Low Carb Coconut Chips

by Sarah TheHealthyHomeEconomist October 11, 2012

Have you noticed that healthfood stores in recent months seem to be carrying an ever increasing variety of snack chips?   In addition to the typical potato and corn chips, I’ve noticed taro chips, black bean chips, and even chips made from chickpeas!   My grocery store is also getting into the action with a large display of lentil chips that is very prominent right as you walk in the door.

While the variety is nice and it shows that there is growing consumer demand for a wider selection of healthier snacks, the problem with these chips is twofold.

First, the oils used to fry the chips are usually nothing short of extremely unhealthy.  Polyunsaturated oils like soy, corn, safflower, or sunflower are the usual ones used to fry processed snack chips, and you simply cannot fry anything in these oils as they get damaged too easily by heat resulting in a rancid, free radical laced snack!

I’ve dubbed polyunsaturated vegetable oils the marijuana of fats as they give you the munchies by contributing to overproduction of neuromodulatory lipids called endocannabinoids that are responsible for signaling hunger to the brain. Marijuana or cannabis is also notorious for giving users a munch attack.

Fortunately, manufacturers are wising up and there are a few brands out there that use lard, avocado oil, peanut oil or some other type of fat that is either monounsaturated, saturated or a mix of the two and hence does not turn rancid when fried.   Avoid canola oil, though, as even though it is high in monounsaturated fat, it also contains about 10% delicate omega 3 fats which are rendered completely rancid by processing.  In addition, canola oil, short for “Canadian oil”, is a genetic hybrid of rapeseed oil and should be avoided for that reason alone.

I also avoid snack chips cooked in “olive oil” as most of the olive oil used in manufacturing is really vegetable oil.  Shocking but true – the Mafia controls much of the world’s olive oil market!  You must buy olive oil from a carefully vetted source to be certain it is authentic.

Unfortunately, even if you buy chips and carefully check to ensure that the proper type of fat was used, the lethal neurotoxin and carcinogen acrylamide is formed by heating starch to a high temperature. This happens whether or not a healthy oil is used for frying and regardless of the type of starch that the chip is made from – bean, taro, corn, potato, chickpea, lentil etc.  Don’t be fooled into buying the baked chips either – they are no better in my book.

As a result, it is best to greatly limit carb based snack chips from the store.

Period.

While an occasional handful at a party or whatnot is fine for most people, having them in your pantry as a regular snack feature is not a healthy habit at all.

What to do?  Chips are just so awesome, aren’t they? There’s just something about that crunch that is so appealing to children and adults alike.

For those of you seeking an alternative to high carb, starch based snack chips from the store, I have a coconut chips recipe for you and it only takes about 3 minutes to make a batch!

This recipe was created by Kathy LeMoine, owner of Radiant Life. She has generously given me permission to reprint this recipe here for you all to try and enjoy!

Spiced, Low Carb Coconut Chips

low carb snack chipsIngredients

2 cups organic coconut chips  (where to source)

1/2 tsp organic ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp fine sea salt (where to source celtic or himalayan for best results)

Instructions

Combine the sea salt and ground cinnamon in a small dish and put aside.

Heat a large skillet over medium heat for 2 minutes. Add the coconut chips and spread evenly in the pan in a single layer. Stir frequently.

Remove pan from heat and put the coconut chips in a glass bowl as soon as the flakes have reached an appealing level of toastiness (see picture) which only takes about 3 minutes at the most.

Sprinkle with cinnamon and salt mixture tossing to coat evenly.

For maximum crunch, allow the lightly fried coconut chips to cool in a single layer on a cookie sheet.

Store the spicy coconut chips at room temperature in an airtight container (if they last that long!)

These low carb coconut chips are great served as a stand alone snack or sprinkled atop other fruit and veggie dishes, i.e., green beans, berries, etc.!

Also a great lunchbox idea!

Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist

 

Comments (32)

  1. Pingback: Cinnamon-Sugar Coconut Crisps (Sugar-Free) | Just Enjoy Food

  2. Super yummy!!!! I just made these 5 minutes ago and I’m reheating the pan now to make another batch… Really good!!!

    Reply
  3. Pingback: 35 Blogs for Low Carb Living | Blog | Kenney Myers

  4. omg! i was skeptical when i first read this post but i started snacking on some coconut chips tonight, which i never do, and thought about this recipe so i just made it. it is SO GOOD tastes like chips

    Reply
  5. Pingback: Spiced, Low Carb Snack Chips | CookingPlanet

  6. The latest Rachael Ray Every Day magazine has an interesting recipe for delicata squash rings (slices) which could easily be modified if necessary. Also why not use raw shelled pumpkin seeds and add seasoning and healthy oils to those? Also, could you have a future column with some healthy grocery store options in this area, as far as the chips go? If we rally behind some good ones, the word will spread and we will be rewarding the good guys for a change. I had a bad experience with Terra chips so you really need to be careful what you eat these days. Thanks so much for all your great information!

    Reply
  7. These were definetly worth their small effort to make. While the chips were warm I thought they were too salty but after they cooled they were just perfect. The subtle sweetness from the coconut combined with the salt makes them nicely balanced and the cinnamon was surprisingly good on them. I made a half batch…my mistake! The kids gobbled them up.

    I’m thinking these could also be dressed up with favorite popcorn flavors (onion, garlic?) and drizzled with a little butter for a crunchy movie snack.

    Reply
  8. I buy Ezekial sprouted corn tortillas that I cut into triangles, brush with melted virgin organic coconut oil, then bake at 350 in oven, turning halfway through. About 20 min. Then enjoy with guacamole!
    I think this is healthy. Am I right?

    Reply
    • We do the same thing with the Food For Life sprouted corn tortillas except fry them in a cast iron skillet in a little bit of coconut oil. Once fried, move them to a paper sack (I have soooooo many from my food co-op anyway!) and put some Himalayan Salt on them. So yummy! Oh – and once the coconut oil that is left in the pan has cooled, just pour it back in the jar it came in. You can re-use it.

      Reply
  9. Try baked kale chips. I’ve seen the recipe on this site and somewhere else as well. It tastes great.

    Another reason to avoid some of those chips is that, for those bean and lentil chips, I seriously doubt they properly soaked the legumes before cooking and processing them. They must be full of phytic acid which will rob your body of much needed minerals and other nutrients.

    Reply
  10. I can guarantee this won’t help my potato chip cravings. Roasted seaweed helps a little bit when I’m feeling desperate for a chip.

    Reply
  11. Your resources links have never worked for me… Is this because I use firefox? Does anyone else have trouble with them?

    Reply
  12. Do you think I could omit the cinnamon? I’m desperate for a salty crunchy snack. Pickles work every once in a while but I really need that dry, crunchy, salty craving to be satisfied!

    Reply

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