3 Addictive Snacks That Are Actually Good for You

3 Addictive Snacks That Are Actually Good For You
This post was published on the now-closed HuffPost Contributor platform. Contributors control their own work and posted freely to our site. If you need to flag this entry as abusive, send us an email.

When we, the Pollan Family, make these addictive snacks, our family and friends cannot stop eating them, and that's OK -- they are so healthy and nutritious we almost don't want to call them a snack. It's particularly gratifying to see our kids scarfing them down! They each have a very short list of ingredients (three or fewer!) and are so easy to make.

Crispy Parmesan Roasted Chickpeas


  • 1 1/2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Two 15-ounce cans organic chickpeas, drained, rinsed well, and patted dry (or 3 cups cooked chickpeas)
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed, finely shredded Parmesan cheese (not pre-grated or it will not melt)
  • Sea Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 425° F.

Pour 1 1/2 tablespoons of the olive oil into a large baking dish. Place it in the hot oven.

In a small mixing bowl combine the chickpeas, 2 teaspoons of extra virgin olive oil, the Parmesan cheese, 1/4 teaspoon of salt, and 1/8 teaspoon of pepper. Mix well until the chickpeas are thoroughly coated.

Carefully remove the hot baking dish from the oven and pour the chickpea mixture in. Use a wooden spoon to spread the chickpeas into a single layer. Roast for 10 minutes; stir them once with the wooden spoon. Continue to cook until crispy and golden brown, an additional 7 to 10 minutes. Season with additional salt and pepper as desired, and serve hot or at room temperature. (Do not drain on paper towel or they will lose their crispiness.)

*Once cool they also make a great salad topping.

Spiced Sweet Potato Crisps


  • 1 large sweet potato (about 1 pound), peeled and very thinly sliced (use a mandolin if you have one)
  • Organic olive oil cooking spray
  • Seasoning of choice, to taste (paprika, smoked paprika, cumin, cinnamon, teaspoon chili powder)
  • Sea salt

Set a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat the oven to 375° F.

Lightly spray two rimmed baking sheets with oil. Arrange the rounds in a single layer on the baking sheets (taking care not to crowd or overlap.) Spray the tops with a fine mist of oil and lightly sprinkle your spice of choice on each (do not salt yet as this releases moisture.)

Place one of the baking sheets on the middle rack and bake for 15 minutes. Flip the rounds, sprinkle additional spice on top, and rotate the pan in the oven. Bake until the rounds are lightly browned around the edges, and tender in the middle, an additional 7 to 10 minutes. Watch them closely in the last 5 minutes as they go from golden to burnt quickly. Remove any rounds from the baking sheet that have browned and place on a cooling rack to continue crisping. Return the rest to the oven to continue baking. Once the first batch is done season with salt to taste.

Repeat with the second baking sheet and serve.

Perfect Kale Chips


  • 4 cups packed curly kale, completely dry, stemmed and torn into 2-inch pieces
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt

Preheat the oven to 400° F.
Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

Add the kale and the olive oil to a large mixing bowl. Using your fingers massage the oil well into all the leaves (do not add salt before you cook. *)

Place the kale in a single layer on the baking sheet. Roast until browned and crisp, 10 to 12 minutes, flipping once halfway through. Season with salt to taste and serve.

*Salting before roasting will bring out the moisture in the kale leading to less crispy chips.

A Totally Unexpected Pasta
You'll swear there's heavy cream, or at least a generous amount of cheese, in this dish—but the thick and rich sauce actually gets its heft from avocado. The superfood also adds loads of nutrition (such as cholesterol-blocking good fat, potassium, folate and more). And if you're worried about it tasting like a bowl of guacamole-coated noodles, fear not: The other ingredients are basil, garlic, lemon and pine nuts, which give the plate a more Mediterranean than Mexican vibe.

Get the recipe: Creamy Avocado Pesto with Toasted Pine Nuts
Mâche, Matchstick Beets and Red-Wine Vinaigrette Salad
The Pollan Family Table
With a nutty, grassy taste and velvet-like leaves, mache lettuce is a great way to add some variety to your salad bowl. The Pollans combine it with raw beets (there's no need to cook them if you cut them into matchstick-size pieces), which add terrific crunch and color. A creamy dressing might be overwhelming with these flavors, so instead, the recipe calls for a red-wine vinaigrette made with walnut oil. Toasted walnuts and crumbled feta complement the dressing and make the salad more filling, too.

Get the recipe: Mâche, Matchstick Beets and Red-Wine Vinaigrette Salad
Proof That Simple Ingredients Can Still Wow Us
Naomi Kim
It's hard to go wrong with a chicken dish built with garlic, olive oil, shallots, rosemary, sage, red wine and balsamic vinegar. But the Pollan family manages to take these humble ingredients to new heights with this spectacular dish. They start by cooking strips of breast and thigh meat in olive oil until a golden crust forms. A thick sauce comes together with the remaining ingredients and makes a rich and deeply flavored coating for the chicken. And while there are only a few tablespoons each of butter and oil used in the dish, the overall effect is decadent.

Get the recipe: Pollo Balsamico
An Old-School Side with a Health-Conscious Makeover
The Pollan Family Table
The Hasselback potato is a thing to behold: It's a spud cut into thin slices that's left connected at the bottom and covered in bread crumbs and cheese then baked so the slices fan out and turn crispy and golden. The Pollans' healthy version is no less heavenly. They omit the bread and cheese but load the potatoes up with paprika and thyme.

Get the recipe: Baked Accordion Potatoes with Paprika and Thyme
The Most Beautiful Veggie Side
The Pollan Family Table
Radish salad sounds so humdrum, but this plate is anything but. It uses watermelon radishes, a variety that is pale on the outside but vibrant pink on the inside. They taste crisp and fresh, with a delicate, piquant bite. The Pollans combine the radishes with subtly sweet fennel, peppery watercress, salty feta and juicy orange slices in this beautiful dish that's refreshing and delicious.

Get the recipe: Watercress, Fennel and Watermelon Radish Salad with Feta
Support HuffPost

Popular in the Community