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The Green Life: Memorial Day Feast: Sweet Potato Chips

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May 22, 2012

Memorial Day Feast: Sweet Potato Chips

Sweet potato chipsThis week, we asked the editors at EcoSalon to recommend their favorite recipes for a Memorial Day feast. Celebrate a long, warm-weather weekend with four green dishes that are easy to pack up for a picnic or bring to a barbecue.  

Recipe #2: Sweet Potato Chips

Oh, the deliciously clever ways we have found to sneak in our veggies! Chips made from vegetables are for sure a healthier alternative to the processed, fried and sodium-packed versions commonly found corrupting grocery store aisles near and far. Luckily, our options have expanded in recent years, with the market now offering a variety of baked and low-sodium chips to choose from, including the highly popular Terra Chips that, albeit fried, are made of a mixture of taro, sweet potato, yuca, batata, parsnip, and ruby taro.

However, when I want a more rustic version of vegetable chips that allow me to get the best of both worlds — baked and vegetable-based (as opposed to corn-based) — I like to make them myself using whatever vegetables I have on hand. It’s the perfect way to finish off any leftover vegetables from the week that are rounding their last leg. Root vegetables work best, because they hold their shape — using the same instructions below, experiment with beets, carrot, zucchini, and even kale.

For this recipe, I used sweet potato. White potatoes are bashed for their capacity to dramatically tip the blood sugar scale, but if you switch to sweet potatoes, that sugar spike is 30 percent less. Sweet potatoes are also an excellent source of beta-carotene and potassium. They can reduce the risk of breast cancer by as much as 25 percent and are also useful in reducing blood pressure.

This recipe is a foundational one. You can add whatever spices you’d like to appeal to your own tastes. One potato makes enough for one person, so multiply the amounts in the ingredient list depending on how many people you are serving. You can assume a 1/2 potato per person if making this for a large party.

Slice the sweet potatoServes 1

Ingredients:

  • 1 large sweet potato
  • 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper

Directions:

Slice thin discs along the width of the sweet potato. Don’t slice too thin so that the sweet potato is transparent and don’t slice too thick so that the sweet potato bakes and softens much like a full-sized potato would.

I recommend using a mandoline to cut the sweet potato into same-width pieces. However, be very careful — the mandoline only looks harmless. In my experience, regardless of how skilled and attentive you think you are in the kitchen, the mandoline will prove otherwise, leading to an unintentional slip and cut. Having learned my lesson(s), I avoid using it altogether and revert to knife skill instead. As long as all pieces come out with the same width, you’ve done well.

Assemble the slices in a medium sized bowl. Coat with olive oil, salt and pepper. Toss with your hands until all the pieces are evenly coated.

Place the slices on a baking sheet so that each has its own space. Bake at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for approximately 25 to 30 minutes. About 15 minutes into baking, flip each piece. Keep an eye out on them for the last 10 minutes, making sure none burn.

When they’re finished, remove from the pan and let cool. They will harden as they cool.

These don’t last very long at all. I would say one potato is equivalent to one serving, but that’s really an understatement. Did you question why only 4-5 chips are left for me to photograph? Yum. These chips are so worth making.

Bon Appetit!

--Aylin Erman / images courtesy of EcoSalon

This recipe originally appeared as part of EcoSalon's Sunday recipe series. Check out the full series here

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