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OTHERS :

Everyone likes to munch on chips every now and then to pamper the taste buds—and to beat the blues. “But the calorie count and fat content in these fried chips are two big negatives that take the fun out of this munch-fest, and add a lot of guilt," says Seema Singh, chief clinical nutritionist and head of department, Fortis Flt. Lt. Rajan Dhall Hospital, Delhi. For every 100g of fried chips, your calorie intake will be about 350 calories and 30g fat. While some baked munching options are available in the market, the high salt content and preservatives in them play spoilsport. “Which is where chips (freshly made at home) made with vegetables other than potatoes, come in handy, as they provide both the taste and the nutrients (and lower calories and fat content too)," says Singh. Try out these guilt-free alternatives to potato chips.

Asparagus chips

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Brain food: Asparagus chips

Why it works: “This delicious veggie (asparagus) helps our brain fight cognitive decline. It delivers folate, which, along with other nutrients in it (vitamins A, C, E and K), helps keep the brain in good health," says Ritika Samaddar, regional head (south zone), dietitian, Max Super Speciality Hospital, Saket, Delhi.

Calorie counter (100g): 290 calories, 13.7g fat.

Garlic chips

Thinly slice 100g Chinese garlic (big in size) and rinse in running water for 5 minutes. Drain well and leave to dry. Heat 15ml oil in a non-stick pan and shallow fry the garlic till golden brown. Place on a paper towel to soak the extra oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper as per taste. Serve hot.

Why it works: “Allicin found in garlic helps reduce atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) and fat deposition, decreases blood pressure, and is also anti-thrombotic and anti-inflammatory. In simple words, garlic helps keep your heart disease free," says Singh. Plus, it is a great detoxifier and a diuretic, and rids the body of excess water.

Calorie counter (100g): 260 calories, 13.8g fat.

—Recipes courtesy: Achal Agarwal, master chef, Japanese cuisine, TK’S Oriental Grill, Hyatt Regency, Delhi.

Sweet potato chips

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius. Thinly slice 100g sweet potatoes. In a large bowl, toss them with 1 tablespoon oil, half tablespoon sea salt and pepper to taste. Now place them in a single layer on an ungreased cookie sheet (flat, rectangular metal pan used for baking). Bake for 10-15 minutes and rotate the cookie sheet once, until the edges are crisp but the potatoes are still soft in the centre. Do not overcook. Cool for 5 minutes and then remove the chips on to parchment paper (grease- and moisture-resistant paper). Let them cool completely (chips will become crisp as they cool).

Why it works: “Sweet potatoes are a great source of magnesium, which is known as relaxation and anti-stress mineral. Magnesium is also essential for healthy artery, blood, bones, heart, muscle, and nerve function," adds Samaddar.

Calorie counter (100g): 200 calories, 13.5g fat.

Baked beetroot chips

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius. Clean 100g beet (no need to peel them). With a mandolin or a sharp knife slice the beet thinly. Brush the slices with 1 tablespoon olive oil, and sprinkle salt and pepper (to taste) on both sides. Put a cookie wire rack on top of a cookie sheet; if you don’t have one, then brush your cookie sheet with olive oil (about 1 tablespoon) and arrange the beets on it. Put in oven to bake. After 15 minutes turn the beets over and cook for another 15-20 minutes. Take them out and let them cool.

Why it works: “Nitrate is the special ingredient in beetroot which lowers blood pressure and may help to fight heart disease. Plus they are loaded with many other heart-healthy compounds like vitamins C and K, and fibre," says Samaddar.

Calorie counter: 120 calories, 9.2g fat

—Recipe courtesy: Gaurav Shiva, chef and executive assistant manager, Grand Mercure,
Bangalore.

Carrot chips or pumpkin chips or French bread chips

Mix salt, pepper and choices of herbs (according to taste) in olive oil (10ml). Lightly brush 100g of thinly sliced carrots or pumpkin or French bread (baguette) with the above prepared seasoning. Bake in oven at 150 degree Celsius for 40 minutes till crisp and light brown. Serve with a dip of your choice.

Why it works: “Carrots have a compound called falcarinol, which bestows on it anti-cancer properties. In our diet, carrots are virtually the only source of this compound," points out Singh. “Pumpkin is filled with vitamins C, E, and A, as well as powerful enzymes that help to cleanse the skin; plus carotenoids in it are effective wrinkle-fighting plant pigments that help neutralize free radicals in the skin (thus delay ageing). Carbohydrates in bread provide bulk and add satiety; so you stay full longer," says Singh.

Calorie counter (100g): Carrots—120 calories, 9.2g fat; pumpkin—106 calories, 9g fat; and bread chips—360 calories, 10.8g fat.

—Recipe courtesy: Nidhi Wadhwa, chef and owner, Zura, Gurgaon.

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