I hate buying things I can make cheaply and veggie chips are one of those things. The seven dollar bags of chips make me want to live in a shotgun shack off the grid, screaming that I will not participate in your system you capitalist pig-dogs. Making things myself gives me a sense of self-satisfaction that I did not give in and purchase something I can easily make. So this is how I finished my vacation week by cooking some snack foods for New Year’s Eve. I used some leftover beets, kale, carrots, and sweet potatoes from my fall garden.
Since I had never attempted this before I learned several things:
- Keep the oven at a low temperature 250 to prevent burning and make sure the veggies crisp properly. All other temperatures are wrong and will lead to burnt edges.
- Salt after the chips are baked and not before.
- Slice the veggies 1/8 of an inch.
- Make sure the slices are even all the way to the edges.
- Use a silicon mat or parchment paper to line the baking sheet, especially if you are using a dark pan.
- Put the kale in a separate bowl because it is too fragile to be combined with the other veggies.
- The root vegetables shrink a lot during cooking.
- Remove cooked chips as they finish and allow the remaining chips to finish crisping.
- Different specimens of the same types of veggies can vary in their moisture content and may take more time to cook.
- Since they are baking the vegetables glycemic index will rise because sugars become more concentrated.
I used this recipe as a starting point, but made some substantial changes.
2 medium beets
2 large carrots – they should be broad carrots so that the peeled strips don’t shrink to puny shards.
1 bunch of kale
2 medium sweet potatoes
lots of olive oil
- Preheat oven to 250
- Using a mandolin, or a knife if you are much more talented than I, slice the beets and the sweet potatoes to 1/8 of an inch slices.
- Remove the kale from the stem and rip into bite sized pieces.
- Using a peeler, peel the carrots into strips only on one side so that the slices become broader with each stroke. Cut the slices in half.
- Place the different vegetables into different bowls and then drizzle with at least 2 tbs of olive oil. Different veggies absorb the oil at different rates.
- Mix the oil with your hands until the veggies are coated and glistening. There should not be a puddle of oil left on the bottom of the bowl.
- Place either silicon mats of parchment paper on four different baking sheets.
- Place the veggies on their own baking sheet. With the size vegetables I had, I needed to do this in batches with two different batches for each vegetable. This will vary based on the size and shape of the individual vegetables.
- Bake the veggies for the following times: sweet potato for 20-25 minutes, kale for 15-20 minutes, carrots for 15 – 20 minutes, and beets for 35 – 40 minutes. Turn the sweet potatoes, carrots, and beets once during the baking.
- Remove with spatula or tongs if you are removing single chips. Take the baking mats and slide right into the waiting bowl if you are removing a whole batch. When all the chips are done add the salt, garlic powder, and cayenne pepper to taste – I did this by making one pass over the bowl with each spice. Place the kale in a separate bowl because they are much more delicate than the rest.
- Eat. You should feel self-satisfied because you did not purchase these easy-to-make chips in the store.
- Store in sealed bag – I’m not sure how long because the chips have never lasted more than a day in my house.
Of course, these directions are specific to my electric (sigh) oven, in which I have a tested thermometer to make sure the temperature is stable. If you are using a convection oven or an oven in which the temperature varies, I would check on the chips often.