I’ll let you in on a secret. Vegetables taste better as chips. Offer The Princess a mound of mashed sweet potato and she will gag. Disguise it as soup – same response. Cut it into chips and roast it. Not only will she eat the pile put in front of her, but will demand more, hovering to pinch the crisp ones as they come out of the oven.
This was quite a revelation for me. Texture appears to be the key. And quite frankly it is easier to cut up a few chunks of sweet potato and throw them on a tray than to do the whole steam and mash thing.
Sweet potatoes come in a range of colours, from white to deep orange, with purple thrown in for good measure. I have roasted each of the colours, but have found that the orange ones make the best chips. The white and purple sweet potatoes tend to dry out when roasting, whilst the orange ones go soft and sweet. This variation is due to the way the starches in the tuber convert during the cooking process.
Sweet potatoes are considered to be one of the most nutrient dense vegetables. They are high in Vitamin A and C, and are also high in minerals and dietary fibre. Sweet potatoes also made the 2013 Clean Fifteen (scroll down in the link to see the list) of The Environmental Working Group’s Shoppers Guide to Pesticides in Produce. The guide identifies fruits and vegetables likely to have the highest pesticide contamination (The Dirty Dozen) and also the produce that is least likely to be contaminated (The Clean Fifteen). These lists enables you to determine which produce to buy organically if you wish to limit pesticide loads in your food, and which produce can be bought conventionally if organic is not available. Just so you know, standard potatoes (the most popular chip) made the Dirty Dozen.
At about the same time I started making sweet potato chips, I realised that McCain’s were producing frozen Sweet Potato Superfries in either thin cut or crinkle cut. I thought this meant that I could just keep a packet in my freezer for emergency chips. However, like all things which seem too good to be true, so too are the Superfries. You would think that Sweet Potato Superfries would contain … well … sweet potato. But as these are Superfries they contain “sweet potato (76%), canola oil, tapioca starch, rice flour, potato starch, sea salt, corn starch, corn fibre, baking powder, sugar, dried carrots, dehydrated sweet potatoes, natural flavour, natural colour (160b)”. Why? Why add sugar to a naturally sweet vegetable? Why colour a product that has its own distinct colour? Just why?
So it appears that I am left making my own chips. The Princess loves these so much that I now make them weekly as a late afternoon snack before her evening drama class. Luckily they are easy to make.
Easy Baked Sweet Potato Chips
- Orange Sweet Potatoes
- Tablespoons Olive Oil about 1 - 2
- Salt & Pepper
Preheat the oven to 200C (180C fan forced).
Peel and slice the sweet potato into chips.
Spread on a baking tray.
Drizzle olive oil over the sweet potato.
Season with salt and pepper.
Toss the chips to ensure they are well coated with oil, salt and pepper.
Spread the chips slightly on the tray so they are not crowded together.
Cook for 30 minutes, until golden brown.
Recipe NotesThe cooking time given is for thin to medium cut chips. If you make thicker chips you will need to increase the cooking time.
Thinner chips burn easily, so watch them well towards the end of the cooking time.
You can add some finely chopped rosemary at the start of the cooking time to add additional flavour.
I have also sprinkled over finely grated Parmesan about five minutes before the end of the cooking time with great success.