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Old 08-07-2012, 05:37 PM   #1
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Vegetable crisp snacks - suggestions

Hey,

I am currently on a search for healthy vegetable crisp snacks. I was first inspired and amazed when I tried to roast beans and got a beautiful, crunchy and healthy snack. So I thought that now I want to get creative and experiment with other vegetables as the idea of vegetables crisp snacks is a blessing for me.

During my recent "experiment" I thought I would do the same as I did for the beans but with marrow/summer squash/zucchini (whatever name works best) and bell peppers. I sliced these vegetables and put them in the oven. HOWEVER the magic that occured with the beans did not occur with the marrow and peppers - thus, I put them back in the oven for another 40 minutes (so that's 40 minutes + 40 minutes) and some came out black and burned but still soggy and no where near being crunchy.

I concluded that only starchy vegetables like potatoes, root vegetables and beans (I believe beans are starchy) could be used. And as I'm not a fan of potatoes and many root vegetables, I accepted my failed result, cut my loses short and moved on.

HOWEVERRR then I remembered that there is an exception to this rule I hypothesised - kale crisps!! I have recently seen these in a shop. If only starchy vegetables and root vegetables can turn crispy from roasting then why does this happen with kale???

This is fabulous for me as it means hope is back, in the sense that maybe other non-starchy, non-root vegetables could be used.

My question is why can kale be used??

And more importantly, please give suggestions for other vegetables that can be used to make vegetables crisps with. Does this mean kale-like vegetables can also be used such as cabbage and a favourite of mine - MUSHROOMS???

Furthermore, can one get crispy vegetables by using for example other leafy vegetables like spinach, lettuce, and how about broccoli, cauliflower, asparagus, brussel sprouts, peas, sweetcorn? I assume vegetables with water content that is too high won't work such as tomatoes, cucumbers and bell peppers (as I found out from first hand experience!).

Many thanks for the help guys!

I feel there will be light at the end of this tunnel!

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Old 08-07-2012, 05:44 PM   #2
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There are a lot of good recipes for kale chips. I've been meaning to try some. You can also make microwave potato, sweet potato, and turnip chips. Just make sure you slice them very thin. I made some dehydrated watermelon last week, it tastes like cotton candy! Thinly sliced carrots might work. Mushrooms dehydrate beautifully. Cuke slices and bananas also make good chips. Tomatoes dehydrate well, but you want them leathery, not crunchy.

If you can, try a dehydrator. Just about anything can be dehydrated! Think about a packet of Knorr or Lipton vegetable soup mix, all the vegetables have been dehydrated.
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Old 08-07-2012, 05:46 PM   #3
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You can also do rutabaga crisps. I'm wondering if bok choy could be made into chips...currently have a bumper crop of bok choy...
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Old 08-07-2012, 05:53 PM   #4
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I would give it a shot, CWS. Bet they'd be good.
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Old 08-10-2012, 07:08 AM   #5
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Thanks for the tips guys.

I might consider a dehydrator in the future as I'm not in a position to get one right now.

About making crispy snacks through roasting I keep getting strange results. The type of snack I am trying to make is crispy-crunchy chip like snacks (so more like roasted soy beans you get in the shop rather than deep fried potatoes that have a soft bit in the middle). The problem is I keep getting results that are less like snacks (so less crispy and crunchy) and are more like the vegetables you get in a roast dinner where the soggy and moist nature of the vegetable is still present.

Can you please give me recommendations the different oven or grilling method (as I don't have a dehydrator) that can be used to make crispy crunchy snacks, and the method if I would like them to be chewy. For example, you know shop bought banana chips, well some of them come out chewy but some are crunchy like a pack of crisps.
I would appreciate it if you guys could gives suggestions about how to achieve these two different results.

Many thanks

P.S. I made kale and it was nice and crispy, although a bit too thin for my liking, it was nonetheless crispy which was good. Strangely, I left it in an air tight bag to consume later and a few days later it completely lost its crispy nature and became dry and soggy - I was very surprised! Store bought kale chips, I would not imagine would loss their crispiness so that's another bizarre result I have had.
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Old 08-10-2012, 07:28 AM   #6
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I've never had any kale chips left, so haven't had to come up with a storage idea for them. Maybe re-crisping them in the oven for 3-5 minutes would work.

I've got TWO huge heads of bok choy here, so I'm going to make a tray of bok choy chips. If they aren't to my liking, I have 20 laying hens that will probably eat them! Heck, while I'm at it, I might as well do beet crisps and zucchini crisps.

Use a mandolin to slice the veggies so they are paper thin.
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Old 08-11-2012, 06:47 PM   #7
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I'm glad you mentioned the mandolin slicer device! I have not heard of it before and after reading up about it, I think I'm going get one. It would definitely make getting thinner slices easier for aubergines, courgettes, mushrooms, celeriac, and radishes - which are some of my favourite vegetables for snacking on but are sometimes difficult to cut into very thin slices.

Also, I must admit that the more I read about a dehydrator and its benefits, the more tempting it's becoming to get one. The only problem is logistics logistic meaning the space factor - where do I put it, and is the investment worth it? Only time will tell if veggie crisps will become a habitual part of my life.
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Old 08-11-2012, 06:53 PM   #8
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My mandolines and my dehydrator are purchases I have never regretted. For chips, a mando is a necessity. You can use a vegetable peeler, but it's not the same. A mando-proof glove is nice too. And dehydrators, if you look around, are not at all expensive.

I store my dehydrator in a bag in the basement. In the summer and fall, it's on my kitchen counter as I use it so much.
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Old 08-12-2012, 09:49 AM   #9
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I think I'm going to get a dehydrator.

Only problem now is which one. Please make recommendations. I have read that Nesco type dehydrators work fine and they seem to have the most positive reviews on amazon. However, the Excalibar also has a lot of support - the only problem with the Excalibar reviews is that many of them seem biased in the sense that they are made by people that are trying to sell the product, just the impression I get. So there seems to be more market hype for the Excalibar and more non-commerical support for the Nesco.

Thanks
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Old 08-12-2012, 10:30 AM   #10
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Another quick question! If I decide to dehydrate 9 trays worth of mushrooms for example and then store them in 25g bags are tight bags to consume as a snack in a month or two, from your experience would you say that the mushrooms will stay crispy crunchy??

As I said earlier my kale crisps became soggy and although I could reroast them, my aim is to be able to grab a bag of CRISPY vegetable chips and just eat them on the go, making a new batch every 2 months maybe.
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