Potato chips – another perfect example of food that is so bad for you, and yet we eat mass quantities of it. According to several different sources, Americans eat 1.2 billion (with a B) pounds of potato chips every year! And I’ll admit that I totally understand why – they’re a pretty tasty, convenient snack, and available everywhere you turn. And let’s face it, there’s something about the combination of potatoes and salt that’s kind of hard to resist (remember my confession about my love of french fries?)
So I decided to attempt a healthier, homemade version of this oh-so-addictive snack. I started really simple – just salt and pepper flavored. I’m working on some other flavors, but first I want to figure out how to make them perfectly crispy without burning. These ones turned out ok – most were perfect, but some were burnt, and some were still a little mushy.
The weird thing is, it didn’t seem to necessarily go with the how thick/thin they were. Some of the mushy ones were some of the thinnest-sliced ones! So if any of you are chip-making pros, I’d love some tips!
I started off by slicing some potatoes as thinly as I could.
This might be easier using a food processor with the thin-slice blade. But alas, I don’t have one… some day (soon, hopefully!) So if you’re cutting them by hand, just go a little slower and slice as thinly as you can.
Then I tossed the potato slices with just a little olive oil, and fresh ground salt and pepper. I laid them out on a foil-lined baking sheet in a single layer so they wouldn’t stick and they could get nice and crispy.
Then I put them in the oven at 425 for about 25 minutes, turning over about half way through. Then I sorted the chips to find the ones that still needed to cook a little longer (about 1/4 of them) and popped those back in the oven for another 5-10 minutes. You can tell they’re done when the edges start curling, they start to get a little golden (not too golden – they’ll taste burnt!) and the surface looks bubbly and translucent.
Deliciously crispy crunchy goodness!
While these still aren’t the healthiest snack, they’re a lot better than most (all?) of the chips you’d buy at the store!
1. They’re baked, and with very little oil.
2. They still have the skins, which is where most of the vitamins and nutrients are.
3. They have way less salt!
4. They’re all natural – no preservatives or other nastiness.
Oh, and they’re way cheaper. You can get 10 pounds of potatoes for about the same price as a bag of chips.
Now I just have to figure out how to get ALL of them perfectly crispy, and come up with some other delicious flavors!