The Crunchies

Gretchen Becker Health Guide
  • I follow a low-carb (LC) diet, and it works well for me. I’m never ravenously hungry.


    But sometimes I want something crunchy. That’s one problem with LC diets: most crunchy foods are laced with carbs. Think of potato chips and other snack foods. They’re not just salty or sweet, but in most cases they’re crunchy.


    I do have a few foods that partially satisfy this craving.


    Roasted almonds. I buy raw almonds in bulk and roast them myself without oil, at a low temperature. I eat a lot of them, probably too many. They do contain carbs, as well as omega-6 fatty acids. But they also contain a lot of fiber, and I think much of the nuts goes right through one.

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    Crunching the nuts is very satisfying. Maybe I was a squirrel in a former incarnation.


    Dry-roasted edemame. I sometimes eat these, although they’re not as good as the almonds. But at least they’re crunchy. Sometimes I drizzle them with olive oil and salt, as they’re pretty flavorless plain.


     Broccoli stems. I love fresh broccoli stems cut into matchsticks and dressed with olive oil and lemon juice. These days you can buy precut broccoli stems, but I find the ones you buy aren’t really fresh, and they’re not as crunchy. Making them yourself is a lot of work, but it’s worth it. Crunch city.


    Unfortunately, these days more and more stores are selling only the broccoli crowns, without the stems.


    Chana cakes. I soak chana dal for at least an hour in plenty of water. Then I process them with garlic and ginger in a small food processor.


    I fry them in plenty of olive oil, and they come out really crispy, better than potato pancakes because they’re crispier.


    Chana dal is a type of lentil, but it’s mostly fiber and has an extremely low glycemic index. I’ve tried making these cakes with other types of lentils, and they just don’t work as well.


    Celery. Ho hum. Yes, celery is crispy and not full of carbs or calories, but I don’t like it that well. Usually what I buy goes soggy before I’ve eaten it all.


    Does anyone else have any ideas for what to eat when we get “the crunchies”?

Published On: May 07, 2013