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David in Seattle

Baking Cheap, Crunchy Snacks?

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Like all Good Americans, I like salty/greasy/crunchy/horrendously bad for me snacks. Potato chips used to fill that bill, just your basic Lays, but I have eliminated them, at least for the time being, for fear of cross contamination via the cooking fat, or the shipping container they go in, or the carton tape the container is sealed with, or maybe it's that fragment of McDonald's hamburger bun the delivery truck runs over on its way to Albertson's that taints them, I don't know, the point is, I need something else to fill my salt tooth. So, I picked up A NICE BIG BOX of "Nut Thins". Couldn't wait to sink my teeth into a heaping pile of these crunchy delights (they LOOK like poker chips, they TASTE like poker chips, and they're GLUTEN FREE, just like POKER CHIPS!). Well, I'd say each ~$4 box holds about half a heap. Compare that to the Lawn-and-Leaf size bag of Lays you get for the same $$$. In fact, given the price and the minuscule size of the bag inside the pretty box, the whole transaction seems as though it should have been carried out furtively on a street corner in a disreputable part of town. I could EASILY eat 20 bucks worth of these things in a week. Week-and-a-half, tops. So, I'm wondering if anyone knows any good, gluten free recipes for something salty, crunchy and thin. Some suitable dough you could pour/spread out in a sheet pan & bake quickly, maybe brush with a bit of olive oil & dust with salt, let it cool than break it up into bite size pieces? There must be something. These Nut Thins are taking a serious chunk out of my rice and chicken budget...

David

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Have you considered Lays Staxx?, They are made on dedicated lines. If you are not comfortable with the flavors, at least the plain? Walmart sells them cheap- about $1 per canister. How about making your own Chex mix? in large batch? to save time in the long run. Adding the Glutino pretzels tastes good, although adds expense, but is optional. You can add cheaper ingredients like peanuts, home popped, air popped, popcorn. I am low-carb so rely on crispy bacon for my salty, crunchy fix. Bake it in the oven in batches(google instructions), store it in the fridge and microwave it a few seconds before eating. There are gluten-free, low-carb cracker recipes made of almond meal out there that are quick and easy and tasty, however, almond meal is not exactly cheap. I don't know what the cost analysis compared to the purchased almond thins is. If you can get a good bargain on nuts, you can always make your own seasoned nuts. Trader Joe's is where I buy mine in bulk. Pork Rinds? Well, there are some ideas to explore anyway.

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Like all Good Americans, I like salty/greasy/crunchy/horrendously bad for me snacks. Potato chips used to fill that bill, just your basic Lays, but I have eliminated them, at least for the time being, for fear of cross contamination via the cooking fat, or the shipping container they go in, or the carton tape the container is sealed with, or maybe it's that fragment of McDonald's hamburger bun the delivery truck runs over on its way to Albertson's that taints them, I don't know, the point is, I need something else to fill my salt tooth. So, I picked up A NICE BIG BOX of "Nut Thins". Couldn't wait to sink my teeth into a heaping pile of these crunchy delights (they LOOK like poker chips, they TASTE like poker chips, and they're GLUTEN FREE, just like POKER CHIPS!). Well, I'd say each ~$4 box holds about half a heap. Compare that to the Lawn-and-Leaf size bag of Lays you get for the same $$$. In fact, given the price and the minuscule size of the bag inside the pretty box, the whole transaction seems as though it should have been carried out furtively on a street corner in a disreputable part of town. I could EASILY eat 20 bucks worth of these things in a week. Week-and-a-half, tops. So, I'm wondering if anyone knows any good, gluten free recipes for something salty, crunchy and thin. Some suitable dough you could pour/spread out in a sheet pan & bake quickly, maybe brush with a bit of olive oil & dust with salt, let it cool than break it up into bite size pieces? There must be something. These Nut Thins are taking a serious chunk out of my rice and chicken budget...

David

:lol::lol::lol:

I loved your whole post and I think you summed it up beautifuly! I second the Lay's Stax--they are crispy, salty, and inexpensive--my Kroger has them 2/$3 all the time--surely less than using ground almonds or other specialty flours and making your own crackers. They're made on dedicated lines, so no worries there.

