A New Finger Food Substitute: Simple Candied Beet Chips

simple beet chips

Do you drool when you think of chips ‘n dip?

I’m guessing you do. It’s a part of our long-standing American food culture.

We love easy, and we love finger foods.

Potato chips, pretzels, Fritos, Cheetos, Doritos (nice little rhyme there), and other ridiculously simple, pre-packaged, processed, chemical-laden (okay, almost done with my rant!) snacks are a necessary part of football season, parties, and life!

So the question is:

If you want to adopt a lifestyle of eating mostly real, whole foods (like our genetics are designed for), what do you do for chips ‘n dip?

How do you fill the void?

VEGGIES. Yes, reinvented veggies.

While living in Germany last year, I went through a bit of an obsessive cooking frenzy, reinventing our diets without processed foods. Lacking easy chips and other crunchy finger foods, I had to get creative, especially with a professional basketball-playing, calorie-guzzling husband.

So, we adopted crunchy and scoop-able (new Wikipedia word?!) carrots, celery, and cukes as respectable placeholders for chips and crackers. Though delicious and easy, they don’t always give you that same salty, crunchy smack.

Thus, out of continuous experimentation, my simple, candied beet chips were born! When sliced at the perfect thickness and baked long enough, the beets caramelize and literally melt in your mouth.

The best part?

Beets Can’t Be Beat (Yes, I went there). 

Beets are the bomb when it comes nutrition, especially because BOTH the beet greens, and the beet roots are highly nutritious eats.

Plus, they are man-proof. Last weekend with a mouthful of beet chips, Kyle literally told me that had he not met me, he never would’ve experienced these delicious treats (awww, isn’t that sweet).

George Mateljan’s The World’s Healthiest Foods (2007) explains their powerful nutrition:

  • They contain betalains, a unique class of phytonutrients that are potent antioxidant protectors.
  • In fact, beet greens are one of THE best sources of antioxidants!
  • Beets are highly cleansing for the liver, as they help protect the liver from free radicals and protect against precancerous cellular abnormalities.
  • Beets are high in fiber, and promote heart health by lowering triglycerides and increasing HDL cholesterol.

Without further ado, check out an easy way to create a sweet/salty/crunchy alternative to finger foods!

Simple, Candied Beet Chips

Ingredients:
2-3 large beets
Olive oil
Sea salt
Pepper

Instructions:
Set your oven to 375 degrees, and chop the beet greens off (if you haven’t already). Refrigerate the beet greens to cook at a later date.

Next, peel the beet skins off, and grease a baking sheet with olive oil.

Then, chop the beets into round slices, about 1/4″ thick.

Place the beet rounds onto your baking sheet, and drizzle with olive oil, a dash of sea salt, and pepper.

Bake the beets for about 40-50 minutes, checking for crispness. Note: They will shrink considerably, as you can see in the pre- and post-oven baked pictures. Take them out of the oven right as they begin to turn golden brown/darker red, and before they burn black!

Savor as a side dish, a snack, add goat cheese on top; or use to dip in hummus or baba ghanoush! Enjoy!!

References

Mateljan, George. The world’s healthiest foods: essential guide for the healthiest way of eating. Seattle, Wash.: George Mateljan Foundation, 2006. Print.

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14 responses on “A New Finger Food Substitute: Simple Candied Beet Chips

  1. I, as well, would’ve never enjoyed beet chips had I not met you! Shockingly, now they make a regular appearance on our plates, and we have introduced them to at least 3 other families. :) They’re actually pretty good (though we have a hard time convincing Abby of that!)

  2. :) Ryan did mention that the other day – I LOVE that!! Perhaps, you can tie in your Zumba “beats” with your “beet eats” on your fancy video coming up (okay, worst joke of the year?)!? :)

  3. I was so excited to try your recipe, and I’m not exactly sure where I went wrong! Mine never got crispy. They were in the oven for about an hour and a half and only the little ones where remotely crispy. Any ideas? I have a few more beets from another CSA delivery and would like to try again.

    • Goodness! Hmmm… What temperature did you cook them at? And how thin (or thick) did you slice them? Another way to help the process is to fry the slices in coconut oil and butter on your stove for 10ish minutes. Then, bake them in the oven for 30 minutes (or shorter or longer, depending on how they look!). That should give them a better crisp!

      • I used the temp and thickness prescribed, but I think tonight I’ll try a little hotter and a little thinner. I’ll use the mandolin, too, for consistent thickness. I’d love to avoid frying them first for time and health reasons, but I’ll keep that in mind in case it isn’t going well. I will report back!

      • Sounds great! Regarding the “frying,” cooking them in coconut oil and butter is super healthy and has a higher cooking point than inflammatory vegetable oils that oxidize easily. :)

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    • Hi!!! Oh my word… I read your blog post about attempting this recipe. I am so sorry about the turnout!! I guess everyone’s oven is different? If you slice them thinner, no doubt they will cook quicker – often I check them sporadically to be sure. Thanks for the humorous write-up, and I’ll try to make it truly simpler next time! :)

  5. beet chip – variation: slice thinner to thinnest, reduce oven temp to preserve more nutrients (or use a dehydrator) and less cook time, season with olive or coconut oil and experiment with different herbs or spices, or blends. rock the beet !

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