By Sheela Prakash
While it’s most common to crave flavors, like salty or sweet, I find I actually crave textures more often. When my husband first met me, he thought it was a funny tendency, that I’d call out the need for a crunchy snack or a creamy dessert, but now he’s used to my quirk. The thing is, I don’t think I am alone. You sometimes crave something crispy, too, right? Something that forces your teeth to work a little harder, that makes noise when you chew on it. Here are 5 of my favorites:
1. Roasted Chickpeas
The first time I tried roasted chickpeas, I could hardly believe what I was eating. They were the beans, alright, but they were crispy, salty, and dangerously hard to not just eat one handful of. While you can buy them pre-roasted, I do think it’s more fun (and just as easy) to roast them yourself. The benefit with DIYing the snack, is you can play around with flavors. Toss them with simply salt, pepper, and olive oil, or try adding a spice blend like chili powder, za’atar, everything bagel seasoning, or curry powder.
2. Kale Chips
Here’s another good snack you can either make or buy. When done right, I think they’re even crunchier than regular chips, which means they’re not so much a healthy substitution but a satisfying snack all their own. For the best homemade outcome, opt for curly kale instead of other varieties — the frilly edges brown and crisp that much better.
Get a recipe: How to Make Kale Chips
3. Plantain Chips
These alternative chips often gets forgotten, but I think that’s a shame: They’re some of the crunchiest chips around. Made from green plantains, they’re a little sweet, perfectly salty, and sturdy enough to dunk into the thickest guacamole (which I highly recommend doing). If you can’t find plantains at your grocery store to make them yourself, the chips are easy to buy pre-made.
4. An Apple
Not all apples qualify here. If you need to satisfy a crunchy craving, you’re going to have to reach for the crispiest varieties. Skip Golden Delicious, Red Delicious, and Gala — instead reach for Granny Smith, Honeycrisp, Fuji, and Pink Lady. Also, pro tip: Bite into one whole, rather than cutting it in slices, for the most gratification.
Frico is the Italian name for cheese crisps, which are made by baking or pan-frying mounds of grated Parmesan so that they melt and brown and becomes crispy and cracker-like disks. Other cheeses like Cheddar and Manchego can be used as well, so this is a technique that’s fun to experiment with. Enjoy the crisps as an appetizer or snack, or crumble them on soup for a salty garnish.