I also like to make popcorn--a big jar of Orville Redenbacher's at Wal Mart is around $4. I use light olive oil and just a little salt--you could flavor it any way you like and it's healthy whole grain.

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:lol::lol::lol:

I loved your whole post and I think you summed it up beautifuly! I second the Lay's Stax--they are crispy, salty, and inexpensive--my Kroger has them 2/$3 all the time--surely less than using ground almonds or other specialty flours and making your own crackers. They're made on dedicated lines, so no worries there.

I also like to make popcorn--a big jar of Orville Redenbacher's at Wal Mart is around $4. I use light olive oil and just a little salt--you could flavor it any way you like and it's healthy whole grain.

Thanks for the replies and Patti, glad you appreciate my sense of humor :D I'll look for the Stax. Are they whole sliced potatoes? From the name, they sound a bit like "Pringles", which I never really cared for much. Worth a try, though.

Unfortunately, my gut issue is not yet fully diagnosed, and it could be IBD/Crohns (YEEESH) so I'm ALSO staying away from "seriously pointy foods" like nuts & popcorn, much as I like them.

Oh and MissysMom, I've done the no-carb thing a time or 2, not for this but to lose a few pounds, so believe me, I've eaten a few bags of Chicharrones in my day :D

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Unfortunately, my gut issue is not yet fully diagnosed, and it could be IBD/Crohns (YEEESH) so I'm ALSO staying away from "seriously pointy foods" like nuts & popcorn, much as I like them.

Oye--then yes, do avoid those until you know fully what you're dealing with.

Stax are very similar to Pringles--the chips are formed out of a mixture that includes, but is not limited to, potato :D I much prefer Lay's Kettle Chips, but I make do with the Stax since Lays regular chips are hit or miss for me. <_<

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It's easy to make your own potato chips if you have a deep fat fryer. If you don't, you can make them in the oven. Simply slice a potato as thinly as you can (peel or not). A mandolin makes the thinnest slices, but I've used a knife and it works. Brush the slices with olive or whatever kind of oil you use. Place on a baking sheet and bake until they begin to brown. Turn, and bake until crisp.

Kale chips are super easy to make! I didn't particularly like them but husband and daughter loved them. Just cut kale (or any other greens) in bite sized pieces. Bake at 350 for about 10 minutes until crisp. Then salt and cool.

Can you eat corn chips? They're easy to make too using corn tortillas. Cut in wedges, brush with olive or the oil of your choice and bake like the potato chips.

Fried pasta is another option. Now I've not tried this with gluten-free pasta, but it should work. I used to do this with leftover pasta. For the larger shapes, place on a paper towel to dry. For spaghetti, place in bite sized clumps on paper towels. For macaroni or smaller shapes, place in bite sized clumps. Let dry. Then heat about an inch of oil in a skillet. Drop in the pasta shapes or clumps and cook until slightly browned and crisp. Drain immediately on paper towels and salt. Or if you want a sweet treat, sprinkle with powdered sugar. Eat right away. They don't keep.

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While not as greasy as good old fashioned Lays, I have found that Kettle Baked lightly salted potato chips are excellent. My son actually prefers these to the others. They are crunchy and satisfy my cravings. I checked the website and have attached the link below. I am not sure about the taste of the other chips as I am trying to keep things a little healthy, but I may need to induldge in these to keep my cravings for McDonalds French frys at bay! For $5.00 I actually got a box combined with RiceWorks Sweet Chili chips (see website info below, these are my instead of Doritos chips), Food Should Taste Good Tortilla chips, and Stacy's Pita chips (These are NOT GLUTEN FREE, but the box was actually seperated so that the pita chips were seperate from the others AND they are individual sealed and let me tell you hard to open! Unless there is an accident and they accidentally open it seems ok to me and I haven't had a problem yet)I give the pita chips to my kids.

http://www.kettlefoods.com/our_products/faqs/

http://www.riceworkssnacks.com/faq_USA.html#2

http://www.foodshouldtastegood.com/#/FAQ/

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Some online options for you here

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Some online options for you here

For those times when Seasoned Fish Bones and Fluffy Pork Snack would just hit the spot :P

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Fast, easy, and artery clogging-- Fried Cheese!

