Sweet Potato and Beet Chips

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I’m very fond of tortilla chips. Their crunch, their texture, their perfect complement to salsa. The kind that are made locally are very sturdy and not too salty. I know that they are not the healthiest snack so I decided to try making chips from sweet potatoes and beets for another type of satisfying crunch. I made them the same way that I occasionally make chips from leftover tortillas, brush them with olive oil and put them in the oven.

sweet-potatoes

It’s nice to have something with a good crunch, a hint of salt and plenty of good vegetable flavor. I ate many sweet potato chips while waiting for subsequent batches to cook.

beetchips

I’d eaten half a sweet potato by the time I tasted the beet chips.  These crisped red roots were less sweet and more earthy than the sweet potato chips. I was amazed by the way the beet flavor was concentrated and highlighted when turned into chips. Making both vegetable chips mostly takes the right timing. Cooked too long, they hint at burnt. Taken out of the oven too soon, they won’t have the crunch that is ideal in a chip. They are best eaten as soon as they have cooled, but they can be re-crisped if they loose their crunch after a day.

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Sweet Potato and Beet Chips
There are many options for seasoning these: cumin, cayenne, chipotle, garlic… But I like just salt and pepper so it doesn’t interfere too much with the flavor of the vegetables. A mandoline is ideal for slicing these.

1 large sweet potato (I chose one that was long and uniformly round but it doesn’t really matter)
1 large beet 
Olive oil
Salt and pepper 

Preheat the oven to 350′. Wash the vegetables. Peel the beet (it is fine to leave the skin on the sweet potato) and chop of the root and stem end, and the small ends of the sweet potato. Slice the vegetables into rounds, as thin as possible. They should be a little bit thicker than translucent. Place the vegetable slices in a bowl and drizzle in some olive oil. Toss so that each slice is lightly coated. Place the slices on a baking sheet, close together but not touching. Bake for about 20 minutes or until the slices have shrunk, wrinkled and become crisp. Avoid letting them turn brown. If you’re not sure if they are done, take one slice out, let it cool and test it for crunch. When ready, remove the baking sheet  from the oven and let the slices cool, they will crisp as they cool. Toss with salt and pepper or seasonings of your choice.

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