Root vegetables, I know – they’re homely and mostly relegated to salads and stews… but not any more! These root vegetable chips will please almost anyone, especially people who love savory snacks! They are like a potato chip on steroids, more flavorful and more healthful. Parsnips, red, yellow and pink striped chiogga beets sliced thinly, brushed with olive oil, dusted with salt and pepper, and baked into crispy chips. They are absolutely delicious and crunchy and a great way to get people to eat more non-traditional veggies. I mean, who eats parsnips? Well, a whole group of people ate them and came back for more at my house the other night. I served them with a homemade Lemon, Parmesan Aioli (my go-to dip) and a traditional guacamole, but really they were good enough to stand up on their own. The dips are just extra for people (like me) whole love a good creamy dip or thinks chips can’t be served without guacamole.
I owe the idea for these veggie chips to my sister, Carole. Last weekend I attended a family event and stayed with Carole, who had a recipe for making chips from root vegetables that she wanted to try. I had never made them before but we had fun making them together and were happy with the results. They are very easy to make if you have a mandolin. Just peel and slice the veggies and bake them on low heat for an hour and a half or so until they are crispy. The original recipe my sister used called for them to be cooked at 195 degrees which I eventually increased the heat because they weren’t crisping fast enough for us. There are many root chip recipes out there that call for various oven temperatures (even up to 400) and lengths of time (as little as 30 minutes) but most of the commentary was not positive. I decided this time to bake at 250 degrees because so much flavor is retained with the low temperature and there is little chance of burning. It’s almost like speed dehydrating but it works and everyone loved the results!
Root vegetables are a treasure chest of nutrients in spite of their unattractive and intimidating outer appearance. However, once you cut them open, their jewel toned flesh is revealed. These intense colors are not just gorgeous, they are indicative of their rich nutritional value. Root vegetables are high in vitamins and minerals like iron, calcium and potassium that they absorb from the ground and they are an excellent source of fiber. Even parsnips, which look like white carrots, are loaded with nutrients like their more colorful cousins. Use a combination for maximum nutrition and to ‘Eat the Rainbow”.
TIPS: I sliced the parsnips and the chiogga beets on my mandoline on the thinnest setting but sliced the red and yellow beets on the second setting because I wanted to see if there was a difference in quality. The thicker beets took about 20 minutes longer to cook and were definitly thicker. The thicker you slice, the longer they take to crisp and the yield is smaller. I prefered the thinner chips but the crowd preference was pretty split between thick and thin. For thin slices, you will need one baking sheet per vegetable.
When selecting root vegetables from the market, choose larger specimens as they shrink quite a bit during baking. Also choose smoother skinned ones, if possible. The ‘hairy’ parts are harder to peel, in fact, I had to use the tip of my peeler to remove them.
Using an olive oil spray makes prep easy and fast but you can also use the old fashioned oil and brush. Feel free to add other spices before baking. Chili, curry or garlic powder, ground cumin and cayenne pepper are all good choices.
ROOT VEGETABLE CHIPS
- 4 root vegetables(any combination of beets, parsnips, rutabaga, carrots, sweet potato, etc)
- 1/3 cup olive oil (or olive oil spray)
- salt and pepper to taste
- Peel and trim root vegetables
- Using a mandolin or sharp knife thinly slice vegetables lengthwise
- Spray or brush oil on the bottom of each baking sheet and arrange veggie slices in a single layer. Spray or brush slices with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper
- Bake at 250 degrees for about an hour and a half. Thicker slices can take up to two hours. Remove from oven when crispy and let cool
- Serve with dips if desired. (I made a quick Lemon Parmesan Aioli and guacamole)
LEMON PARMESAN AIOLI
- 1/2 cup mayo (I love Just Mayo)
- 1/4 cup parmesan, shredded
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- zest from one lemon
- Combine all ingredients and spoon into a small serving bowl
- 3 ripe avocados, peeled and seeded
- 1/2 cup red or yellow onion, chopped
- 2 roma tomatoes, diced
- 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
- 2-3 cloves, garlic, minced
- juice of one lime
- 1 tsp salt
- In a medium bowl, mash together avocado, lime juice and salt. Mix in the rest of the ingredients and spoon into a serving bowl.
ROOT VEGETABLE CHIPS LEMON PARMESAN AIOLI QUICK GUACAMOLE
Root Vegetable Chips
ROOT VEGETABLE CHIPS
LEMON PARMESAN AIOLI