Vegetable Chips: a Healthy Alternative To Potato Chips?

Vegetable chips from the supermarket shelf appear as a healthy alternative to potato chips. But they usually contain a lot of fat and calories and are expensive. That’s why it’s best to make them yourself.

They consist of parsnips, carrots, and beetroot or legumes such as lentils or chickpeas and can be found on supermarket shelves alongside conventional potato chips. The colorful vegetable pictures on the packaging and advertising slogans such as “50% less fat” or “this daily portion of vegetables” suggest to the consumer that vegetable chips are a healthy snack. Is that correct?

Nutritionist Heike Lemberger sees this critically: “If I remove the water from the vegetables and add fat and salt, I change the food. That means I have little to eat and take in a lot of calories in a small amount. That fills the stomach Not”. Because 100 grams of vegetable chips contain an average of 35 grams of fat, almost 500 calories, and 1.5 grams of salt. If you cook the vegetables, a completely different picture emerges: “Then I have a vegetable portion with water, lots of fiber, vitamin C and many secondary plant substances”.

Less fat often means more flavor enhancers

Fat is a flavor carrier. If a manufacturer reduces the fat content, he usually compensates for it with flavor enhancers. You can tell by the list of ingredients, which is often long. “The longer the list of ingredients, the further I should keep my distance,” is the expert’s tip. Many products also contain sugar.

Harmful acrylamide can be produced during frying

Another problem: vegetable chips are usually fried, i.e. heated to a high temperature. This can produce acrylamide – a substance that has been proven to be carcinogenic. There is no legally prescribed limit value for acrylamide exposure.

Simply make vegetable chips yourself

Lots of calories, flavor enhancers, acrylamide: industrially produced vegetable chips are not healthy. In addition, they are usually significantly more expensive than potato chips. If you want to snack cheaply and healthier, it’s best to make the chips yourself in the oven – this has the advantage that you know exactly what’s in them. Important: To ensure that the chips are nice and crispy and do not burn, roast/dry the vegetables as gently as possible at a temperature that is not too high.

In addition to beetroot, carrots and parsnips, sweet potatoes, Jerusalem artichoke, kale, or savoy cabbage are also suitable vegetables. Basic recipe: Clean your favorite vegetables and cut or grate them into thin, even slices. Mix some olive oil with salt, pepper, and spices of your choice (e.g. paprika or curry powder) and marinate the vegetables with it. Spread on a tray lined with baking paper and cook at 120 degrees for about 45 minutes.

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