Saturday, May 22, 2010

Raw Vegetable Chips

My friend Irina and were browsing through the cookbook section and Barnes and Noble, and I came across the book Raw Energy by Stephanie Tourles. I had never heard of it, but I'm always intrigued by new books. The recipes are mainly snacks, and many of them looked really tasty, so I decided to buy it.

There are three chip recipes that looked really good: Sweet Potato Chili, Zesty Zucchini and Sea Salty Squash. I thought I'd make all three so that Dennis and I would have plenty to snack on. Luckily, they fit into my new dehydrator nicely.

The sweet potato chips needed to be sliced really thin so they would turn out chip-like. I used the mandolin slicer that I bought last year at a friend's Pampered Chef party. I'm not a big fan of those Come-To-My-House-and-Buy-Stuff-So-I-Can-Get-Free-Merchandise parties, but I am a fan of kitchen gadgets, so I bought this really nifty mandolin slicer. It came with four different blades and it has a safety feature so you don't slice bits of your fingers off. I've only used it a few times, but I consider it a worthy investment, because when I do need it, it does the job well. It sliced the sweet potatoes thinner that I would ever be able to by hand.

The sweet potato chips are seasoned with olive oil, chili powder, Braggs Liquid Aminos, and sea salt.

Yellow squash and zucchini are easy to slice by hand, so I just used a knife with them. The yellow squash is seasoned with salt, pepper and olive oil.

The zucchini chips are seasoned with olive oil, sea salt and Italian seasonings. I don't have a jar of "Italian seasonings", so I mixed together oregano, garlic, thyme, rosemary, sage and basil. There was a slight accident with the oregano shaker, so the chips were a little heavy on the oregano. I would probably omit it next time I make these.

Zucchini, yellow squash and sweet potatoes are all high in water content, so the chips all shrunk down considerably while dehydrating. The zucchini chips ended up being teeny tiny! I think they were all a little too oily, so I will cut down on the recommended olive oil amount when I make them again. They were more chewy than crunchy, so I think they may need to be dehydrated longer next time. I'm going to try making these again at some point but I want to experiment with them a little to make them crispier and less oily.

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