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Published July 19th 2021
A healthier chip made at home
The cut sweet potatoes
Sweet potatoes, potatoes, and a few other vegetables can be made into crisps but there are a few catches involved, so hopefully, this article can guide one through the novelty of making one's very own packet-style crisps. This started totally spontaneously. It took a surprising amount of chip cooking for me to suddenly think outside of the square, but when I did, it became better because freshly made is best They were thinner and took longer to make, so overall I was cooking more and consuming less, and obtaining more overall benefits, so to speak.
Sweet potatoes and canola oil have many health benefits and are not such a bad combination. However, I feel the dish is high in calories, although one hidden benefit is the standing and moving to cook one bag of crisps worth is much better than getting a factory-made bag at the grocery shop. You can, of course, cut them in any shape you like as well (see photos). This can also be achieved with an air fryer - in fact, it's arguably more suited to an air fryer as seen in this recipe.
There was also some research on the high heat used in factories which can cause cancer, so my lower heat deep-fried chips that go crispy upon resting and drying off, may be advantageous there, and it's a great way to avoid bought crisps. I can't see how it is more unhealthy and I have almost stopped my bought crisps habit since realising I can use up some old veggies with my method, despite having to clean up an overflow. I certainly learnt from that and am now set in my way of only cooking chips fresh and not eating bought ones, and thus want to pass on that realisation and error fixes to others.
It does indeed take some work to cook a full bag of crisps - I used sweet potatoes so I could try the recipe a few times without taking the calories of regular potatoes. I mentioned catches, well, one catch is the thinness. If you hand cut, you need to be a very consistent kitchen hand, but if you have a slicer that can slice very thin, then that is highly useful for this activity. They need cut very thin as the photos indeed show. The other catch is the oil and the small batches that are safe to cook with - the oil needs a low heat, a low fill of oil, so plenty of remaining height in the saucepan and low amounts of cut potatoes added at one time. I recommend about 15 thin slices - the pan in the photos is 2 cm oil, 7 cm tall in total, and 17 cm width, using 350 ml canola oil. The idea is if you are patient and cook in small amounts, and are careful, you won't get overflow, and hence can get a delicious, fresh crisp, the way they were made before they were mass-produced.
Sweet potato crisps boiling in oil.
Ingredients are sweet potatoes and canola oil. You also need utensils, a saucepan, a stove, a chopping board and some bowls to put the crisps into. I like to line a bowl or plate with some kitchen paper to absorb oil. You can add salt to flavour as an option. Basically, after cutting as thin as possible, add 15 pieces to oil at a time, so it should bubble a lot because the thin pieces somehow make it bubble a lot. Cook on low heat, I tried 6/9 where 9 is the highest, so a medium heat, just hot enough to deep fry. And as I mentioned more than half your height of your saucepan should be empty space or, less than half the height is oil.
Cook in batches and cool the chips before consuming. There will be a few soft ones if you've hand cut them. I feel if they are all the same thinness and are as thin as possible, then you need 5-7 minutes in the saucepan, turning or nudging with something like tongs every 2 minutes. Remove with tongs and the cooling is so important, as some of the crisps get extra crunchy after a minute or two of rest.
The aim of this is to make crisps at home so by all means, enjoy this novelty, but the final emphatic message, is to follow this article, so fewer crisps per batch, less oil than half the pan's height, and medium heat only, and with patience and persistence, you'll be making crisps just like the factory!
The extra energy spent cooking small batch after batch makes a better inroad into the calories problem associated with gobbling lots of chippies. Although it likely won't compensate for the calories in what is mainly the oil, and if you use healthy veggies like gold sweet potatoes and cook patiently, avoiding overflow, and taking time, you'll have fun exercising and getting a few awesome chips as a small reward. That along with getting good thin cutting kitchen hand skills, if hand cutting the crisps.
The cooked crisp, and its thinness (and crispiness).