Sunday, March 9, 2014

Beet Chips

As far as junk food goes, it is a toss up between ice-cream and chips for me. I can get by with some pureed frozen banana for the ice-cream but there is nothing quite like the salty-oily crunch of a chip. Seriously, in times of stress I can devour a 7 serving bag. Lucky for me, you can make 'chips' out of many vegetables (wait, aren't chips made out of a vegetable?) What I mean to say is, you can make chips out of healthy vegetables and you don't have to fry them! I never used to buy beets. My husband doesn't care for them and I am kind of indifferent, however they must grow really well in Georgia because during the cool season we always get them in our CSA box. 
Now when I say my husband doesn't care for them I mean if I sautéed them in something he would make a little frowny face and ask, knowingly, "does this have beets in it?" He would still eat it, but I hate that frowny face.  I tried just juicing them for awhile but beet juice is fiercely strong so 1 beet per juice will suffice. Finally I cam across the idea of making chips and WOW, they are amazing. It completely changes the taste of the beet, roasting them turns down the sweetness and pungent beet flavor and leaves you with this crisp sweet and savory morsel. My husband loves beet chips and always devours them with a smile. The recipe I have for you today will work with other vegetables, especially root vegetables like carrot, parsnips, and sweet potatoes. Enjoy!

Beet Chips

Gluten Free, Vegan
Serves about 4

5 beet roots
3 tbl coconut oil, melted
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp ground black pepper

  1. Wash and peel the beets.
  2. Slice the beets in half longways.
  3. Lay the cut (flat) side down on the cutting board and use a vegetable peeler to start peeling thin slices off. Be careful not to cut yourself. You can also use a knife to cut thin pieces. When you get to the end your last slice may be a little thick. It's okay I usually just leave those pieces in a little longer. If you have a mandolin you can use it instead. 
  4. Add all of the slices to a bowl and pour in your oil, salt, and pepper and mix until the slices are coated.
  5. Spread onto a parchment lined baking sheet into 1 layer, it's okay if they overlap a little but they will bake more evenly if they don't. It will likely take two sheets.
  6. Bake on 275oF for 45 minutes to 1 hour. The slices will shrink up a lot, start to turn up on the edges and look a little browned. 
  7. When you pull them out it will take a few minutes of cooling off before they get crispy.
  8. I like to turn the oven off and throw any thicker pieces that aren't quite down back in. Store in the fridge and reheat in the oven. 

Peel and slice lengthwise
Use the vegetable peeler to make thin slices (be careful)
Toss in oil and spices
Spread into a single layer
Bake on 275oF for 45 min -1 hour until crispy

Notes and Substitutions

  • If you are in a hurry you can crank the heat up to 350oF and cook for about 20 minutes, just keep and eye out because they burn easily this way.
  • As I mentioned this works for many types of veggies, the bake time will vary.
  • You can use other spices. I like cumin or curry powder on the beets. Cinnamon is also nice. 

What is your favorite "veggie chips?"

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