As with many convenience items on the market, the pita pocket section of the grocery store has blown up. Sizes ranges from regular to mini to super mini (such as Itsy-Bitsy). You can find pre-cut or whole pitas and varieties include white, whole wheat, multi-grain, high fiber, cholesterol-free and more. Obviously, pita pockets make an excellent vehicle for housing healthy sandwich and salad fillings, but might there be culinary possibilities beyond the obvious? Of course! Read on:
Chili-Dusted Pita Chips: Cut into triangles, arrange on a baking sheet, spray with cooking spray, season with cumin, chili powder, salt and pepper; bake at 400 degrees for 8-10 minutes, until golden brown and crisp.
Italian-Style Croutons: Cut into squares, arrange on a baking sheet, spray with cooking spray, season with salt-free Italian seasoning; bake at 400 degrees for 6-8 minutes, until golden brown and crisp.
Skinny Pizzas: Top mini pitas with tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese and Parmesan cheese; bake at 375 degrees for 8-10 minutes, until the cheese is bubbly. For veggie pizza, add diced green bell pepper, onion and olives before baking. For pepperoni pizza, add turkey pepperoni before baking.
Breakfast Pockets: Fill with scrambled eggs, shredded cheese and ham. Wrap in foil and warm in a 300 degree oven for 5-6 minutes, until cheese melts. Add spinach and tomato for variety.
Cinnamon and Sugar Triangles With Fresh Berries: Cut into triangles, arrange on a baking sheet, spray with cooking spray, season with granulated sugar and cinnamon; bake at 400 degrees for 8-10 minutes, until golden-brown and crisp. Top with vanilla yogurt and fresh berries (raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, strawberries).
Savory Breadcrumbs: Place whole pita pockets on a baking sheet; bake at 400 degrees for 8-10 minutes, until golden brown. Break pita into pieces and transfer to a food processor; add a little olive oil, oregano, thyme, salt, and pepper and process until finely ground. Option: use any salt-free spice variety instead of individual herbs.
Sandwich Wrap: Unfold/open pita pocket onto a flat surface; fill with desired sandwich fillings and roll up.
Robin Miller is a nutritionist, host of Quick Fix Meals, author of “Robin Rescues Dinner” and the busy mom of two active little boys. Her boys and great food are her passion. Check her out at www.robinrescuesdinner.com.