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You're average run of the mill yellow (corn?) tortilla chips
Yesterday I posted a recipe to make a healthier version of a spinach artichoke dip, but I realized today while I was eating some of the leftovers that I probably should have included something about the chips, oops?

Tortilla chips are something I see all over the place normally being served as part of an appetizer like chips and salsa, or chips and spinach artichoke dip, or just a basket of chips to go with your meal. Let's be real, you know chips aren't good for you. Most kinds of chips are [deep] fried to make them crispy. I know there are bags of chips at the store that say they're baked instead of fried, but don't be fooled! Turn the bag over and look at the nutritional values on that thing! Sure, it's not AS bad as the regular chips, but just because they're baked doesn't mean that all the unhealthy ingredients they used have just disappeared!
This is the point at which I realized that making chips isn't all that hard (tortilla chips, at least). Normally, all you have to do is buy your own tortillas, cut them up, and crisp them up in the oven (instead of frying them). The problem arises when you try to find a tortilla to buy and take home; there are so many different brands and different kinds, it's almost as bad as looking for a "good" bag of chips, hah. If you're still intent on buying the store bought kind instead of the make it yourself version, at least go to HealthCastle.com's chip comparer. It's a website apparently created by dietitians, and this comparing tool allows you to filter through the top 40 chips to figure out which is the "healthiest" for your needs.
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My version of tortilla chips and spinach artichoke dip!
Here's what I found out after a lot of tortilla searching (for making chips, tacos, wraps, etc.) and a little research:
  1. Corn tortillas are better than flour tortillas. Corn is considered a grain, so having a grain based tortilla is better than a flour based one. It's already wheat and gluten free, your stomach will digest it better, and it tends to have fewer calories, fat, and sodium than flour tortillas. Also, the ingredients list is usually much shorter (and consequently healthier, in this case) for the corn tortillas.
  2. Stone ground corn tortillas are healthier than regular corn tortillas. The process by which they create the cornmeal used in stone ground corn tortillas keeps more of the nutrients of the grain. In other words, it hasn't been processed quite as much and isn't as chemical prone as the regular sort.
  3. They sell tortillas made of things other than corn and flour, like sprouted grain, brown rice, or the likes. These types of tortillas tend to be healthier in general, and may be better for some people depending on their dietary/allergenic restrictions. The downside is that they're also normally more expensive since they're more specialized.
  4. Sometimes you should just forget the idea of tortillas altogether, hahaha.

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You're probably confused by now, but when I say forget about tortillas, I mean that in favor of getting something like FlatOut! flatbread. I shop at Costco, and my local Costco sells this brand of flatbreads (I don't know why I can't find it elsewhere), specifically the mutli-grain with flax wraps (click the link to view the nutritional values posted on their site). They advertise it for the following reasons:
  • Excellent Source of ALA Omega 3 (see my previous fish post for a tiny bit about omega-3s)
  • High Fiber
  • 9g Protein
  • 67% Fewer Net Carbs than 2 slices of wheat bread
  • Made with 100% Whole Wheat
  • Whole Grain approved, 12g or more per serving

In addition to that, it's 100 calories each, 2.5g total fat (no saturated or trans fats), no cholesterol, 17g carbs (8g fiber, 1g sugar), 9g protein, and it now apparently has less sodium than it used to. Sounds like a good deal to me! Having that much fiber and protein in exchange for ingesting 17g of carbs is such a worthwhile tradeoff (as opposed to regular breads or tortillas that don't have anywhere near as much)! The protein and fiber will help to keep you feeling full for a longer period of time, and it has all the extra nutrients from the multi-grains and flax that many competitors don't have. For those bread folk out there, don't hate on the wraps until you've had one. I love me some sandwiches, but I'd buy these over a loaf of bread any day because they're way more versatile (and anything that can go in a sandwich can go in a flatbread [wrap]).

Anyhow, I used these Flatout flatbread wraps to make my "tortilla" chips, and I've gotta say that it's the healthiest chip I've ever eaten (or made)! I baked them instead of having to fry them. Even though you're going to bake the chips, I've seen other recipes where they ask you to toss the pieces in oil before baking. I didn't want to do that because it's messy, and it's too fattening. Instead, I used a cooking spray; it does the same job, keeps things cleaner, and definitely keeps it healthier.


Healthy "Tortilla" Chips

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Makes 2 serving (each flatbread wrap = 1 serving; add more wraps for more servings)

Ingredients:
  • 2 Flatout Flatbread Multi-grain with Flax wraps (or whichever tortilla/flatbread/etc you've chosen)
  • Cooking spray of choice

Directions:
  1. Preheat the oven to 350F.
  2. Using either a knife or a pizza cutter, cut the flatbread into triangles. (Cut them to whatever size you prefer, but I like mine about 2"-3" in size).
  3. Lay the triangles out on a piece of foil or wax paper and lightly coat them with cooking spray. Turn the triangles over and spray the other sides.
  4. Lay the triangles on a baking sheet (or on the rack of a toaster oven like I did in the picture below) and bake for 5-7 minutes or until golden brown. Keep a good eye on your chips to make sure they don't burn.
  5. Remove them from the oven and let them cool about 2 minutes before serving. If chips are not crispy, return them to the oven for another minute.

(Optional step: after spraying with cooking spray, sprinkle some herbs or spices on the chips for some variety or added flavor!)


Pairs well with salsa and dips. See my recipe for Healthier Spinach Artichoke Dip.

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Laying them out to be sprayed with cooking spray.
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Baked untli they were browned around the edges. Didn't want them to burn!

Other Sources:
Photo: http://www.pachd.com/free-images/food-images-2.html
Photo: http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2011/03/08/134262097/the-naked-truth-about-the-chipaisle
http://www.3fatchicks.com/corn-tortillas-versus-flour-tortillas-which-is-healthier/

10/26/2014 04:26:15 pm

Sure, it's not AS bad as the regular chips, but just because they're baked doesn't mean that all the unhealthy ingredients they used have just disappeared!

Reply
6/20/2016 12:51:44 am

Lay the triangles on a baking sheet (or on the rack of a toaster oven like I did in the picture below) and bake for 5-7 minutes or until golden brown. Keep a good eye on your chips to make sure they don't burn.

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