If you're searching for the perfect crunch (humble spud aside), here are 14 contenders. Perfect for salads, dips, sides and snacks.
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20 Feb 2018 - 12:25 PM  UPDATED 10 Feb 2018 - 8:45 PM

1. Plantain chips

Plantain are a giant banana-looking fruit popular in Latin, African and Caribbean cuisines, but are higher in starch, making them very chippable. When buying plantain, look for green ones - if they're yellow it means they're overripe. 

2. Nori chips

Put some umami in your basket, baby. You'll need nori sheets and wonton wrappers for these chips, sealed together with a beaten egg before being fried in oil. 

3. Beetroot chips

Beetroot has that colour that just says "healthy"; and because these magenta beauties are baked for 25-30 minutes rather than deep-fried, they are! In this recipe, they're part of chef Luke Nguyen's Asian-inspired take on English fish'n'chips, served up with some spice-coated salmon - but they're also perfect just as-is. 

4. Spicy sweet potato chips

Sweet potato becomes seductively caramelly when baked or fried. These chips are sprinkled with paprika to balance the richness, and to provide an all-around flavour bang. They'd make a great sandwich addition or vegetarian burger filling, and pair dreamily with avocado and creamy sauces.

5. Parmesan kale chips

Give kale a break from being smoothie-ified and instead turn it into a cheese-coated snack. Maybe not as healthy as a green smoothie, but healthier than a regular deep-fried potato chip. Plus, they mean you can up your daily greens intake while eating chips.

6. Cassava chips

If you want something that is close to a potato chip, but not potato, reach for cassava (also known as yuca), a tuberous starchy root popular in the subtropics. Their waxy, fibrous nature means they turn deliciously golden brown and crisp when fried. In this recipe, they're served as a crunchy side to Kokoda, a Fijian ceviche-style dish.

7. Parsnip chips

Parnsip chips are rich and sweet, making for a hearty chip. These ones are sprinkled with chia seeds for a little extra crunch. 

8. Salt and vinegar kale chips

If you're a fan of the salt-and-vinegar-chip pucker, try this kale version. As well as a snack, they work well as a creative topping for soups. To make them, the kale is baked with coconut oil, apple cider vinegar and sea salt, making them a gloatingly healthy chip. 

Butternut and apple soup with salt 'n vinegar kale chips

9. Pumpkin chips

Pumpkin roasts up to make a great chip just as-is, letting its natural sweetness shine through and getting that nice chewy skin; but, for extra crunch and flavour, these ones are topped with aromatic breadcrumbs that are a cinch to make. Serve alone or alongside a roast, or add to a salad for some extra substance.

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10. Cavolo nero and chilli chips

You may be more familiar with using cavolo nero in soups and sauteeing it for a side dish, but when baked it becomes bittersweet and paper-thin, with that "I'm eating something but really it's nothing so I can eat bowls and bowls of it" appeal. 

11. Jerusalem artichoke cider vinegar chips

These chips use the skin of Jerusalem artichokes - neither from Jerusalem nor an artichoke, but actually a cousin of the daisy flower. But we're not going to hold misleading naming conventions against the vegetable, particularly when its chips taste this good: earthy and slighty sweet, which is offset nicely with a little cider vinegar. 

12. Spicy banana chips

Unripe bananas, salt, pepper and vegetable oil are all that's required to create these sweet golden chippies. 

Spicy Banana Chips

13. Taro chips

Taro chips are a bit like a snazzy purple tie-dyed version of a regular potato chip, but also a little nuttier in flavour.

14. Cheesy grits chips

These would make the perfect game-watching-on-TV snack, particularly if you have people coming over and need substantial finger food. Grits are finely ground cornmeal (similar to polenta, but a different type of corn), and they make for soft-centred, crisp-outered chips. 

Vegetarian snacking
Stuffed poblano chillies (chiles rellenos)

Fresh poblano chilli grilled over charcoal, peeled and stuffed with cheese, dipped in light frothy egg batter, fried and served with a deeply satisfying tomato, onion and chilli sauce. 

Broad bean and chickpea fritters with roasted sesame seeds

These little fritters are like a light and fresh spring falafel. They are soft and spiced, served with a slightly hot sesame dipping sauce.

Chargrilled vegetables with zucchini hummus, pine nuts and mint

Zucchini hummus is a fresher, lighter alternative to the chickpea variety and only takes a few minutes to prepare. Use as a base for vegetables, as a spread for sandwiches or as a dip. Adjust the flavour with different spices and eat within two days.

Broccoli rabe bruschetta

Thunder rumbling. Bitter broccoli rabe: sweetened with garlic, softened in olive oil, heaped on crisped bread. Just right.

Carrot fritters with yoghurt

The carrot was well known to the ancients, and was mentioned by many Greek and Latin writers. The Ancient Greeks called it philtron, which translates to love charm. They believed the carrot made men and women more affectionate.