vegetable chips

March 22, 2012 · 42 comments

in food, healthy living, recipes

i think it’s pretty clear that i have been loving my dehydrator lately.

nesco dehydrator

but i haven’t actually shown you guys what i’ve made with it besides soggy macaroons thanks to adding 2x the amount of brown rice syrup….!

anyway, i have had some dehydrating successes as well and two of them were in the form of vegetable chips.

zucchini & sweet potato chips to be specific!

i made the zucchini chips first and just kind of winged it. i was shocked that they ended up being not only edible, but delicious!

 

zucchini chips

by sarah zinkel

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 4-8 hours

Keywords: raw snack vegan zucchini summer

ingredients (2-4 snack servings)

  • 3 medium-sized zucchini (approximately 6 inches in length)
  • 1 tsp sea salt

instructions

thinly and evenly slice zucchini (a mandolin would be best for this, but i don’t have one so i used a knife)

arrange in a single layer on dehydrator tray

sprinkle sea salt over chips

dehydrate at 115* until chips are crispy – mine took about 6 hours but this depends on how thick your chips are and the humidity of the environment when you dehydrate

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dehydrated zucchini chips

other than the sea salt flavor, i also made one tray of grated parmesan chips, one tray with a seasoning salt blend, and one using garlic salt.

my favorite flavors were the sea salt and the parmesan ones for sure!

after the awesome success of the zucchini chips, i decided dehydration was also the perfect fate for the two sweet potatoes i had hanging out on my counter…

sweet potato chips

by sarah zinkel

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 10-16 hours

Keywords: raw snack vegan sweet potato fall winter

ingredients (4 snack servings)

  • 2 sweet potatoes
  • 1 tsp sea salt

instructions

thinly and evenly slice sweet potatoes (a mandolin would be best for this, but i don’t have one so i used a knife)

arrange in a single layer on dehydrator tray

sprinkle sea salt over chips

dehydrate at 115* until chips are crispy – mine took about 12 hours but this depends on how thick your chips are and the humidity in the environment when you dehydrate

note: different flavors are great with these chips. you can substitute cayenne pepper, cinnamon sugar, or cumin for the sea salt or make your own flavor combinations!

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remember to store your chips in an airtight container so they don’t get soggy!

dehydrated sweet potato chips

these chips were so great to take in the car for our road trip. i snacked away and didn’t feel bad about it at all!

i’ve got more dehydrator adventures coming up to tell you about. they include my first attempt at juice pulp crackers and fruit leather!

***

it was rough coming back to work today. clearly i am easing in by writing this blog post first thing. ; )

thankfully, i’ve got a pretty laid-back schedule today and tomorrow. just one seminar today and nothing tomorrow (maybe a work-at-home day!). that means that i can concentrate on catching up with emails and the projects i’ve been working on without too many interruptions!

*****

do you have a dehydrator?

what kind of chips or treats do you think i should try next?

i want to make every kind of veggie chip under the sun!

do you know how these could be made in the oven?

i was looking for directions so people without a dehydrator could make these chips too. i thought i remembered seeing something about setting the oven at 150-200* and leaving the door cracked open an inch or two while cooking to convert dehydrator recipes to the oven. (i believe cook time was shortened to 3-4 hours too). i couldn’t remember where i saw that info though, so please correct me if i’m wrong!

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{ 41 comments… read them below or add one }

Lindsay @ The Lean Green Bean March 22, 2012 at 9:18 am

oooh so jealous you can make those sweet potato chips!
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sarah March 23, 2012 at 8:58 am

i just finished another batch of them this morning – this time with my newly purchased (ok – gift-carded!) mandolin. wow – so so so much better when they’re super thin & all evenly sliced!

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heather March 22, 2012 at 10:15 am

we have had a dehydrator in the kitchen at the office for almost three years now and still havent made a thing! [the dehydration cook books we have seem to have v. few recipes that take the amount of time in which I could get the making done while at the office. I'm only here 9-11 hours a day, you know? ]

these are going on the MUST MAKE ASAP list, now!
THANKS! :)
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sarah March 23, 2012 at 8:59 am

haha! yes yes yes! please make these (although – what kind of workplace has a dehydrator in the kitchen? sounds interesting! mine certainly doesn’t…).

helpful tip: a mandolin really helped make these chips so much better. i got one yesterday & made another batch last night – woke up this morning to perfectly crisp chips.

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Katie @ Katie Without Restrictions March 22, 2012 at 10:42 am

Um, I’m going to need you to STOP getting new things ~ you keep making me want them! Now I finally got a juicer, and you’re on to a dehydrator. ;)
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sarah March 23, 2012 at 9:01 am

lol, sorry dear.

i guess i’m a magnet for good deals on random kitchen appliances! first my $25 craigslist juicer and now my freeeeeeeeee dehydrator! i just can’t say no to them!

