So many of the current low carb snack items that you can order online or buy in the grocery store are basically processed food. Convenient snacks compliant with a low carb or keto lifestyle can be easily made from whole foods however. Try some chile lime salt on cucumbers or jicama for a great Mexican low carb treat. Or roast a can of chickpeas with your favorite spice blend. Both are awesome in flavor and add the health benefit that comes with whole foods instead of processed foods.Jump to Recipe
What is Tajin (or chile lime salt) & How is it Used?
Tajin is actually a company, but similar to Kleenex or Instapot, the spice blend itself is often referred to as Tajin, regardless of who made it. If you make your own blend or buy it from someone other than the Tajin company, it should be referred to as chile lime salt or chile lime seasoning.
The classic chile lime salt is a blend of chile peppers, salt, and dehydrated lime juice or lime peels. The resulting powder is tangy and spicy and is used to enhance the flavor of a huge variety of fruits and vegetables.
Probably my favorite way to use chile lime salt is sprinkled on cool cucumbers. A squeeze of lime juice on the cucumber slices before sprinkling the spice on them can add more tang and mute the heat of the spice a bit if that is your preference.
The Tajin seasoning is widely available in Mexico and at many US grocery stores, and is commonly used as a condiment on the tables of many Mexican restaurants, to season mango, melon or other fruits. You might also see it as a rimming salt for a Michelada (a beer cocktail).
If you want an alternative to buying the Mexican brand, try this tajin spice blend using pink himalayan salt, organic chipotle peppers and dehydrated lime peels. It is similar ingredients, but is a bit more spicy because the chipotle peppers are grown and smoked on our small organic farm and the resulting chile powder is quite hot.
Another alternative is to make your own chile lime salt. Here Is a video for making your own “Tajin” to sprinkle on fruit cups as a Mexican Street food special:
Roasted Chickpeas as a Salty Crunchy Low Carb Snack
Roasted chickpeas are quite popular as a low carb snack and can satisfy that crunchy, salty flavor that is sometimes missing from a low carb or keto lifestyle. It can also be an extremely versatile snack to make, as you can roast them with your favorite blend of spices.
Parmesan adds a umami flavor to the chickpeas, and the recipe below is a blend of parmesan, herbs and Worcestershire sauce. It is a robust flavor bomb that hits all the salty, crunchy, spicy notes.
Click here for a low carb recipe that roasts the chickpeas with a Moroccan spice blend called harissa.
Tips for making the chickpeas “crunchy”
Sometimes roasted chickpeas can look crunchy, only to bite into a soft “beany” center. They’re still good that way, but we’re going for the crunch that you might be missing from the lack of tortilla chips in your low carb lifestyle.
So, here are a few tips to promote the crunch:
- After rinsing the chickpeas let them drain in a colander or on paper towells for quite a while. Dab them with a dry paper towel after draining. You want to get them as dry as possible.
- Fold the chickpeas inside of a kitchen towel and gently rub the skins off. The skins keep the moisture in and this helps make them more crunchy. Don’t worry if some skins are still left on.
- Cook the chickpeas without any oil for the first half of the roasting process. Add the oil and seasonings for the second half. A lot of recipes mix the chickpeas with oil and seasoning before roasting and the coating prevents them from crisping up as much
- Bake (or roast) at 350 degrees F for about 45 minutes rather than a high temperature for shorter time (they will burn), or a lower temperature for a longer time (they won’t get crispy).
- After roasting, let them cool inside the oven for a bit with the oven door open and the heat turned off.
- Store them in a breathable container rather than a tightly sealed container.
DIY low carb snacks – salty, crunchy, spicy
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tsp chile pepper spice
- 2 tsp mixed dried herbs (I used a mix of oregano, thyme and rosemary
- 1.5 tsp garlic salt
- 2 15 oz cans chickpeas drained, rinsed and patted dry
- 2 Tbsp freshly grated parmesan cheese
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Rinse the chickpeas and let drain. Dry thoroughly with paper towels or a dish towel. The drier they are the crunchier they will be in the end.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the first 5 ingredients (oil, Worcestershire, chile spice, herbs and garlic salt). Add the chickpeas and toss to coat. Spread out the mixture onto a baking sheet.
- Roast 15 minutes.
- Stir in parmesan cheese and roast 25 minutes more or until brown and crisp, stirring twice (beans may pop during roasting). Serve warm or allow to cool prior to storing.
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