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The New Snacking Experience

The New Snacking Experience


Sometimes, I just want junk food. Perhaps work didn’t go well, perhaps I’m feeling hormonal and grumpy, perhaps it’s Thursday…whatever the reason, the craving hits and all I want is a bag of kettle-cooked potato chips. The crunchier and saltier, the better. However, while there is nothing tastier than chips and fries cooked in oil; when Dr. McDougall says potatoes are an integral part of his diet, I doubt chips and fries are what he has in mind.

My McDougall Quick and Easy Cookbook has a list of recommended foods, condiments, and snacks in the back so I took it with me when I went on last night’s mushroom hunt. I averted my eyes from the rows of potato chips, looking for Dr. McDougall’s recommended brands. I didn’t find any. I did find Guiltless Gourmet Baked Blue Corn Chips and Mediterranean Snacks Baked Lentil Chips. Both are Oil-Free, Gluten-Free, Non-GMO, and Vegan.

Have you ever had a baked chip? The texture and taste are completely different than the standard potato chip. There is no comparison and a baked chip cannot satisfy the same way a deep fried one can. I cracked open the bag of lentil chips and discovered what I expected: this was not the bag of chips I wanted. My Mom said they didn’t have much taste and, compared to the chips I love, I had to agree.

And yet, I have to ask myself a hard question: what do you really want? When dealing with a health issue, there is no ‘one won’t hurt’, or ‘all things in moderation’. Other people can occasionally enjoy this stuff and don’t have a problem, I think. Why are you always so strict? Well, I’m not other people. I have to make the decision I’m either going to use food as my medicine or, if I want to eat all the junk I love, I’m going to have to choose drugs. Choose this day which path you’ll take, Kate.

I do. I put all negative comparisons out of my mind and focus on what’s in front of me. Are the chips crunchy? Yes. Are they salty? Yes, but not overly so. All in all, they’re not unpleasant. Are they greasy? No. The bag isn’t slick from oil, no residue is left on my fingers, and neither my mouth nor my skin feel greasy after eating them. Maybe it is possible to have my chip and eat it too.

This isn’t a glowing endorsement of these snacks so allow me to say I was thrilled to find baked snacks. It wasn’t easy: I had to dig through rows and rows of regular snacks to find the two brands that offered baked versions. I can get used to enjoying the occasional baked chip and will enjoy my old snacks vicariously through people who can still eat them.

With baked snacks a viable option, I begin to chase my personal El Dorado: the oil-free oven fry. Is it possible to get a crispy oven fry if it’s not coated with olive oil? Maybe, maybe not. I think I sense a challenge…