I’ve spent plenty of time (and sacrificed my fair share of sweet potatoes in the process) trying to make my own sweet potato chips that aren’t laden with calories. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not afraid of fat – if you follow me at all you’d know that I don’t subscribe to the Lipid Hypothesis nor to I run shreeking in fear from full fat products – I’d actually rather have them over the reduced fat “healthier version”. But that’s enough ranting about fat for this post – why you’re here is to learn about my perfected sweet potato chip making process! These chips aren’t laden in anything except sweet potato – because sometimes I just want to nom on many more chips without loading in the calories despite the higher glycemic index. Okay, okay, rant over. For real this time. Here’s how to make the chips:
You’ll need: sweet potatoes, hand slicer or equivalent, canola oil spray, salt, baking sheets.
Things I’ve learned throughout my various fails:
- A mandolin or some similar device for consistently slicing very thin is invaluable to this process.
- More is NOT better – this goes for the heat and the oil content.
- This is time-consuming – and walking away from those chips in the oven for long will most likely result in some crispy little black discs and a burnt up baking sheet. Be prepared to baby sit your oven during this process.
- Pre-heat your oven to a LOW setting – like 225F.
- Slice your sweet potatoes very thin.
- Very very lightly, spray a layer of canola oil spray on your cookie sheet.
- Lay out your sweet potato chips in a single layer.
- Again, very very lightly spray another layer of canola oil spray on top.
- Sprinkle with salt as desired. (I’m not afraid of salt, but I won’t rant about fat and salt in the same recipe.)
- Place in oven.
- Wait for the magic to happen.
Additional notes to be aware of/tips and tricks continued:
- I’ve seen plenty of sweet potato chip recipes cooking them at a very high temperature. At first, this made sense to me – blast them – they get crispy. I sacrificed many a sweet potato subscribing to this theory of home-made sweet potato chips. They always turned up going from orange to charred little discs in about half a second. What worked for me was a lower temperature. I believe this helps them dry out better than blasting them does. Dehydrating is obviously a lower temperature than this and takes even longer but I seem to have found a happy medium between dehydrating and blasting them that works best for me. Maybe it also just extends that time between crispy and black that helps me catch them before catastrophe. No matter the reason – this is the happy temperature I’ve found for my sweet potato chips.
- You’re going to have to baby these things. Certain chips will cook faster than others. This process will most likely consist of a tray in and out multiple times for removal of some and moving around of others. I tend to just have a bowl of sliced ones ready to go in and the sheets become a dynamic process – take some off, add some new on. A whole sheet isn’t going to get done at the same time which is why no – I didn’t give you a cooking time. I’d suspect 10-20 minutes is how long most of my chips stay in, but it varies, and I use this dynamic process to get large batches done.
- Too much oil will also contribute to that quick burning process. Also, parts of the chips will end up chewy and other parts charcoal. Being incredibly light with the oil is key. That’s why when I track my calories for these, I tend to use the pre-cooked sweet potato weight – and that’s it. The oil should be so minimal it doesn’t need to exist on those calorie counters.