Friday, May 6, 2011

Sweet Potato Chips

Have you ever craved something so badly that you end up wasting loads of money trying to satisfy that craving? Well, that is how I was with sweet potato and apple chips. I felt like Pookie in New Jack City…these chips were like crack! I was on Facebook asking if people could tell me where to find them in the stores. And then, once I found them, I was driving all over town when there were only 2 bags left in the store, trying to get enough for the week. Eventually, I got to the point where I started ordering cases of them direct from the vendor so I could stop going to the store every other day to replenish them.

And then the light bulb went off, “Girl, you could make these yourself!” Or perhaps it was the gas light that came on! Cause these exorbitant gas prices have certainly brought those frequent Bi-Lo trips to a screeching halt. Anyway, it finally occurred to me that the chips are $1.99 for a 2.5 ounce bag when a sweet potato was around $.60. And one sweet potato makes at least 2 bags of the chips I get in the store. So, sorry Seneca Foods…I’ve got this.

Sweet potatoes are another one of my favorite things. Since I have cut out sugar in my diet, a sweet potato is oftentimes my “dessert” and has become a staple around the dinner table. Sweet potatoes are a superfood and are a good source of fiber, beta carotene, and Vitamins C and B6. Studies have shown that sweet potatoes can help stabilize blood sugar levels and lower insulin resistance. When eaten with the skin on, a sweet potato has as much fiber as half a cup of oatmeal, for about 100 calories, says dietitian Joan Salge Blake, author of Nutrition & You.

To make chips at home, it is best done using a mandolin, which is a cooking utensil used for cutting and slicing. A mandolin runs between $14.99-$60, depending on the type you get and whether it has attachments. I purchased mine from Bed, Bath and Beyond. The height of the mandolin can be adjusted to get the desired thickness of your choosing; and you simply slide the food item over it to slice.

Now this mandolin can be a dangerous instrument in the wrong hands! And being the chef that I am (self-proclaimed or not - no comments from the peanut gallery) I never imagined I would have any trouble with it at all. That being said, I elected not to use the piece that comes with the mandolin which prevents you from running your hands across the blade and having julienned fingers; and I looked up and a nice chunk of my thumb was missing. So it would be wise to follow the instructions and not place the food item in your hands to run it across the mandolin. Accidents do happen it seems!

This is such a simple recipe, though it can be time consuming if you do not use multiple baking sheets. But the end result is worth it! Great with a turkey burger, deli sandwich or all by their lonesome.

Sweet Potato Chips

One large sweet potato
Salt, optional
Pepper, optional
Pam Cooking Spray

Scrub potatoes to clean. Cut the ends off of the sweet potato. Slice the sweet potato with the mandolin until you have potato rounds. In a medium sized bowl toss with a dash of salt and pepper.

Spray cookie sheet with cooking spray. Lay rounds on sheet and lightly spray the tops. Place in preheated 350 degree oven for about 8-10 minutes or until they begin to curl and brown. Flip chips over at the halfway point so they cook evenly.

Store in air tight container for 2-3 days.

Be careful not to go overboard with the cooking spray as the chips may be soggy.

All photographs are actual pictures of the recipe listed, prepared by Sweet Treats 'n Good Eats, and cannot be used without the owner’s consent.

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