For someone who doesn’t like numbers all that much I have to admit that certain measures catch my attention. This one for instance: In the US we eat 1.5 billion pounds of potato chips a year. That is a lot of freaking chips. I have been known to eat nearly that much myself at a sitting, but upon reflection, perhaps there are some better options. Here’s one. Want a simple way to get more nutrition into your diet? Try vegetable chips.
You can pull a bag of colorful chips right off the shelf, or you can make them yourself. It’s pretty much a two step process that anyone can do, perfect for after school lunches, or as an in between meal snack that you can feel great about. The varieties you can make yourself are just about endless, from spicy and sweet to salty with zing.
You can make chips from just about any vegetable you can slice. You can even use some leafy veggies. I tried kale chips from our garden this spring and was surprised how nice they were. Note: It’s easy to over salt or season, especially with the blander vegetables like zucchini, so try a little first and then add to taste. You can experiment with tried and true veggies like carrots and beets, or go out on a limb and see how you like parsnips or jicama.
After reading Linda Bonvies blog on Radishes, I was thinking radishes might make a zingie treat alongside some of the blander roots or squashes.
We recently discovered cayenne pepper on butternut squash during a trip to Key West. It was one of those, “How have I never tried this before?” moments. The hot, sweet combination is easy to love, and works with sweet potatoes and yams as well. Cinnamon is also an exhilarating spice addition and goes with almost anything.
If you like gadgets you can buy a dehydrator and a mandolin, but a knife and an oven will work just fine too. One tool that really is nice to have is a pump sprayer for oil. You can get one at almost any kitchen store. It helps with even distribution.
If there are any chips left over, store them in an airtight container. Since there are no preservatives shelf life is limited and you will need to keep an eye on them for mold.