I’m a shameless snacker. Snack. Graze. Nibble. Whatever you want to call it, I do it. Sometimes I just want a little bit — an appetizer — before my dinner. Normally though, I’m snacking because I want to give myself some energy before a workout. One of the foods I’ve avoided since I started really watching my calorie intake has been potato chips, specifically kettle chips. Several recipes for homemade chips have come up on my Pinterest, so I figured I’d try them out. Now, these sweet potato chips are my favorite healthy food swap.
Are they labor-intensive? Yes, a little. But the mandolin and olive oil mister my family got me for my birthday (how wild and crazy of me, right?) make the process much simpler. If you don’t have a veggie slicer, just slice the potato as thin as you can with a very sharp knife (maybe wear an oven mitt to help hold the potato while you slice to help avoid cutting yourself), and if you don’t have a mister, pour a teaspoon of olive oil into a bowl large enough to hold all of your slices and toss them in until they are decently coated.
Why do I like sweet potato chips over regular potato chips? Soooo many reasons. When I started planning this post, this article from Lose It! popped up on my app. (Lose It! has been one of the greatest tools I’ve come across in my weight loss journey, and it’s free!)
Sweet potatoes pack a much bigger nutritional punch than regular white potatoes. For a similar number of calories (100 grams of sweet potato has about 7 more calories than 100 grams of a russet potato), sweet potatoes provide more than twice the fiber (3 grams vs. 1.3 grams) and 283% of your daily needs of vitamin A (russet potatoes have no vitamin A). …
So sweet potatoes reign supreme in fiber and beta carotene. But why exactly are those two nutrients important for weight loss? Fiber helps to fill you up faster, keeps your digestive system healthy, and helps with blood sugar regulation. Beta carotene, like other antioxidants, supports the immune system, helps you to absorb nutrients, and keeps your body’s cells protected from damage caused by oxidative stress.
It’s a good idea to eat a bit of fat with your sweet potato-containing-meals. Research has shown that this minimal amount of fat increases the amount of beta carotene that your body can absorb and use. This makes sense – in the body, beta carotene is changed into vitamin A, which is a fat-soluble vitamin. Even just 1 teaspoon of olive oil will do the trick!” –Lose It!
Now that you’ve made it through all that reading, you deserve a snack.
1 small-medium sweet potato (roughly 5″ long)
salt (to taste)
olive oil (1 tsp, if not using a mister)
Peel the potato. I used to hate using that thing to peel apples as a kid, and all I could think of when I did use it were pirate movies where they sent someone to the galley to peel barrels of potatoes as a punishment. Anyway….
Slice the ends of of the potato so that the new flat side will have a diameter of at least 1.5″. With the mandolin set to the smallest setting (mine is 1/16″, I probably wouldn’t go smaller than that), slide the potato across the mandolin. Be sure to watch your fingers as it gets smaller!
Once you’ve entirely sliced the potato — remember, it will shrink up a bit in the microwave, so the smaller your slices, the smaller the chip — arrange them in a circle on top of parchment paper on a microwave-safe plate. Don’t overcrowd the plate, either; slices should only overlap a little bit. Depending on the size of your plate or the number of slices you get out of the potato, you may have to do two batches.
Next, you’ll lightly spritz them with the olive oil mister. (If you don’t have a mister, toss the potato slices in a bowl with the olive oil first, and then do this step.) You don’t want the slice to get overly moist, as that can affect how crisp they get. Sprinkle with salt to taste.
Place the plate in the microwave and cook the chips for 6 minutes. You may have to play around with the times; I normally microwave for 6.5 minutes, but you just have to keep an eye on them and see how they’re looking. If they still seem a little mushy, try cooking them a little longer in increments of 30 seconds. The plate will be very hot when it’s done, so use an oven mitt or a potholder to remove it from the microwave. Let chips cool for a couple of minutes. Enjoy!
What is your favorite super-easy, healthy snack?