Harvest and Cook Veggie Chips

Root vegetables make wonderful veggie chips or crisps and they are easy to make (although time consuming should you be making a big batch).

If you like your veggies done this way it’s a good excuse to buy a mandoline to quickly slice the veggies into thin slices, although a sharp knife and a steady hand will also do the trick. Almost any vegetable can be made into baked chips, but we found the best ones to start with are beetroot, sweet potatoes and potatoes. These cook more quickly than parsnips and carrots, which also shrink significantly, take a lot longer to dry out and need a lower temperature.

How healthy are veggie chips?

Don’t be fooled that veggie chips are healthier for you than regular potato chips. They come with a dose of oil and salt, and if you don’t make your own you can’t be sure how much of these ingredients you are eating. By making your own you can monitor how much of which oils you are eating, and also limit your salt intake. While there is a perception that you can eat veggie chips with abandon, you should limit your intake for health reasons.

Start by lining baking trays with wax or parchment paper. These can be used at least three times before replacing the paper, should you be making a big batch. Preheat the oven at 150°C. Slice the veg on the thinnest setting on a mandoline, or cut thinly with a knife, and place in a bowl with a dash of olive oil and a sprinkle of salt. Mix well so that all the chips are coated.

Place in a single layer on the baking trays and pop in the oven for 20 minutes. Check every 5 minutes as ovens often have hot spots. Turn the chips over after 10 minutes. After around 20 minutes some of the chips may be dry enough to take out, while others might need a bit longer. Test all the chips as you go and take out those that are dried enough, and cool them.

Veggie chips are best served straight away, but they can be kept in an airtight container for a few days. We found that after a while they lose their crispness, so pop them back into the oven for a few minutes to crisp them up before serving.

The Gardener