We’re on the cusp of Spring and very much looking forward to the new season’s bounty of garden fresh offerings. For the moment, however, working through the last leg of winter, we’re making do with an abundance of root and cruciferous vegetables. The latest fad chez nous? Veggie crisps. My girls are mad about them at the moment, spending most of their hard earned pocket money on gourmet branded packets of shitake mushroom, sweet potato, beetroot, beans, green radish and carrot. Following last week’s foray into oven dried strawberries they begged me to try my hand at oven baked sweet potato crisps. After all we’d already had great success making beetroot and kale chips before.
In many ways sweet potato crisps are much quicker and easier to make than oven dried strawberries. They’re sturdier than the delicate fruit and can effortlessly be sliced on a mandolin in minutes before being baked in a hotter 180 C oven for just 20 minutes.
I left my sweet potatoes whole and didn’t bother to peel them. Just a quick scrub in the kitchen sink before a thorough drying is all that is really required before slicing as thinly as is practicably possible. Seasoned with a little olive oil and salt, and arranged in a single layer on a baking tray, they’re quickly transformed into intensely flavoured, delicious crisps. Light, crunchy and moreish for just under 100 calories per half cup serve, they’re a perfect fast day indulgence. Enjoyed as a snack, served alongside soup in lieu of croutons, or tossed into a salad to add a little more substance and interest. We’re looking forward to trying out this technique on a whole host of different root vegetables; parsnip, pumpkin, carrot and the already tried and tested sweet potato amd beetroot.
Oven Baked Sweet Potato Crisps
Makes 1 1/2 cups (97 calories per half cup serve)
250g sweet potato, whole, unpeeled (215 calories)
2 teaspoons olive oil (80 calories)
sea salt flakes to season
PREHEAT the oven to 180 C. Line two large oven trays with baking paper.
DRIZZLE olive oil into a large shallow bowl. Add 2-3 generous pinches of sea salt. Stir to combine.
WASH and dry sweet potato. Slice finely using a mandolin or very sharp knife. The thinner the better.
PLACE the sweet potato slices into the oiled bowl. Mix well to ensure each slice is coated with a little oil. Then arrange the slices in a single layer over the two prepared oven trays.
BAKE for 20 – 25 minutes using the upper rack positions of your oven. After the first 10 minutes turn the slices over and rotate the oven position of the trays. The sweet potato will begin to colour and crisp from the outside in. Baking time will vary depending on your oven and the thickness of the slices. After 15 minutes baking time has elapsed, check trays often to make sure the crisps don’t burn.
REMOVE trays from oven and set aside for 5 minutes. The sweet potato will continue to crisp up as it cools. Store in an airtight container when completely cold.