A Real Healthy Snack // Chick Chick Soy


I’m putting in my bid for “America’s Next Healthy Snack Food.” Here’s the pitch.

Entire industries have popped up for “healthy” snack food. Existing snacks were “healthified” with smaller portions or ersatz fats -- ergo baked potato chips, pretzel crisps, pita chips. Scientists invented some snacks, too: Pirate’s Booty, soy crisps, pop chips, kale crisps, sesame-tamari-sugar-caked nori, etc.

But can you really feel good about any of these foods? They're not really healthy, just less junky.

You could reach for fruit, but you can only leave an apple in your purse for so long. Nuts are great, but also addictive and calorie-dense. You can’t stuff your mouth with nuts as you would popcorn. And meat jerky is theoretically great, if only you get one that isn’t loaded with preservatives.

So this is what I like to make for a crunchy, satisfying, 100% healthy snack (not healthy in the way oatmeal cookies or air-popped Oreo aspartame wafers are healthy).

Chick Chick Soy, as I like to call it, is just puffed tofu puffs (non-fat soybean flour, water, salt), and roasted chickpeas. There’s no added oil or sugar. No preservatives. It’s fun to eat, packed with protein, and is real food! Tofu, chickpeas, and in this case, a sprinkling of tandoori powder. The snack is nourishing and nutritious -- the opposite of "junk food."

RECIPE: Purchase tofu puffs. If you're at an Indian store, they will be called soya warian. If you are in a health food store, they will be called textured vegetable protein. You can buy already-seasoned (and sugared and processed) roasted chickpeas by a brand called The Good Bean, but I'd recommend getting the unadulterated version at an Indian store. Mix tofu puffs and chickpeas together in a bowl. Season.