Photo by John D. Ivanko/farmsteadchef.com
We love beets. Although we've harvested them by the bucketful, ours don’t store well in our basement during the winter so we turn them into beet burgers (a recipe featured in our book, Farmstead Chef) and our new favorite: baked beet chips. Forget purchasing the expensive, fried, kettle-chip variety. Our crunchy, naturally sweet, baked beet chips offer a healthy way to snack during this snackin’ time of year. Plus, you finally get to break out that mandolin slicer sitting in the cabinet of your farmstead kitchen.
Among the world’s healthiest foods—right up there with kale and avocadoes—beets are packed with nutrients and minerals and have plenty of documented health benefits. Eating this high-fiber food roasted or boiled can get a little boring if you have bucket loads, so we opted for a healthier version of a crunchy snack to put out in bowls for the holidays and all those football bowl games—something that doesn’t cost $3.49 for a six-ounce bag.
Crimson-colored beet chips will dispel the ubiquitous potato chip from the top snack spot with their sweet flavor, turning the ordinary into gourmet. You can eat them plain or dipped in your own homemade ranch dressing. This simple baked beet chips recipe is both vegan and gluten-free. While we used a dash of salt to season, you can experiment with rosemary, celery salt, or other herbs and spices.
Because beet chips are baked and don’t have any fancy chemicals to preserve the crunch, you’ll need to eat them within a day or two of making them to enjoy them at their crispiest. Also, these chips do need some babysitting while they’re in the oven; watch them carefully as they can easily burn toward the end of the cooking time.
As an aside, if your libido needs some perking up in the darkness and cold of winter, these beets could help. They’re known for containing large amounts of boron, which is related to the production of human sex hormones. (Of course, the best way to get the most nutrient value of beets or any vegetable is in raw or juiced form, as unprocessed as possible. Just saying.)
Recipe: Baked Beet Chips
Yield: 8 servings
- 8 medium beets (red, chioggia, gold)
- 2 T. olive oil
- 1 tsp. sea salt
Wash and peel beets, then thinly slice with a mandolin slicer. The slices should be about a 1/16 to 1/8 inch thick. Most attachments for food processors result in the slices being too thick. Place in large bowl and lightly toss with olive oil to coat each slice.
Please beet slices in single layer on thin aluminum cookie sheets or pizza pans with small holes. Set aside for 10 minutes.
Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.
Bake beets slices in oven for approximately 30 minutes, switching the levels of the aluminum trays to more evenly cook them. The beet slices will shrink and curl slightly to form chips. Near the end of the cooking period, watch the beets carefully, to prevent them from burning. Cook time depends on the thickness, type of pan and your oven.
When slightly firm to touch, turn off oven and either let chips cool in oven (crisping up further) or remove chips from oven to cool. Sprinkle beet slices lightly with salt or other seasonings. High-humidity environments can make chips chewy instead of crispy.
When fully cooled, pack store air-tight containers. Serve with your favorite dip.
Savoring the good life,
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