Anyone else always game for a new and healthy make at home snack? If so, this post for oven baked sweet potato chips with dairy free ranch dip is made for YOU!
I will be the first to admit that I have something of an addiction to chips. Yep. They are definitely what I would consider to be my "snack vice”.
One of those things that you just don't keep in the house unless you’re prepared for the inevitable gravitational pull to the cupboard. I have switched gears over the last several years to a more (ahem) “healthier” variety - if you can actually ever call chips that. Think red and purple potatoes fried in either avocado or coconut oil - thus avoiding all the junky oils that chips are usually fried in. Not to mention all the other no bueno ingredients that are in all the bags that line an ENTIRE AISLE at the grocery store. Guess I’m not the only one with a weak spot for the crunchy salty fix.
On one recent trip to the store while I was reaching for my favorite bag of avocado oil chips, I heard a quote from Michael Pollan’s book “Food Rules: An Eater’s Manual” running through my head - “Eat all the junk food you want as long as you cook it yourself.”
Which, when you think about it really is a brilliant way of allowing you and your family to indulge in some of the treats you love, by making healthier versions of them, and without getting sucked into the convenience of these foods that are so prevalent in our food culture.
So with this philosophy in mind, I decided to forgo the packaged chip purchase and instead continue my pursuit of anti-oxidant rich, anti-inflammatory, blood sugar regulating, crispy sweet potato GOODNESS.
I knew from past experience that achieving crispy sweet potato nirvana is not an easy task. But sometimes, when things don’t turn out right the first time, you just have to try again (and again… and again… ) until you find success.
Oven baked sweet potato chips are definitely worth getting right.
HOW TO MAKE CRISPY OVEN BAKED SWEET POTATO CHIPS
The biggest challenge with baked sweet potato chips is getting them to cook evenly and crisp up before they burn.
I found a couple of key things to start this process off in the right way
- Slice the sweet potatoes as thinly and as uniformly as possible. Shoot for a goal thickness of about 1/8 of an inch. You can do this step with a sharp knife, however I found that no matter how good your knife skills are, you’ll probably end up with quite a bit of size variance - which means the chips will be ready at different times, and may not end up cooking evenly (i.e.: the thinner side of a slice burns before the thicker side has a chance to get crispy). The absolute best way that I found to get even and THIN slices is to use a mandoline. I use and LOVE a version of this one (link: https://www.amazon.
com/OXO-Good-Grips-Mandoline- Slicer/dp/B0000DAQ8B/ref=sr_1_ 6?ie=UTF8&qid=1503362851&sr=8- 6&keywords=oxo+mandoline). Mine is a little bit older than this model but it’s essentially the same thing. If you don’t have one, don’t sweat it, just keep your hand as steady as possible. If you decide to use a knife, stabilize the sweet potato by slicing just a very little bit off the length of the bottom - this way the potato will sit still on the cutting board while you slice away.
- Soak the sweet potato slices in water for 30 minutes to an hour to release some of the extra starches that can prevent them from crisping up.
- Make sure they are completely dry before coating with oil and baking.
- Line your baking sheet with tinfoil and brush with a small amount of oil to promote crisping and prevent sticking.
- Toss slices with only just enough oil. This will help them crisp and dry up at the same time for the perfect crunchy bite.
That might sound like a lot of information for just a sweet potato chip - but after spending a gazillion hours baking them, I feel like I owe you a distillation of everything I learned along the way.
And it is true that these chips are a fair amount of work to make - not something that you would make a large quantity of. Probably just enough to tuck a few into the kiddo’s lunches during the week, or share as a family for movie night.
And because every delicious and perfectly crispy chip deserves an equally delicious dip…
Let’s talk ranch dressing!
HOW TO MAKE DAIRY FREE RANCH DRESSING
This ranch dressing is free from:
- yucky vegetables oils
- and artificial flavors.
Only simple, nourishing ingredients go in (ALL THE HEALTHY FATS!), so you can feel good about sharing this much loved (and often equated with unhealthy) sauce with the whole fam-bamly.
PLUS! When you pair healthy fats with a beta-carotene rich food such as sweet potatoes, you significantly increase your absorption.
