Perfect for creating yummy snacks and easily incorporated into main meals, pita bread is healthy and versatile. By Niki Bezzant.
1. Pita nachos
Split pita breads in half horizontally. Spray with a little oil and sprinkle with Mexican spice mix, smoked paprika or cumin. Cut into triangles and spread on a baking tray. Bake in a 200°C oven for 5–8 minutes, until crispy. Serve with chilli mince, kidney beans, avocado, reduced-fat sour cream and salad.
2. Pita pizzas
Split pita breads and use as a quick and easy pizza base. Top with your favourite vegetables, meat and sauces and then sprinkle with reduced-fat cheese. Bake at 200°C until cheese has melted.
3. Pita salad baskets
Split small pita breads and push into the holes of a large muffin tray, or small ovenproof bowls. Spray with a little oil and bake in the oven for 5–10 minutes, until brown and crisp. Remove, transfer to plates and fill with salad leaves, chilli beans, grilled chicken, tomatoes and salsa for a Mexi salad in an edible bowl (kids especially love this!)
4. Ham and egg pita pies
Split pita breads and cut into halves or quarters. Push pieces into the holes of a muffin tray. Put a tablespoon of chopped ham and 1/4 chopped tomato into each shell, then carefully break an egg on top of each one. Bake in a 180°C oven for 20–25 minutes, until eggs are just set.
5. Pita mince stack
Split pita breads and layer with cooked mince, spinach leaves, reduced-fat cheese and tomato passata to make a stack. Sprinkle a little cheese on top and bake for 15 minutes. Let sit for a few minutes before slicing. Serve with salad.
6. Beany pita rollups
Spread split pita breads with chilli beans. Cover half the pita with salad ingredients, cooked meat or chicken and cottage cheese. Roll up and eat straight away, or wrap in foil and heat through in the oven. Makes a tasty work or school lunch.
7. Pita crisps
For a healthy alternative to chips with dip, cut pita breads into small triangles and spray lightly with oil. Sprinkle with flavourings such as chilli flakes, finely chopped garlic or Italian seasoning. Spread on a baking-paper covered tray and bake in a 180°C oven for 5-8 minutes, until crisp.
8. Pita croutons
Add toasted pita pieces to your next salad for a crunchy alternative to croutons. They are especially nice in a Caesar-style salad, or with grilled lamb and yoghurt dressing.
9. Salmon canapés
Split pita breads and spread with light sour cream and a little basil pesto. Put flaked smoked salmon on one half of the bread, then roll up tightly. Refrigerate for at least 10 minutes, then cut into pinwheels to serve with drinks.
10. Pita hommous burgers
Cook your favourite burger patties on the barbecue. Fill pita pockets with salad leaves, tomatoes, relish and hummus. Add burger patties and top with plain, reduced-fat yoghurt.