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Beet me up, Scotty!

July 2, 2012

Crunchy Beetroot Chips

Having a new toy (read kitchen appliance) is like having a new project for me. My recent acquisition of a dehydrator has left me yearning for more free time to explore its possibilities…. who needs a clean shower anyway?!

And where would we be without the internet? A cornucopia of infinite information, some good, some not so good, recipes that work and recipes that don’t. A recipe is a list of instructions, a communication which can be interpreted many different ways, no matter how exact and instructive. And how a recipe is conveyed in true life can depend on the person, the mood and even the weather!! I am notorious for not following a recipe to the letter, for making a “tweak” here and there and then, the end product becomes my own interpretation which all makes for the fun of it.

Anyway, I digress, I was talking about my new dehydrator. At first I thought that the machine would be limited to activating nuts and drying fruit. But having investigated its potential, I find a whole new world out there of raw food advocates and fruit roll ups!!

My love of nuts has created an unfortunate gain in kilos so I have been experimenting with beetroot chips and eggplant jerky which makes for an interesting dimension to my afternoon snack. I have come to the conclusion that unless you want to use copious amounts of oil, to get “crispy” beetroot chips, you will have to be satisfied with a “crunchy” chip in this version of my recipe for Beetroot chips. Don the gloves!

3 large beetroot, peeled
50ml water
50ml vinegar
2 teas olive oil
1/4 teas salt (optional)
As thinly as you can, slice the beetroot. A mandoline* is good, but I do it by hand. Mix together the dressing ingredients and toss through the beetroot, ensuring it is coated on all sides and let it sit for 20 minutes. Spread out onto the dehydrator trays and dry for 12 hours at 50ºC, depending on how thin the chips are. They will shrink to almost a third of their original size, so don’t be alarmed. I tend to salt them as without salt, they are very sweet. They will be crunchier on cooling, but if not continue drying…. I am going to try carrot & parsnip next.
*I had a beautiful commercial French mandoline for years but rarely used it as I was too afraid of it!! You can get a cheap version from the Asian grocers which do a really good job.
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