Which translates to a very good reason to dip things in ranch dressing.
Which will undoubtedly make just about anyone happy.
The ranch all starts with a super basic homemade avocado oil mayo (some of which you will have leftover to save for other culinary uses! It easily keeps in the refrigerator for several weeks), after which you add a few extra goodies for flavoring:
- fresh dill
- garlic powder
- onion powder
- white wine vinegar
- black pepper
- plus a little tiny bit of maple syrup to round out all the flavors
The recipe below will produce a thicker ranch dressing, if you want to thin it out you can easily do so by whisking in a little bit of water at a time until you reach the desired consistency.
My advice to you when making these chips is to approach the recipe with patience, and read the instructions carefully before you begin. If you have any questions to be a stranger - reach out to me via email or on social media and ask away!
Thanks for reading and here’s to taking the time to savor the things you love the most!
Oven baked sweet potato chips with dairy free ranch dip
Makes about 4 servings
FOR SWEET POTATO CHIPS
2 small organic sweet potatoes, scrubbed clean
1 tbsp + 1 tsp avocado oil, divided
1/4 tsp fine sea salt
a few grinds of black pepper
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/8 tsp garlic powder
FOR DAIRY FREE RANCH DIP
1 pasture raised egg
3 tbsp lemon juice
3/4 tsp sea salt salt
1 1/2 cups avocado oil
a few grinds of black pepper
1/8 tsp garlic powder
1/8 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp maple syrup
1/4 tsp more salt
1 tsp white wine vinegar
1 tbsp fresh dill, chopped (or 1 tsp dried)
FOR SWEET POTATO CHIPS
- Thinly slice sweet potatoes using a sharp knife, as evenly and as close to 1/8 an inch thick as you can get. If you have a mandolin that will make this step a lot easier. If you’re using a knife you can stabilize the sweet potato for cutting by slicing just a very little bit off the length of the bottom - this way the potato will sit still on the cutting board while you slice.
- Soak sweet potatoes in a bowl of water for 30 minutes to an hour - this extracts some of the starches from the potatoes, and will make them more crispy and less chewy.
- Drain and rinse well several times, until water from potatoes runs clear.
- Lay flat in a single layer in between two cloth towels, and pat thoroughly dry.
- Preheat oven to 325 and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
- Pour 1 teaspoon avocado oil onto aluminum foil lined baking sheet and spread evenly with a paper towel. Place lined baking sheet into the oven while oven pre-heats to warm up the pan.
- Place dried sweet potato slices, 1 tbsp avocado oil, salt and spices in a large bowl and toss to evenly coat.
- Place sweet potatoes on foil lined baking sheet in a single layer, without overlapping. Don’t crowd the pan - you will probably need to bake this amount of potatoes in two batches.
- Bake for 15 minutes, flip and bake for another 12-15 minutes. You may want to peek in on them at about the 12 minute mark to make sure they’re not burning. One batch that I made about half of them were ready to come out at the 12 minute mark, and another batch none were ready. I think it just depends on the slices, and how crowded your tray is.
- Remove from oven - at this point some of the thinner chips will be done and you can move them to a paper towel lined plate. While they won’t be totally crisp when they’re done, they will feel firm and non-pliable - they’ll crispy up more when they have cooled.
- Flip and return the baking sheet to the oven and bake another 3-5 minutes.
- Check to see if any more are done and continue this process until all sweet potatoes are crisp and finished.
- Chip will stay crisp for several days if stored in an airtight container.
FOR RANCH DIP
- Using a food processor or blender, blend together egg, lemon juice and salt.
- While the motor is running pour in avocado oil in a very slow stream. Run motor for another 30 seconds or so after oil has all been added to fully emulsify.
- Congratulations! You have just made avocado oil mayo :)
- Transfer 1/2 cup of the mayo to a mixing bowl. The rest of the mayo can be stored in your refrigerator for another use - it will keep for up to several weeks.
- Add dill, garlic powder, onion powder, black pepper, sea salt, maple syrup and white wine vinegar to the bowl with 1/2 cup of mayo in it. Whisk together until smooth and serve alongside sweet potato chips!
Recipe and photographs by Nyssa of Nyssa's Kitchen