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Eat, Drink & Be Healthy

Substitutes you’ll savor

by Lauren Del Sarto
Eat Drink and Be Healthy

Making healthier choices doesn’t mean giving up everything you love and crave; it’s about finding satisfying, convenient alternatives and getting creative! In this new column, I’ll share ideas and favorites.

Today’s topic: SALTY SOLUTIONS

Who doesn’t love salt? We know it’s something to be consumed in moderation, but we all crave it, and unfortunately, the sources to satisfy those cravings tend to be the worst for us. Top of mind? French fries. 

Here are some creative bites you can throw together and my favorite finds in the snack aisle at most grocery stores.

Creative: Baked veggies chips

With more time on your hands, maybe you’ve discovered the chef within and a new joy of cooking.  I certainly have, and one of my favorite things to make is baked veggie chips with sea salt. They make a great healthy snack or a hearty appetizer to share while preparing dinner. 

My favorite vegetables to use are radishes and beets (don’t judge until you try them; they taste completely different prepared this way!). You can also use zucchini, summer squash, broccoli, or try your favorite veggie.  Just thinly slice, lay out on a paper towel and generously add sea salt. Preheat the oven to 350F.  After 15 minutes, dab the veggies to remove excess water. Then, toss in a bowl with a splash of avocado oil and place single-layered on a baking sheet. Cook for 30–40 minutes (until they start to look crisp), rotating once. Let them sit to cool, which will add crispness and snack away! 

Sweet potatoes are another good option. With less moisture, they don’t need to be laid out in advance; simply slice thin and toss in a bowl with oil and salt before placing in the oven. You don’t want to use olive oil (read more on cooking with oils pg. 17). You can also find many good recipes online and if you really want to get creative, read up on hydrating vegetables at
www.deserthealthnews.com.

Convenient: Healthier chip options

Sometimes you just want to grab a convenient salty snack in a bag. We all grew up with pre-packaged chips, but ingredients I now try to avoid include corn (inflammatory), wheat/gluten and vegetable oil. So, instead of reaching for Doritos, Cheetos, or Frito-Lays, consider these newer, healthier options. 

Siete Grain-Free Tortilla Chips. Made from cassava, a tuber root vegetable, these satisfying chips are gluten-free and great for dipping. The only other ingredients are avocado oil, coconut flour, chia seeds and sea salt. We serve them all the time, and I haven’t found one person who doesn’t love them.

Vegan Rob’s Cauliflower Puffs. Cheetos used to be my favorite, so I was elated to find Vegan Rob’s line of vegetable puffs. They deliver the same satisfying crunch and quench your craving for a delicious salty snack. The main ingredient is sorghum, a gluten-free nutrient-packed grain rich in vitamins and minerals. Flavoring comes from cauliflower, onion and garlic powders, and the cauliflower taste is light. Their variety of flavors includes Brussels sprout, spinach, beet and more, along with Dragon Puffs for Flamin’ Hot Cheetos fans, but I recommend starting with the Cauliflower Puffs. Be careful not to eat the whole bag. They are that good!

And for a salty dessert? As one who avoids sugar, my favorite is Lily’s Salted Caramel Chocolate Bar sweetened with stevia. One small bite will satisfy, but you won’t feel guilty eating more!

Lauren Del Sarto is the founder and publisher of Desert Health and can be reached at Lauren@DesertHealthNews.com. Send us your ideas for healthier solutions (organic only; no marketing pitches please).

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