Veggie chips are all the rage! My daughter is addicted to them and so am I, but the preservatives and sodium levels are worrisome. My Homemade Vegetable Chips has all of the flavour with no fill and no nonsense. These are even more addictive; trust me!
I wasn’t always a fan of those store-bought, pre-packaged vegetable chips. It wasn’t until I was offered a few at work one day that I became obsessed with them. I used to think they were gross and tasteless, but this one particular brand (I can’t remember which brand for the life of me!) was fantastic. However, the nutritional information printed on the back of the packaging suggested that there was way more than just vegetables. They are fine in a bind, but if you have the time to make them at home yourself, why not do so and cut back on the preservatives, sodium, and calories too!?
Before you ask, I’m sure Homemade Vegetable Chips would be great baked too. But, I’ve baked beet chips before and they do take much more time to get to the right texture. I decided to fry these chips for that reason. I addition, I thought that if I was eliminating most of the ingredients and chemicals used by most food manufacturers, I could deep fry the chips and still feel damn good about myself after eating way more than my share.
If you’re at all interested, you can read about my oven-baked beet chips here: Salted Oven-Baked Beet Chips with Thyme. Now, keep in mind that post was written in my early blogging days. The photographs alone will attest for my lack of skill at that time. But, the chips themselves were phenomenal!
Use a mandolin – unless your knife skills are the bomb – to get very thin, evenly uniform slices of vegetables. Make use of your sheet pans, lined with paper towels for draining the excess grease and allowing the vegetable chips to properly cool down without sweating. It’s important to avoid piling the chips on top of each other when removing them from the oil. Keep them in a single layer as much as possible until they have cooled completely, otherwise, the chips may not stay crisp.
It’s important to fry the vegetables in small batches. Use a large, wide, deep heavy bottomed pot for frying. Place only enough slices of vegetables in to cover the surface of the oil. This will ensure a nice even fry. Once you remove the chips from the oil, sprinkle with the salt immediately, if using. Then fry the next batch.
When you’re all set up and ready to go, think about the colour of the vegetables you’re using for your chips. Start with frying the lightest in colour and moving progressively to the darkest. For example, in my recipe, I started with the parsnips, then I moved on to the potato, and then the sweet potato, and lastly, the beet root. The darker vegetables should be fried last, because there’s a risk that they will taint or colour the oil. You won’t want pink parsnips after frying your beets. Or do you? 🙂
When all is said and done, you can store the veggie chips in a large resealable plastic bag and seal the bag almost all of the way. If you seal the bag complete, or use a container with a tight-fitting lid, the chips will begin to soften. Keep in mind that we are not using any preservatives to prevent these things from happening. If you want to keep your chips crisp, do not close them off completely from fresh air.
To be completely honest, the chances of these Homemade Vegetable Chips lasting longer than a day or two are very slim anyways. So, there’s probably no reason at all to worry about properly packaging them for long-term storage.
Snacking on these just as they are is perfectly fine. But, if you want the make them extra special, might I suggest a few dipping sauces to serve with them? In the pictures scattered throughout this post, you should be able to locate four different dipping sauces. I wanted a variety, so I decided to serve the chips with two of my favourite Trader Joe’s sauces/condiments.
The first is Trader Joe’s salsa. It has very little sodium and calories, but large chunks of peppers, onions, and tomatoes. The second is Trader Joe’s Green Goddess Salad Dressing. Yes, I know it’s a salad dressing, but it’s a great dip option as well. It’s a very fresh and bright dressing and a little goes a very long way.
Next, I needed spice and I needed garlic. I love garlicky dipping sauces, so I made a quick garlic aoili, which is very easy to make. Whisk together half cup of mayonnaise with one clove of finely minced garlic, a splash of lemon juice, and a bit of salt and pepper. For the spicy sauce, I made a sriracha aoili. Again, very simple to make. Start with half cup of mayonnaise, a bit of salt and pepper, a splash of lime juice this time, and as much sriracha as you can handle. My general rule of thumb is for every half cup of mayonnaise, I add one level teaspoon of sriracha.
There you have it. A complete meal? Or is is the most awesome snack? I know it might seem like a lot of work, but this is perfect for a small gathering with your closest friends. Break out a bottle of wine, tune into the latest episode of The Young and the Restless – or Game of Thrones (same thing!) – and enjoy your company. Happy and healthy snacking, Dear Reader!
To assist with this recipe, consider using the following tools:
- 12″ metal tongs – the oil gets hot and non-metal tongs might not stand up to the heat. You’ll need tongs to flip the chips to evenly cook on both sides.
- Shallow Pot – perfect for getting more surface room, and great for holding and distributing heat. I have this pot in a different colour and use it all the time!
- Mandoline – I cannot live without my mandoline. It makes slicing so much easier! This is the exact model I used in this recipe.
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Homemade Vegetable Chips
- 1 large parsnip, thinly sliced
- 1 large white flesh potato, thinly sliced
- 1 large sweet potato, thinly sliced
- 1 large beet root, thinly sliced
- 6 cups vegetable oil
- 1 tablespoon sea salt
Using a mandoline, or a sharp knife, slice the vegetables 1/8th of an inch thick. Slice them in order from lightest colour to darkest and keep the slices separate so that the colours do not mix.
Place each vegetable in a separate bowl and cover with cold water.
In the meantime, add the oil to a large, wide, heavy bottomed pot or pan. Bring the temperature of the oil to 350 degrees. This is the best frying temperature.
Drain the water from the parsnips and carefully add a few slices to the oil. Do not over crowd the oil. Add only enough slices to create a single layer.
Fry each batch for three minutes per side. Use metal tongs to flip the veggie slices.
Transfer to paper towel-lined baking sheets to drain. Sprinkle with sea salt immediately. Do not stack the chips, allow them to completely cool in a single layer.
Continue these steps until all vegetable slices have been fried until crispy.
Once the Homemade Vegetable Chips are completely cooled, store in a food-safe container or bag, but do not close the seal completely shut. Allow air to move into and out of the storage vessel. Do not refrigerate.
I did not peel the vegetables. If you prefer to peel the veggies, you can, otherwise, just scrub each vegetable until well cleaned with a veggie brush.
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