Aren’t we all constantly on the lookout for a healthy snack? And don’t most of us love the crunch of a great potato chip? It’s true, there’s a rare person out there that “can only eat one”.
As we all know too well, potato or other snack chips are addictive, but completely devoid of nutritional value. They can pack on calories not only from the potatoes or other ingredients, but also from the oils that they are fried in.
On a lazy weekend afternoon, I decided to explore making beet chips. I had purchased too many beets for my weekly lunch prep, and thought this would be a great method to use up the extras.
Beets pack a powerful nutritional punch. In addition to being loaded with many essential vitamins and minerals, they are a great source of dietary nitrates. These are converted by our bodies to a molecule called nitric oxide, which can help to lower blood pressure by dilating our blood vessels. Additionally, beets contain a class of pigments called betalains which have anti-inflammatory properties and possible anti-cancer effects.
To avoid the high-caloric and pro-inflammatory oils used in deep-frying, and the extended time needed for dehydrating, I decided to use my air fryer. Air fryers are able to quickly crisp and dehydrate foods by circulating hot air. I found a recipe which also suggested using a small amount of aquafaba (this is the liquid that comes in a can of chickpeas) in place of oil to coat the beets prior to frying. This helps with the crisping process, and also helps any salt, pepper, or other spices to stick.
These delicious and healthy chips can be made from a whole beet in under 30 minutes. I happened to buy golden beets (which are a little bit sweeter and less “earthy”), but the recipe should work just as well with red beets (or better yet, a combination!).
- 2-3 beets (yellow, red, or combination), peeled with a vegetable peeler, and thinly sliced with a Mandoline or knife
- 2 tsp aquafaba or olive oil for each beet
- Salt and pepper to taste (or any spices you’d love to have on your chips)
- In a large bowl, mix thinly-sliced beets with aquafaba or olive oil. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, or other spices to taste
- Layer in air fryer so slices don’t overlap
- Cook at 330 degrees in 5 minute intervals, making sure in between that beets remain in a single layer
- They should be crispy after 15 minutes (time may vary depending on your air fryer). They may not be crispy as soon as you remove them, but tend to crisp up as they cool. Be sure not to cook too long or they will burn!