A week or two ago, a colleague at work, introduced me to beet chips. She had purchased a pre-packaged version of them and offered me a taste. They were really good, but I felt that they tasted too “manufactured” for my preference. Odd as it were – beet chips! – Honestly, it’s almost blasphemous to a Newfoundlander to do anything with beets other than preserve them in a sweet, vinegary syrup, I thought I’d give it a try. A few weeks prior, I had dried sliced lemons, limes, and oranges, along with kiwi by using my oven rather than a dehydrator; the drying of beets couldn’t be much different, could it!? I was right; they were a great success.
I used a two-pound bag of beets. Keep in mind that as they are drying/dehydrating, they are also losing a lot of moisture, and therefore, will shrink in size. For me, two large baking trays resulted in a small bowl of chips.
This is a very simple process, but you must be patient! These beets need to be cooked for a very long period of time on a very low heat. Doing so, allows the beat to slowly give up it’s moisture without burning. Also, it will allow the natural sugars and natural flavours of the beet to intensify, resulting of course, in a better, tastier beet.
You will note that I added dried thyme to mine, but you can certainly change that too to reflect your own personal tastes. You can use rosemary, or black pepper, or just leave them plain with the salt. Either way, you’ll have a great snack that’s homemade, delicious, and free of preservatives.
One last thing before we get to the recipe – if you decide to go with just plain salt and pepper for the seasoning, try serving them with guacamole – trust me on this! YUM!
- 2 pounds beets, washed well, skin in tact
- Olive oil
- Kosher salt
- Dried Thyme
- Wash the beets extremely well. You will not want to peel your beets because drying them with the skin on keeps them more round and pretty. (Yes, I’m that vain when it comes to food!) Also, there’s a tonne of nutrients in the skin. Cut off the bottom end of each beet and thinly slice the beet with using a mandolin. You’ll want to get the beet slices as evenly cut as possible so that they all dry at the same amount of time.
- Once the beets are all sliced, place them in a large bowl and drizzle very lightly with olive oil. Arrange the sliced beets on a large baking sheets, being careful not to overlap the beets. Sprinkle with kosher salt.
- Place the beets in the oven and set the temperature to 200 degrees.
- Check the beets every 30 minutes and using tongs, carefully turn each beet over to even the baking process.
- You will note that with each turn, the beets are reducing quite drastically in size. This is normal!
- At the two hour mark, remove one slice from the oven, allow it to slightly cool, and feel the texture of the beet with your fingers. The beet will not be crispy at this time, but should feel dry and have a slight pliable texture to it. If this is the case, remove the dried beets from the oven. If not, feel free to leave them in the oven for another 30 minutes. Continue to do this until the right consistency has been reached. Don't worry, the pliable texture will change to a chip-like texture once the beets have cooled.
- Place the cooked, warm beet slices in a large mixing bowl. Add the desired amount of dried thyme (about ½ teaspoon) and toss to coat the beets evenly. Allow to cool.