Ingredients

1 medium beet
1 russet potato
1 medium sweet potato
1 zucchini
olive oil (as needed)
Salt and pepper, to taste

Directions

For the beets:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees, with racks in upper and lower thirds. Peel beets and slice 1/16 inch thick with a mandoline. In a large bowl, toss beets with extra-virgin olive oil.
2. On two rimmed baking sheets (or use one sheet and bake in two batches), arrange beets in a single layer. Stack another rimmed baking sheet on top of each. Bake until edges of beets begin to dry out, about 20 minutes. Uncover and rotate sheets. Bake 10 to 20 minutes, removing chips as they become lightened in color. Transfer to a wire rack; chips will crisp up as they cool.

For the potatoes:
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees, with racks in center and lower positions. Peel potatoes if desired and slice 1/16 inch thick with a mandoline. Divide sweet potatoes between 2 rimmed baking sheets. Drizzle with oil, toss, and spread them in a single layer on sheets.
2. Bake, flipping once, until centers are soft and edges are crisp, 22 to 25 minutes. Sprinkle with salt.

For the sweet potatoes:
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly coat 2 rimmed baking sheets with cooking spray; set aside. Peel potatoes and slice 1/16 inch thick with a mandoline. Put potatoes, oil and 1 tablespoon salt in a large bowl; season with pepper. Toss to combine.  Arrange potato slices on prepared baking sheets, spacing them 1/4 inch apart.
2. Bake, rotating sheets halfway through, until potatoes are crisp and golden brown, about 30 minutes. Spread out potatoes on parchment paper; let dry 5 minutes. Sprinkle with salt, if desired.

For the zucchini:
Preheat oven to 225 degrees F.
1. Remove ends of zucchini and slice with a sharp pairing knife as thin as possible.
2. Toss with oil and salt. Bake for 1 hour or until browned and crisp. Serve immediately.

Recipe courtesy of Jen Perry, Nutrition Development Coordinator, The Open Door, 2012.

This is a great way of helping to develop your children's palates to accept vegetables- even beets! Homemade vegetable chips are a delicious, healthy alternative to the store bought version. Chips are best eaten right away, or can be crisped in the toaster oven if leftover. 

"Any vegetable can be turned into a chip," according to Jen Perry, Community Nutritionist for The Open Door. "All you need is a sharp knife or a mandolin to thinly slice the vegetable. You then brush it with olive oil and you bake it. It’s really that simple and they are delicious."

Perry shows how to make several types of chips in this video, starting with the zucchini. She slices it "thin and even" using a pairing knife. They need to be even so that they will all cook evenly.

The beets, potatoes and sweet potato are different. Because these vegetables are so hard, it is difficult to get a consistently even slice using a knife, so using the mandolin is best. "The mandolin is easiest for getting thin slices that are consistent in size," according to Perry. She points out that you can use any type of potato, red or white, and can leave the skin on or peel it, depending on your preference.

The secret to a crispy chip is to make the slices thin. "If they are too thick they will not get crispy. They will still taste delicious, but if you are looking for a crispy chip, you want to make your slices as thin as possible."

No matter what type of chip you are making, the preparation process is always the same. The baking process, however, is different. For the potatoes, sweet potatoes and beets, preset the oven to 400 degrees F. "The sweet potato will take about 20 to 25 minutes, and the regular potato about one half hour," explains Perry.

The zucchini process is much different, almost like a de-hydrating process. "Cook in a 225 degree F. oven for over an hour," says Perry. The beets can burn easily because of the high sugar content, so they are actually covered in the oven "for the first ten minutes of cooking and then uncovered so they can crisp up."

When they are done, serve right away after cooling. Perry wants you to remember though that the sweet potatoes and zucchini should be eaten right away because they will become soggy.

Any vegetable can be turned into a chip. All you need is a sharp knife or a mandolin to thinly slice the vegetable. You brush it with olive oil and you bake it, and it's really that simple and they're delicious. So we're going to make several types of vegetable chips today.

We're going to start with our zucchini. Trim the ends of the zucchini. You just want to make sure that your slices are very thin and that they're even. You can use a paring knife. It's probably easiest for this. And you can see the slices are as thin as I can make them. We want them to be even so that they cook for the same length of time. It's a soft vegetable, it's easy to cut through. The mandolin is much better for the potatoes and the beets. It's harder to use a knife and to get slices that are consistent.

You can use any type of potato. Red potato or white potato. You can leave the skin on or you can peel it, whatever your preference is. And the mandolin is easiest for getting thin slices, again, that are consistent in size. So you can see that's very thin. That's exactly what we want to make a crispy chip. If they are too thick then they won't get crispy. It'll still taste delicious, but if you're looking for a crispy chip, you want to make your slices as thin as possible.

Sweet potato makes a delicious chip. Obviously, it's a little bit sweeter. The edges are crispy and the center is usually soft. It's a nice contrast to a turnip, if you wanted to make a turnip chip or a turnip fry, it's nice to have the contrast of the sweet. Again, we're using the mandolin so our slices are thin and consistent, just like our regular potato. You can see that they're very thin.

So the beet is similar to the sweet potato. It's going to be a sweeter taste. The mandolin, again, is best for the beet because it's a very firm vegetable, it's hard to cut through. The slices are nice and thin and they are consistent.

No matter what type of vegetable you're making your chips with, the process is always the same. You add olive oil, salt and a little bit of pepper. The baking process for your vegetables will vary by the type of vegetable that you're using. The sweet potato will take about 20 to 25 minutes. The regular potato will take about half an hour.

The zucchini have to cook at a very low temperature. They burn very quickly. So you're almost dehydrating your zucchini chips. And they'll cook for over an hour in a 225 oven. The beets also burn quickly because of the sugar content. They actually are covered for the first 10 minutes of the cooking, and then they're uncovered until they crisp up.

So our sweet potatoes are coated, they're seasoned, and they're ready to go on the pan. The temperature for the potatoes is 400 degrees. So all of our chips are done and plated up. And they look beautiful. They're all different colors. And these are delicious but they're also very healthy because they're made with olive oil. So you're getting a very healthy type of fat, mono unsaturated fat.

The sweet potato chips and the zucchini should be eaten right away. They will become soft if they're sitting out for a little while. They can be put into the toaster oven to crisp up again. The beet chips should stay crispy with a soft center. And the regular potato chips will also stay crispy for a little bit longer.

It's delicious. So with my background in community nutrition I can guarantee you that these are healthy and that these are delicious and that you could eat a whole plate if you wanted to.

Veggie Chips