These Savory Meringue Chips Are Fat- and Gluten-Free - Living Strong Television Network
These Savory Meringue Chips Are Fat- and Gluten-Free

Meringue is typically slotted into dessert category, but it doesn’t have to be. Considering the short list of ingredients—egg whites and a touch of acid—it’s clear there’s nothing innately sweet, aat least until you add a pile of sugar. So don’t. Meringue can form the basis of a light and crunchy snack or serve as a meal component that’s full-on savory.

As meringue is primarily composed of egg whites, you can easily omit the sugar, which isn’t necessary for whipping or even stability. The well known practice of adding a bit of cream of tartar will lower the PH of the mixture and help stabilize the meringue, but with that taken care of, you can season it however you please (barring the addition of oils and fats, which will break down the structure).

My recipe for savory meringue chips makes a delightful fat-free, gluten-free nosh that works on its own or can serve as a lovely topping for any dish that will benefit from a crispy, flavorful crunch. Unlike sweet meringue cookies you may have had in the past, these chips aren’t hard or dense, but exquisitely light and tender. They start out crispy and completely disintegrate in your mouth, leaving behind only the flavor of whichever bold spices you mixed in.

How to make savory meringue chips

Some ripples are perfectly fine when you spread out the meringue.
Credit: Allie Chanthorn Reinmann

Starting with a clean mixing bowl and whisk attachment (or a manual whisk, if you’re doing things by hand). Add the egg whites and whisk until a light foam forms. Sprinkle in the cream of tartar and salt. Continue whipping at high speed until you reach the firm peak stage. Use a rubber spatula to gently fold in any dry herbs or seasonings you like. I used smoked paprika, garlic powder, and onion powder.

On a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, spread the meringue into an even layer about an inch thick. Optionally, you can top this layer with sesame seeds like I did, or try a different seed if you like. Bake the meringue for an hour and 20 minutes in a 200°F oven. When the cook time has elapsed, turn off the oven and stick an oven mitt or a folded towel in the oven door to keep it cracked. Let the meringue slowly cool and dry like this for an additional hour. Afterward, the meringue should be crisp, without showing much color.

Once you’ve made dinner, soup, or a salad—and just before eating—break the meringue into chips, or smaller bits and pieces to scatter over a salad. Keep any remaining meringue in a tightly sealed container on the countertop. As long as it stays dry, the meringue chips will keep for a week or so. 

My recipe for meringue chips is below, but you can substitute any spices you like.

Savory Meringue Chips Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 3 egg whites

  • ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar

  • ¼ teaspoon salt

  • ⅛ teaspoon garlic powder

  • ⅛ teaspoon onion powder

  • ⅛ teaspoon smoked paprika

  • Sesame seeds to sprinkle on top (optional)

1. Preheat the oven to bake at 200°F.  Line a baking sheet with a piece of parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. 

2. Whip the egg whites in a clean bowl with a clean whisk attachment until it begins to foam. Sprinkle in the cream of tartar and salt. Whisk until the meringue reaches the firm peak stage.

3. Gently stir in the seasonings. Spread the meringue out on the parchment lined baking sheet in an even layer about an inch thick. Sprinkle sesame seeds on top. 

4. Bake it for an hour. Crack the door and let the meringue dry and cool for another hour. Break the savory meringue into pieces and top your couscous, steak, salad, or snack on them as-is.

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