The first thing most people miss on a calorie controlled diet is comfort foods. Whether its a sandwich, a bar of chocolate, or a bag of chips; the stereotypical ‘plate of rabbit food’ is an image we all have in our heads – at least until we learn better!
No food is 100% evil to us – neither is there 100% saintly foods, the word that brings balance to our nutritional universe is… moderation!
Alas, too many of us aren’t acquainted with the term and tend to over indulge in one area, thus causing an imbalance. If Slimming World has taught anything it is, “I can have my cake, and eat it”. However, I must on occasion employ some Jedi mind tricks. For example, I love chips and I enjoy them several times a week. My weight is dropping and my glucose is controlled, plus my cholesterol is under normal or the magic ‘4’.
There is no great magic here. As I explained to a friend the other day, it is not so much what you eat, but how you cook it.
Fresh fruits, vegetables, and lean meats (inc fish) are all SYN free as SW states. Dairy, fats, oils, and cereals are packed with “BAD” stuff. Therefore that word moderation comes into play. If a boiled potato even though it is a carb, has no badness then I can simply immerse it in dripping and make chips! NO! NO! NO!
Sure I enjoy some dairy and cereals every day – its needed for health. I have a passion for cheese and biscuits. This is catered for providing I keep within the amounts and types of products recommended. For example cheddar with a cracker bread not a ‘cream cracker’ (not fussed on them to be honest)!
Bad foods are unavoidable, but, within moderation are good for you. Of course, it helps if we can change recipes to reduced any harm. SW calls this Food Optimising, where as, I prefer, substitution. A brief example, watch your favourite tv chef, hot pan and oil, whoosh – maybe two tablespoons worth. My pan – firstly non-stick, secondly, Fry-light – its not rocket science. Whoosh soft cheese made from full fat milk – my pan fat-free quark; and so on.
I have rambled enough in this post. Getting back on track with… my totally SYN-free chips. How much can I have? As much as you want.
You’ll read a lot of about opinions regarding which is the better potato for chips, personally I buy the cheapest, so if they’re Maris Piper, or King Edwards, it is by chance less than design.
Peel and chip your potatoes
Add to a pan of hot water and boil for 8-10 minutes
Drain and allow to cool in a colander.
Pat dry with kitchen roll or a clean tea towel & place in a large mixing bowl.
Add few sprays of Fry-light and salt & pepper if you like, plus any spices/herbs (I enjoy a light dusting of sweet smoked paprika).
Cover with the tea towel & give a good shake, trying to get the all chips covered with oil and spices etc.
Either, oven bake or air-fry. If you’re baking I would recommend a wide tray lined with parchment & a pre-heated oven at 200C. Spread the chips out evenly and place in the oven for 10 minutes. Remove turn over and return to the oven. Repeat until all are browned to the shade you prefer.
Air-fry is pretty much the same process. 200C for 20 minutes, however tossing the pan (like a deep fat fryer) every 5 minutes or so.
Another tip is – Tinned Potatoes. Slice and air-fry for 15 minutes for the most delicious, crispy sautéed potatoes ever. No need for any additives at all, and again SYN free.
There you go – as cheap as chips!