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Aparna B. @ Not A Leaf March 22, 2012 at 11:16 am

So does this mean if by some weird coincidence you end up being my foodie pen pal you’ll send me a bag of sweet potato chips? Or zucchini. I’m not picky :)
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sarah March 23, 2012 at 9:00 am

haha, you know it girl! maybe even some macaroons! :)

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Laura @ Sprint 2 the Table March 22, 2012 at 1:33 pm

If I send you money, can you just make me a bunch of these? They look amazing! You should do eggplant chips next. :)

I have used my oven as a dehydrator in the past – I put it on the lowest temp (170) and bakes for however long the item requires. Then I let them sit in the oven with the door cracked and the oven off. I made crackers like that and eggplant “jerky.” Not technically raw, but good!
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sarah March 23, 2012 at 9:02 am

i’ve never even heard of eggplant chips, but i’m definitely going to try them soon! just have to find some good eggplant – the ones at the supermarket yesterday did not look appealing.

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sarah March 23, 2012 at 9:02 am

oh yeah, and thanks for the oven tip! i’m going to add that info to the recipe!

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Laura @ Sprint 2 the Table March 23, 2012 at 10:44 am

I was combining 2 recipes in my head… I did PPK’s eggplant “bacon” (http://www.theppk.com/2011/10/eggplant-bacon/) once, and then modified a portobello jerky recipe for the oven here: http://www.sprint2thetable.com/2012/01/raw-ish-vegan-jerky-wiaw/

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emily (a nutritionist eats) March 22, 2012 at 2:51 pm

My parents have one and this fall they had TONS of kale in the garden so we made tray upon tray of kale. It was amazing. I brought bags with me along for our roadtrip to California.
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sarah March 23, 2012 at 9:00 am

that sounds glorious!

my grocery store was out of kale when i looked for it last week – and i just realized i forgot to check for it when i was there yesterday! kale chips are high on my list of things to make!

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RoseAnne August 10, 2012 at 9:17 pm

Emily – did you make the kale chips in the dehydrator? If so, did you just tear them up? Did you salt them? I’ve made them in the oven with oil and salt, but not the dehydrator.

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Liz J March 23, 2012 at 7:12 am

yummmmm !! especially if they are crispy! hope you found a mandolin!
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sarah March 23, 2012 at 9:08 am

i did i did!!! i forgot i had a gift card to younkers/boston store from our wedding registry rewards, so i went there and found a super super good one and the lady gave me an AWESOME deal on it! it was on sale from $99 down to $75 and then she added a 20% coupon they had even though i didn’t have the coupon to make it like $63! not bad!

i made another batch of sweet potato chips right away last night and tried them this morning – all perfectly & evenly sliced super thin = perfectly crunchy chippies! :)

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Kimberly (Badger Girl) April 5, 2012 at 4:15 pm

Those look so good. I tried some sweet potato chips but tried to do it in 6 hours. Didn’t work. My dehydrator only has high, medium, and low settings. Think this would be low?
Great recipes. :)
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Jaime's Journey's April 15, 2012 at 12:13 am

I just bought a bag of sweet potato chips today and they are delicious. They sound very easy to make so I am definately going to try your recipe!
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sarah April 22, 2012 at 6:09 pm

careful, they’re addicting!!! i polish off a whole batch of my homemade ones in a day or two!

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Lea H @ Nourishing Treasures July 19, 2012 at 8:34 am

Great recipes! I added them to my new 101 Dehydrator Recipes list. If you have more, please add them here: Dehydrator Recipes link-up.
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Sean's Mum August 11, 2012 at 5:31 pm

Hi, Sarah! I love the idea of the zucchini chips, but when I made my first batch today, I couldn’t budge them from the dehydrator trays when they were finished…They just crumbled like tiny sheets of paper! Did I have my mandoline set on too thin a slice? Do you spray your trays with cooking spray before you put on the slices? I also have fine screens for drying herbs and solid trays for make fruit roll ups. Would one of those other trays work better, do you think? I’m not giving up; I’ll keep tweaking, but whatever suggestions you have would be much appreciated!

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sarah August 12, 2012 at 9:59 pm

hmm, i haven’t made zucchini chips in a while, but i don’t remember if i sprayed the dehydrator trays. i don’t think i did! maybe they stayed in too long? you could definitely try spraying your trays – what kind of dehydrator do you use? i don’t think you should have to use a different tray…

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janine September 13, 2012 at 10:46 am

@ Sean’s Mum: the first time I made zucchini chips, mine came out exactly like yours…zucchini paper!! If you have a thicker slice on your mandolin, try that. Mine worked out much better when sliced a bit thicker, even though you might think they look too thick! By the time they are done they are perfect! I have the excalibur 9 tray and I did not spray my trays. Hope this helps! Sweet potato chips are next on my dehydrating agenda!!

