Salty Snacks

Continuing in the same vein as my last post, I thought I’d share some more healthier snacking alternatives with a few other cookbooks.

Salty Snacks by Cynthia Nims collects instructions for making your own homemade savory snacks without excess sodium or preservatives. There’s a whole range of snacks here, from the newly popular kale chips to soft pretzels to breadsticks and savory cookies. Some of the goodies outlined are very inventive – salami chips in particular caught my eye. I’m learning about so many foods that can be baked or dried into delicious crispy snacks that are much healthier than the standard potato chip. My husband and I spent an evening making and eating some delicious kale chips just the other night – I’d highly recommend it! The recipes in this book are very easy to modify, so when we didn’t have the suggested spices on hand we enjoyed our kale with just olive oil and kosher salt.

Fast Food Fix by Devin Alexander provides a full set of makeovers of fast food favorites made with real ingredients and containing less calories, fat, and chemicals. Sometimes, I just really want a burger from a fast food joint, and with this book I can satisfy that craving while still sticking to Michael Pollan’s Food Rules by cooking it myself. It’s more satisfying, I know exactly what’s in it, and it’s better for me to boot. How can you resist? I know next time I get that fast food craving, I’ll be turning to this book instead.

The Sneaky Chef: Simple Strategies for Hiding Healthy Foods in Kids’ Favorite Meals by Missy Chase Lapine is full of innovative ways to stealthily include vegetables and other healthy foods in traditionally less healthy and delicious food. Clearly, this guide is intended for getting nutrients into children, but I think it could work well for someone like me too. I want to get more of the vitamins and minerals that are good for me, but I just don’t tend to eat many vegetables. That’s a bad habit, but adding some vegetables to the rest of my food can help me get those missing nutrients. Further, this book can help cut calories, add nutrition, and avoid blood sugar spikes and crashes by using some of these replacements. Some of these recipes are really simple, like using olive oil instead of butter when making a grilled cheese sandwich or adding spinach or avocado to a milkshake. Others involve a set of purees outlined in the beginning that include all the healthy nutrients kids (and some adults) hate to eat. Either way, it’s a giant step toward eating healthily and improving your well being!

Jessica Seipel is an Instructor and Research Specialist at the Savage Branch. She has worked for the Howard County Library System, in various positions, for a decade.