I still remember my very first Granny Goose taro chip that I tasted when I resided in Hawaii in the mid 80’s. I was hooked from the first crunch and oh the horror when I eventually returned to the mainland where sadly taro chips were scarce… Recently it seems that veggie chips have exploded in popularity at speciality grocers such as Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods Market, even the big chains carry the Terra brand chips which specialize in several varieties of “root” chips – including my beloved taro chips.
Japanese Turnip Chips
Did you know that your weekly CSA box always has the humble beginnings of a healthy, crispy snack? Trust me, even the kids won’t even know they are eating a turnip! And they are baked in the oven, taking the deep fried component out of the equation. All that and much cheaper than a bag of chips! Here’s a list of good chip candidates:
Root Vegetables: Beets, Carrots, Turnips, Parsnips, Rutabagas, Yams, Sweet Potatoes, Potatoes
Hard Squash: Butternut, Kabocha, Sugar Pie Pumpkin
Vegetable Prep: Why remove all that nutrition in the peel/skin, but you can peel if you prefer. Slice 1/16 thick on a mandoline slicer, you can do by hand but it’s really tough to get them thin enough. If you don’t own a mandoline slicer, I highly recommend that you consider adding this to your kitchen arsenal. However, they are extremely sharp and should only be used by an adult and I would suggest getting a cut safe glove. If you have a fancy food processor, you could also use that to produce thinly sliced rounds of these vegetables.
The “Sauce”: I use either olive oil or melted coconut oil to create a seasoning slurry which is lightly brushed on the cookie sheet. The trick is to not use too much oil, just enough to make the chips crispy, too much and they will be soggy. The amount you need overall depends on the amount of chips you are making. I use approximately 1 T of “sauce” spread thinly on the cookie sheet for each batch. This recipe would make about 4 cookie sheets of chips.
2 T. extra virgin olive oil or coconut oil (melted)
2 T. seasonings/herbs – a blend of 2 or 3 of following suggestions: Trader Joe’s 22 herb salt-free blend, fresh ground pepper, sea salt, Lawry’s seasoning salt, dry basil, onion powder, garlic powder, Spice Islands Thai Seasoning (use sparingly), curry, tumeric, fresh garlic, nutritional yeast – be creative! Try barbeque or mesquite seasonings on the beets.
The Method: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. With a pastry brush, brush on about 1 T of the “sauce” on the surface of a large cookie sheet. Line the cookie sheet with a single layer of veggie rounds, flip over to coat both sides with “sauce”.
Cook for 10 minutes, check and remove the smaller chips if browning, flip
the rest and cook for another 5 minutes. Remove and let cool for a few
minutes before eating. And don’t worry about storing any left over chips (they will be gone as soon as word gets out) but if you make ahead, once cooled on a rack I would put in an airtight container.