Heat a skillet, med-hi heat

I prefer shredded or sliced cheddar

Drop onto hot skillet-if using shredded, just a small handfull

When the edges turn brown, flip over

Fry till nice and golden brown

Remove and briefly place onto a paper towel to soak up some of the grease

HEAVEN!!

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Well, this won't hit the salt and fat taste buds.... but I have a simple cracker recipe that does hit the spot when I need something to munch on. Basically brown rice flour, melted butter, water, seasoned with a little basil and marjoram... and brown sugar (more or less according to your taste). I like a slight sweetness so I add more than the original recipe. It can be crisp or chewy, depending on how long you bake it. I'll post the recipe if you are interested.

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Micro wave peanut brittle

Maybe some peanut brittle would work? You can find lots of microwave peanut brittle recipes on the net. I know you are avoiding nuts, but you can use anything else in the brittle recipe instead of peanuts, like dried fruits, so sunflower seeds perhaps? Lots of options there really.

Spiced peanuts are easy to make by just adding some spices to a can of nuts and shaking hard. But since nuts are out the same thing would prolly work with Chex and a little oil to help get the spices to stick. That might work with Kix cereal also.

Now bread sticks might be good too if you give them lots of salt and garlic, sort of like pretzel rods.

I'll post the recipe if you are interested.

I'd like to get the cracker recipe! I'd like to try making some crackers sometime. I can't eat most of the ones they sell.

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For those times when Seasoned Fish Bones and Fluffy Pork Snack would just hit the spot :P

Did you notice the fried fish bones, baby clams & some of the other delicacies are sold-out? Poor David!

Fast, easy, and artery clogging-- Fried Cheese!

Heat a skillet, med-hi heat

I prefer shredded or sliced cheddar

Drop onto hot skillet-if using shredded, just a small handfull

When the edges turn brown, flip over

Fry till nice and golden brown

Remove and briefly place onto a paper towel to soak up some of the grease

HEAVEN!!

I have always made that accidently on purpose when making Quesadillas. I spill some of the cheese & Oops. Yum.

These are better then crunchy worm guts: Shred a nice Parmasan (spelling?) onto parchment paper on a cookie sheet. Make thin piles. Bake in oven about 350. We make them in snowflake shapes & they are great with red wine(at least they look like snowflakes with enough wine).

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Homemade Chex mix! Make with Rice Chex only, gluten free pretzels, and nuts. Salty, crunchy. Other options are Rice Chips from Lundberg and Pirate Booty - you can usually find those in the chip aisle, although you might have to search the bottom shelves. Crap, now I gave myself a craving.

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Fast, easy, and artery clogging-- Fried Cheese!

Heat a skillet, med-hi heat

I prefer shredded or sliced cheddar

Drop onto hot skillet-if using shredded, just a small handfull

When the edges turn brown, flip over

Fry till nice and golden brown

Remove and briefly place onto a paper towel to soak up some of the grease

HEAVEN!!

I love this too but often couldn't wait for it to get brown and crispy since I also love melted cheese. I'm off dairy now but this is something to look forward to when I can add it back. I completely forgot about this comfort food. Eating a hunk of cheese just doesn't do it.

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Crunchmaster crackers. I get the plain kind at Costco & love them. Thin & crunchy - taste a bit like a Sunchip but not as styrofoamy consistency.

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Fast, easy, and artery clogging-- Fried Cheese!

Heat a skillet, med-hi heat

I prefer shredded or sliced cheddar

Drop onto hot skillet-if using shredded, just a small handfull

When the edges turn brown, flip over

Fry till nice and golden brown

Remove and briefly place onto a paper towel to soak up some of the grease

HEAVEN!!

I love to make these too. But, I make them in the micro. on parchment paper. Spread a pile of shredded parmesan cheese into a pancake shape for 45 sec. to 1 min.

Easy and fast!! I also second the partaking of red wine with these!