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Sean's Mum September 13, 2012 at 5:24 pm

Janine, Thanks so much for your response! Yes, I do have adjustable thickness on my mandoline, and with your encouragement, I’m ready to give it another try! Here goes… ;-)

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3 generations and a dog September 23, 2012 at 10:30 pm

2 things you might be interested in considering: 1) Consider getting a home model meat slicer for faster and even slicing of all shaped fruits/veggies foods. 2) Read up on which foods you might want to cosinder blanching first to preserve the most enzymes . All depends on the reasons you are dehydrating :)

Cauliflower “popcorn” – give it a try :)

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Banjoza September 28, 2012 at 8:04 am

How do you make cauliflower popcorn, @ 3 generations and a dog?

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3 generations and a dog October 25, 2012 at 9:33 am
Whitney October 24, 2012 at 10:24 am

Have you ever made Onion Chips? If so, what’s the best way to make them? Oven/Deyhydrator? I had them at a tailgate party and have craved them ever since. They weren’t tough, just perfect airy and tastey.

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Sandy December 5, 2012 at 4:04 pm

I just found your site and I already love it! I did a Google search on “making zucchini chips in dehyderator.” And voila! there you were. I had tried making some last week in the oven and they did not get crisp. They would start burning before they got crisp. I know it sounds weird but no matter what temp I tried it didn’t work. I also used sea salt to season. I have had my Nesco for years and have rarely used it. We used to make deer jerky with it but we got a smoker and use that now. So I am dragging that thing out of my pantry and I am going to try these ASAP! Thank you very much. I can’t wait to see what else you have on your site!

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sarah December 8, 2012 at 8:46 am

hi sandy! i’m glad you found my blog! i don’t have luck making vegetable chips in the oven either. i tend to burn them…

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Sandy December 6, 2012 at 11:58 am

I tried the chips slicing them with my Salad Shooter and seasoning with sea salt. For some reason they were just not as flavorful as the ones I made in my oven a while back. Some stuck but I found if I pushed from the underside of the tray they popped right off. I think I may have gotten them too them. My booklet said to dry between 135-145 so next time I will try at a lower temperature. My dehyderator is just like yours, Sarah! I do have one of the Pampered Chef mandolins, maybe I will try that next time as well. How thick did you slice yours? Thank you.

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sarah December 8, 2012 at 8:48 am

oh no! i’m sorry your chips didn’t have much flavor. i’ve never had that problem. i have to make sure i’m not too heavy-handed with the seasonings when i make them! i definitely used a VERY thin setting on my mandolin. maybe around 1/8th of an inch? i definitely did not have good results when i did it by hand or with my cheaper mandolin. it was definitely a splurge, but a good mandolin was so worth it for me!

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Jenn December 26, 2012 at 9:07 pm

Why did my chips turn out so tough???? I was on a slightly higher temp 135 in my dehydrator. I used my food processor to slice sweet potatoes. It slices pretty thin but maybe not thin enough???

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sarah December 27, 2012 at 10:07 pm

there are a couple possibilities i can think of for why your chips are tough – the slices might have been too thick or they might not have dehydrated long enough. different dehydrators vary for dehydrating time. also, i find that using a lower temperature for a longer time results in the best texture of chips!

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Hallie May 1, 2013 at 7:10 pm

I had a bumper crop of turnips and carrots, I made some fantastic veggie chips with them, I seasoned them with salt, pepper, garlic and onion powder. left them in the dehydrator for around 10 hours, they were great!

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Kath June 14, 2013 at 2:48 pm

Hallie, did you dehydrate the turnips and carrots raw? Or did you blanch them?

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Sabine July 10, 2013 at 10:44 am

I love it, that your recipe is not drowning the veggies in oil as some of the Youtube videos suggest.

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lisa November 14, 2013 at 3:17 am

I have had two goes at making sweet potato chips in my dehydrator and both times they turned out rubbery and awful. they had a powdery texture as well. Not sure what I have done wrong but hesitant to try them again. I left them for about 6 hours the firt time and longer the second time and they just shriveled up to nothing the second time Any tips?

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Sarah Zinkel November 17, 2013 at 8:52 pm

how thin did you cut the chips? what temperature did you set your dehydrator to?

i would check both of those things first. i’m not sure why you had such trouble, but i found that the thinner i slice my sweet potatoes, the better! otherwise it’s VERY difficult to get them crispy.

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brittany March 12, 2014 at 10:41 am

My chips never got crispy. Just leathery. :( I left them in the dehydrator FOREVER too. What do you think I did wrong?

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