Tuesday, December 11, 2012

use it up tuesday :: baked sweet potato chips – tutorial

Low-fat Baked Sweet Potato Chips: easy, tasty and frugal.
Ever think about the "negative space" of the blogosphere – the words not spoken and photos not published? By what we bloggers choose not to publish and not to write, we perpetuate an unattainable fantasy kitchen where cakes don't burn, ovens and counters remain spotless in spite of continual use and abuse, and fruits and vegetables stay forever fresh and vibrant.  Oh – I almost forgot the unicorns and glitter.


Exhibit A: Moldy sweet potato
But it is Use It Up Tuesday, so today I give you Exhibit A, firmly rooted [yuk-yuk] in reality: a sweet potato and his new bestie, mold. Yes, Virginia. Mold happens – especially, no – inevitably a few days before you leave for vacation.

I'm not scared of mold. I simply slice away the nasty bits and proceed as planned. But I didn't want to use this fuzzy critter to make a huge pot of curry or soup. I have too much to do to deal with all that chopping, dish-washing and leftover management. I just wanted to make something easy that would be quickly consumed. Baked Sweet Potato Chips fit the bill. Minimal dishes and fat. Maximal flavor and satisfaction.

Sweet potato slices, ready for baking
I like making root veggie chips because you can control the salt and fat. You can also dress them up with whatever spices you like – or leave them as is. I used fresh ground black pepper, smoked Spanish paprika , rosemary and Old Bay Seasoning to flavor my chips. [My favorite: freshly ground pepper.] Other spices/flavors that would work nicely include cinnamon, cumin, truffle salt, cardamon or practically any dried green herb. You can also make them with any root veggies you have on hand: carrots, turnips, white potatoes, beets [Wear gloves when slicing!], radishes, etc.


Preheat oven to 400 degrees. To slice taters thinly, you really need a mandoline unless you have expert knife skills.

I'd aim for 1/16-inch slices.

See how thin?

Line a baking tray with foil or parchment paper, and spray with cooking oil. Arrange your slices with no overlap, lightly spray slices with cooking oil...

...Then dust with your herb/spice of choice [Spanish Smoked Paprika is pictured]. Sprinkle with salt. Bake for about 8 minutes, then flip and bake another 3-4 minutes. Check often so they don't burn....

...Like my first batch did. [Consider this photo a cautionary tale.] Despite their charred appearance, they actually tasted great. 

Wasn't that easy? Enjoy.
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8 comments:

Bianca said...

Oooh, yum! I'll have to try this! I would have assumed you'd have to fry to get them that crisp (not that I would have a problem with frying, but I'm always TRYING to eat better....the operative word being TRYING).

urban vegan said...

You have to bake them slowly and carefully, Bianca. They will never be as crisp as fried, though.

Andrea said...

Well, that looks good. I should go check my sweets for mold and get out the mandoline. Nothing like a little mold to inspire creativity!

foodfeud said...

Ooh awesome! I've never thought to make my own root veg chips, mostly because I don't have a mandoline but I'm learning how helpful they can be....

FoodandLoathing said...

An artfully written post! I may just break out the ol' mandoline slicer.

Theresa said...

Lovely chippies. And I'm glad to know I'm not the only one who uses food even when it's mouldy ;) I don't feel like such a grot now that you've blogged about it!

urban vegan said...

You can slice them really thinly with a chef's knife, but it's time-consuming – and dangerous, if you're like me and like to cook while sipping wine ;) I love my mandoline, though. Peeling and slicing 2 sweet potatoes only took about 5 mins.

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