Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Baked Beet Chips

photo courtesy of Pinchmysalt

Beets. I remember my first encounter with them as a high school student. I was working my very first job in a local nieghborhood restaurant and one of my responsibilities was to make the salads that were ordered. They had the usual salad bar suspects - lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, red onions, etc. One item on the bar that I found were peculiar were chopped beets. These super red chunks swimming in purplish red liquid skeeved me out. First off, I wasn't even sure if they were a fruit or a vegetable!

When I tried one from the salad bar, I immediately thought they tasted like super sweet corn kernels straight from the can... or at least smelled like it came out of a can of corn. Since then I decided I wasn't going to subject myself to beet anywhere near my plate or mouth. It just didn't do anything for me and the color was enough to make me think twice.

Aaaah, but time has changed my view on beets. At upscale restaurants among colleagues I was served roasted beets with sweet orange segments and forced myself to eat them so I wouldn't look rude at the table. When I joined a CSA program, I got a handful of beets and didn't have the heart to throw them out so I roasted them. At the grocery store, I was surprised to learn one of my favorite brands of vegetable chips (Terra Chips) were made with beets.

So if you were like me and were skeptical about this ruby red root vegetable, I'm here to encourage you to give them a try - in many different forms. One particular form I enjoy beets in is chips! They are super easy to make and healthy too...

Baked Beet Chips
recipe from Recipezaar

4 beets, scrubbed -do not peel
nonstick cooking spray
kosher or sea salt to taste

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Using the slicing blade of your food processor, a mandoline or a sharp knife, slice beets thinly. You want them to be the size of a potato chip.

Spread evenly on a cookie sheet, spray with nonstick spray and season with salt.

Roast 45 minutes to 1 hour, turning halfway through, until crisp. Check often to make sure they don't burn. You may need to roast for a shorter or longer period of time depending on your oven and how crisp you want them - so keep an eye on them.

Serve as is, or with sour cream or another favorite dip.