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Collegiette Eats: Snack Spotlight - Coconut Chips

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Sick of eating cereal and ramen for lunch and dinner? Want to spend less money eating out and finally start cooking for yourself? Put down that frozen pizza, because HC’s Health Editor, Sammie Levin, is here to share her daily eats so you can get ideas for healthy, satisfying meals that are easy enough for any time-strapped collegiette to make. After you read Collegiette Eats, your taste buds, wallet and waistline will thank you.

The other day, I found a bag of Dang Coconut Chips in my kitchen pantry, and as a coconut lover, I had to try them. I was immediately obsessed. I can't believe I've never encountered toasted coconut chips before, but I have really been missing out. I asked my mom where she discovered them, and she explained that she tried them at her friend's house while they were playing mahjong (classic Mom) and was obsessed too, so she went out and bought a bag. Shout-out to that friend, because coconut chips are life-changing. If you haven't heard of them or tasted them before either, then I'm here to make sure that you do with this snack spotlight on coconut chips. If you're in a snack rut and desperate to find something new to switch it up, consider these chips the next kale chips, but sweeter. 

What are coconut chips? 

Coconut chips are flakes of dried coconut meat (known as copra) that have been toasted in an oven or skillet until crispy and golden brown. The result is a chip-like, crunchy snack, similar in size to tortilla chips, with a distinct coconut flavor that is both sweet and slightly salty. Dang is the brand I tried, but there are several other brands that make this packaged treat. 

Why should you try them? 

First and foremost, they're delicious. If you like coconut, it's pretty much a guarantee that you'll like these, and if you don't like coconut, it's still worth trying because they could change your mind. A handful can satisfy your craving for something sweet, and their thick cruchiness is perfect for snacking. 

The bonus is that on top of the flavor, coconut has a myriad of health benefits, meaning these chips do, too. It's a rich source of fiber, vitamins, minerals and healthy fats. The only caveat is that the fat content is very high, so the calories do add up fast, meaning you have to watch your portion sizes. One serving of the Dang chips (0.7 ounces, or about a handful) is 115 calories with seven grams of unsaturated fat (11 percent of your daily value) and seven grams of saturated fat (35 percent of your daily value). So, stick to one serving for a snack. 

How should you eat them? 

I first tried them just on their own, and they were absolutely amazing, so you can definitely eat them plain. Just make sure to portion out a serving rather than eat straight from the bag - they're so addicting that it'll be tough to stop and the whole bag will be gone within minutes. Once you've tried them plain, there are plenty of other ways to enjoy coconut chips. The Dang website recommends trying them with ice cream, salads, oatmeal, yogurt, trail mix, cereal and baked goods. After I had a handful straight from the bag, I used a sprinkling of the chips as a topping for frozen yogurt with raspberries. The fro-yo was from Pinkberry, we got a big container of plain fro-yo to go a few nights ago so that we could have it for dessert at home. Yum. The chips added a perfect sweet crunch to the tart yogurt. 

Where can you get them? 

You can check if Dang chips are sold in a store near you or you can order them online. You can also check your local Trader Joe's for their line of roasted coconut chips, or you can search for other brands online. Or, you can make your own! There are tons of different recipes online, such as these sweet and salty coconut chips or these cocoa-cinnamon coconut chips.  

Whether you buy your own or make them, eat them plain or use them as a topping to your ice cream or oatmeal, give coconut chips a try. You can thank me later. 


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