The other day I was at my friend, M's house, and she gave us some really yummy sweet potato chips to taste. I asked her how she did it, and it was so easy and simple that I knew I had to try it, since grain free healthy snacks are one of the hardest things for me to find and make. Additionally, most paleo snacks tend to be high in fat, so when you snack on them, you might inadvertently end up eating too many calories overall, which can make one gain weight, even if they were on a lower carbohydrate Paleo diet. It's hard to find a balance between not too many carbs and not too much fat and yet still satiating and feeling like you got a treat.
These sweet potato chips are completely non fat and vegan and Paleo and gluten free, and the only thing they are not is low carbohydrate.
Usually what happens when things get dehydrated is that you end up concentrating the nutrition and calories into a small space. For that reason, people don't notice how much they are consuming in one go, and end up eating much more of the dehydrated food than they would of it fresh (compare how many dried apples you could eat to fresh apples) and end up eating more calories (and fat) overall. With these chips, however, I noticed that because they are a little bit harder than standard potato chips they are harder to eat so quickly, and it ends up taking longer to eat them than the equivalent amount of cooked sweet potatoes. I could eat 2-3 medium sized sweet potatoes in the space of five minutes, yet I made an entire batch of sweet potato chips out of one and a half large sweet potatoes, and they made enough chips for a few people to snack on for an entire day, so I'd say in that sense they're probably even more dietetic than regular sweet potatoes, as you eat them slower.
You can eat these sweet potato chips as is, or dipped in your favorite dipping sauce. This time I had them plain. Nest time- salsa!
1. Scrub the sweet potatoes well, or peel them. I leave the peel on, because it's easier.
2. Slice the sweet potatoes as thinly as you can, while attempting to keep the thickness of the slices uniform. This isn't imperative, but useful. The thinner the slices, the more you get and the easier they'll be to eat. Too thick and they can be a bit chewy.
3. Lay the sweet potato slices on a lined oven tray, or, better yet, on an oven rack. This can be a thicker layer- mine was about an inch thick overall (with air spaces in between), with approximately two to three layers of sweet potato slices across the entire thing on the tray. If using an oven rack, slightly overlap the slices but stick to just one layer across the entire thing. Oven racks make the sweet potato chips ready earlier, as they allow air flow beneath the slices as well.
4. Put the trays in the oven at 200-215 degrees Farenheit, or approximately 100 degrees celcius. Prop the oven door open so moisture can escape.
5. After about 5 hours, check on your sweet potato slices. If using an oven rack, they may be completely ready by this point. If using an oven tray, move around and/or flip over the slices on the tray, so allow other parts to be exposed to the air.
6. If necessary return to the oven until completely dry. Check approximately every hour for done-ness.
7. To know if the chips are ready, you need to try dropping them on a hard surface and see if they make a noise that is different from the dull thud you get when dropping a moister food. When they are ready they will be slightly flexible, yet still orange. When cooled down, they become firmer and crispier- if you dehydrate them until they are crispy when hot, they will end up turning brown and having a burnt taste.
8. Store in an airtight container until use.
Variations: If you want seasoning on these, sprinkle your favorite spice mix onto the sweet potatoes before drying.
I love how these came out so much, and they were so easy to do (much easier than frying sweet potato chips) that I'm tempted to try to make dehydrated beet chips as well.
Are you a fan of sweet potato chips? Have you ever dehydrated anything before? Does this look like a recipe you'd try?