You could shell out five dollars for a small bag of beet chips from a gourmet grocery, or make a fresh batch at home in about 30 minutes. These chips are a lower-calorie alternative to potato chips but offer the same salty crunch and dipping quality of your favorite chip brand.
Beet Prep Steps
Make chips out of earthy red beets, slightly milder and sweeter golden beets or a combination of the two. Beets that are firm and have smooth skin without any soft spots or blemishes make the best chips. Cut away any stems and leaves attached to the beets and scrub the beets with your fingers or a vegetable brush under cool running water. You can peel the beets with a vegetable peeler or leave the skin on for added fiber. Cut the beets into slices of even thickness, about 1/16 inch thick, using a mandoline or a sharp knife.
Basic Baking Technique
Bake beet chips plain and they'll be crispy but a bit dry. Tossing the slices with oil first gives the finished pieces more crunch and the golden sheen you expect from chips. Lightly coat the slices in olive oil and arrange them in a single layer on a baking sheet. If you didn't oil the slices, spray the baking sheet with cooking spray. Bake the chips in a 350-degree Fahrenheit oven. Start checking the chips at 10 minutes; they're done when the edges start to curl and brown. It may take 20 or 25 minutes for the chips to be ready. Cooking time depends on the thickness of the slices and some pieces may be done before others.
Flavoring and Savoring
The common way to flavor beet chips is to sprinkle salt and pepper over them before baking. But if you want to make an upscale snack, play with seasonings and spices. Food writer Susan Russo suggests combining beet slices with French spices -- look for a mixture called herbes de Provence -- or with dried chives or smoked salt. Just a pinch sprinkled over the chips before they're baked provides big flavor. Alternately, sprinkle oiled beet slices with chopped fresh rosemary or mix minced garlic into the olive oil before tossing it with the beets. Serve finished chips with guacamole, hummus or an herb yogurt dip.
Storing Beet Chips
Unlike deep-fried chips, baked chips won't stay super crispy for long. Store cooled beet chips in an airtight glass container or food storage bag. The chips may stay edible for up to a week, but for optimal flavor, eat them within a few days. If the stored chips feel limp and soft, pop them back into a 350-degree oven for a few minutes to crisp them.
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