3 Easy Solutions for Crispy, Crunchy Cravings (that aren’t fried food) September 21, 2017

by Eat

Kiss fried food goodbye and chomp, nibble, or crunch on something totally wholesome — and just as delicious. 

fried food-HelloFresh-sesame shrimp

It’s no secret that kids and adults alike appreciate a good crunch. There’s something uniquely satisfying about biting into a perfectly ripe apple and experiencing the rush of juicy flavor that follows. Or chomping on a hummus-dipped carrot and hearing that rewarding snap when a piece breaks off.

That feeling fulfills us in a way that no slippery noodles or mushy bananas ever will. And that’s why our chefs infuse as many nibble-worthy ingredients and crunch-friendly cooking techniques in our recipes as possible.

We hear lots of feedback from the Fresh Fam every week, and we learned a few surprising things when we analyzed it all to relaunch our Family Plan just a few weeks ago. What wasn’t surprising? The resounding, clear-as-day preference for crispy, crunchy foods.

The only thing better than something delicious on your plate, is something delicious on your plate that also makes you feel good. So whip up these easy-cook, sure-to-please, crunch-tastic treats and ditch the deep fryer.

1. Roasted Chickpeas

All you need is a baking sheet, an oven, and a drizzle of olive oil to get these little balls of fiber crispy and ready for dinner.

fried food-HelloFresh-chickpea alternative

Try them in this Tunisian Freekeh Stew with Roasted Chickpeas and Greek Yogurt, and watch with wonder as they lightly brown after 15-20 minutes. You might even hear them pop in the oven — don’t worry, that’s totally normal.

2. Charred Broccoli

Burnt is usually a bad thing, but crisping vitamin-packed broccoli just enough to get a solid crunch out of each bite expertly complements softer foods.

fried food-HelloFresh-broccoli alternative

Enjoy ’em in this week’s Eggplant Parm Sandwiches on Brioche Buns with Crispy Baby Broccoli if you’re in our Veggie Plan. And if you’re not? Swap chicken in for the eggplant and go to town. You’ll want to keep the broccoli on the rack furthest away from your oven flame for about 10 minutes to get that slight burn.

If you’re broccoli isn’t crisping up, set your oven to broil for the last few minutes. But watch closely! Remember — you only want a little burn.

3. Sprinkled Sesame

Toppings may come at the end of the recipe, but they bring just as much to the table as the main event. Add some texture to your favorite dish by topping with crunchy all stars like nuts or sesame seeds.

fried food-HelloFresh-sesame alternative

Even the green beans are elevated with a hearty crunch in next week’s Sizzling Hoisin Shrimp with Ginger Scallion Rice and Crispy Green Beans. (You may still have time to order it here!)

You can always opt for a smattering of cucumber or a vibrant purple radish to get that perfect crunch. Or, you could punch up the party with panko breadcrumbs, a favorite in our test kitchen. You can’t go wrong with new textures, so experiment, innovate, and keep craving those crunchy foods. We’ll be cheering you on through every delicious chomp.

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