With their slightly sweet, slightly spicy flavor, parsnip crisps offer a refreshing alternative to standard potato chips. Whether you choose to deep-fry them or dehydrate the parsnips to a crunchy finish, preparing homemade parsnip chips or crisps is a relatively easy process. Thinly slice these tasty root vegetables into coins or strips and cook them to a crisp using whatever method you prefer. In most cases, the crisps are best when you eat them while they're fresh, but you can store them for up to 1 week in an airtight container, and reheat them as needed to restore the crunch.
Using a method that's similar to how you would make homemade potato chips, you can create crisp, slightly greasy parsnip crisps. All you need is a large, heavy-bottomed pot; oil that's suitable for deep-frying, such as canola or peanut; and a wire mesh skimmer for removing the crisps from the hot oil once they're cooked.
Add about 2 inches of oil to the pot and heat it to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. While the oil is heating, slice the parsnips with a sharp knife or a mandoline slicer. Drop them into the hot oil in small batches for maximum crispness, stirring them with the skimmer until they're golden, usually within 1 1/2 to 2 minutes. Transfer the parsnip crisps to a baking sheet lined with paper towels and sprinkle them with salt and any other seasonings you desire.
If you want a slightly lighter, but still indulgent, version of a deep-fried crisp, try pan-frying them instead. Although this method uses less oil, you still need to select an oil with a relatively high smoke point, such as canola.
Start by heating a large, heavy-bottomed skillet over medium or medium-high heat. Add approximately 1 tablespoon of oil for every pound of parsnips you're cooking. Once the oil is hot enough to shimmer, add thinly sliced parsnip coins or strips and fry them in small batches until they are golden and crispy. Transfer the crisps to paper towels to drain excess oil, and season them as desired.
Baking Parsnip Chips
When you're looking for a lighter, lower-calorie indulgence, consider baking the parsnip chips instead of frying them. The key to achieving maximum crispness with baked vegetable chips and crisps is to slice the parsnips as thinly as possible. Although you can use a very sharp knife, using a mandoline offers the added benefit of slicing the crisps evenly. While you slice the parsnips, heat the oven to 425 F.
Toss the sliced parsnips with some olive oil, or the oil of your choice, and any seasonings you choose. For simple, light flavor stick with salt and pepper. For a little more oomph, try a little chili powder and garlic or your favorite seasoning blend. Spread the parsnips on a baking sheet in a single layer and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, turning the crisps every 15 minutes and halting the baking process once the crisps are golden on both sides.
Dehydrating parsnip coins or strips allows you to make crunchy, healthy chips while keeping most nutrients intact, according to One Green Planet. Slice the parsnips to a thickness between 1/16 and 1/8 inch. Leave them naked or toss them with a little oil and your preferred seasonings.
You can achieve similar results by baking the crisps in the oven at the lowest possible heat setting for 1 to 2 hours -- or in a dehydrator set to 145 F, for approximately 4 to 6 hours -- or until they are crisp and dry. If you're following a raw food diet, you could also set the dehydrator to a lower heat setting for a longer period of time. For example, at 115 F, the crisps typically take 10 to 12 hours to become dry and crunchy.
- Eating Local; Janet Fletcher
- The Irish Spirit; Margaret M. Johnson
- Cooking Thin With Chef Kathleen; Kathleen Daelemans
- The Beginner's Guide to Making and Using Dried Foods; Teresa Marrone
- Bon Appetit: Are Homemade Potato Chips Worth the Effort?
- One Green Planet: How to Make Healthy Veggie Chips of All Kinds (in 4 Simple Steps)
- Photo Credit Olha_Afanasieva/iStock/Getty Images
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