
  • Prepare: There is no need to prepare chips. Open the bag, pour out what you want, and eat. I say pour into a bag so you are aware of how much you are eating.
  • Eat: Chips are good plain. Or pair them with another foods for a bigger snack. Maybe beet chips and spiced yogurt or hummus. Or kale chips with ranch dressing.

References:

Kale Chips (3-4 cups of chips)

1 large bunch fresh kale
1/4 cup olive oil
Optional seasonings: Salt and pepper, garlic powder and/or red pepper flakes

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Rinse kale and pat dry with a paper towel. Remove the stalks from the kale and discard. Tear the leaves slightly larger than chip-size pieces (they will shrink).
2. Place the kale into a bowl and drizzle with olive oil. Add the seasonings and toss to coat evenly.
3. Arrange the leaves on an aluminum foil lined baking sheet and place in oven for 10 to 15 minutes or until crisp. Remove immediately and place on paper towels to absorb excess oil. Cool slightly and serve.

Nutrition Information per 1/2 cup serving: 70 calories, 7g total fat, (1g unsaturated fat), 120mg sodium, 2g carbohydrates, 1g dietary fiber, 1g protein

Recipe by: Jenna Smith, Nutrition and Wellness Educator, University of Illinois Extension



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