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Well, this won't hit the salt and fat taste buds.... but I have a simple cracker recipe that does hit the spot when I need something to munch on. Basically brown rice flour, melted butter, water, seasoned with a little basil and marjoram... and brown sugar (more or less according to your taste). I like a slight sweetness so I add more than the original recipe. It can be crisp or chewy, depending on how long you bake it. I'll post the recipe if you are interested.

I would love it if you would post your cracker recipe!

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I would love it if you would post your cracker recipe!

I second that! Hub & I think it will be fun to try making some new things. Some we'll like & some even the dog won't eat.

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Walmart sells Nut Thins in their gluten-free section for $2.50 per box. I buy them all the time.

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Try these for a great long lasting chip/salty snack idea....

Chips:

1/2 lb butter

1/3 cup Lea & Perrins Worcestershire sauce

Sprinkle of red pepper

1 six ounce can of mixed nuts

2 cups pecans

2 regular size bags of corn chips (Fritos are gluten-free)

3/4 bag gluten free pretzels

1 box rice chex

1/2 box corn chex

In a large pot (12 quart or larger preferably magnalite roaster) melt butter on stove top. Remove from heat and add worcestershire sauce and red pepper. Stir. Add each ingredient in order mentioned above stirring after each ingredient is added. Place in preheated 350 degree oven uncovered until corn chips get crispy (usually about 1 - 1 1/2 hours) Stir about every 20 minutes.

These can be stored in ziploc bags/ popcorn cans/ tupperware containers. It will last for several weeks (2-4 weeks if sealed properly). WIll initially cost for ingredients, but most are found in regular grocery store. You can also eliminate those ingredients you don't like/can't have. I personally make it without the pretzels.....And don't eat the nuts because of diverticulitis but the rest of the family like them...

Wenmin

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hey guys, sorry my reply has been a bit delayed, but following is my cracker recipe. Can't claim it as my own, was given to me by someone who helped me get started on this gluten free journey. I will give the the recipe they gave me originally, how I have used it, and other possibilities..

Brown Rice Flour Crackers.

2 cups brown rice flour

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 Tbsp brown sugar

2 tsp basil

1 tsp marjoram

1/2 stick melted butter (unsalted)

7/8 cup water (between 3/4 cup and 1 cup)

Mix all dry ingredients together. Add metled butter, mix with fork. Then add water and mix again til blended, using hands as necessary. Butter large baking sheet/pan. Place batter on pan and press with your hands into a rectangular shape, 7 1/2 inches wide by 12 inches long.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake pan with pressed batter for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and cut, with a pizza wheel, into pieces that are 1 1/2 inches wide and 2 inches long (30 crackers total). return to oven and bake an additional 35 to 40 minutes. (I tend to pull it sooner rather than later.)

This is a great recipe for customizing. We like the crackers on the chewy rather than crispy size, so the dimensions I write here, and the cooking times, produce a pleasantly dense but chewy cracker that keeps quite well for a week or so. If you want crunch factor, you can increase the water content up to the full cup, press the batter flatter, cook it the full time....you can definitely customize this recipe.

To fix the salt craving...a foody friend of mine, who is going to experiment with this recipe, had the brainstorm of sprinkling kosher salt over the crackers prior to baking...

The friend who gave me this recipe originally used honey instead of brown sugar; I sometimes add 1 1/2 Tsb brown sugar to make it a bit sweeter. If I don't have marjoram, I substitute oregano. You get the drift. Make this and play with it - and then post back your modifications!

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hey guys, sorry my reply has been a bit delayed, but following is my cracker recipe. Can't claim it as my own, was given to me by someone who helped me get started on this gluten free journey. I will give the the recipe they gave me originally, how I have used it, and other possibilities..

Wonder if you took out the marjoram & basil, used a little cinnamon, clove, ginger ot nutmeg & sprinkled with cinnamon sugar before cooking.....

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I buy old time bakery organic gluten free wraps www.oldtimebakery.com.au it is a flat bread and then spread it with garlic dip by Mon Jay Mezza www. Mjmezza.com.au Sprinkle with sea salt and rosemary. Grill in the oven till crisp. You can also sprinkle it with sheep

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