Beet It-Just Beet It-Woo!

>> Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Did the title get you to sing the MJ song? You're welcome. :)

So I mentioned before that I did some dehydrating over the weekend. Awhile back I received an email from someone who was asking about dehydrating beets – how to get them crispy. Honestly, I’ve never tried beets before. I’m not a huge raw beet fan except in juices. Typically, I like my beets roasted. However, beets are so pretty and earthy and full of wonderful nutrients that I was willing to try my hand at this. You never know, taste buds change and I might end up loving them.

I don't have many pics because it was late from when I first put them to when I got them out so here's one:

For my experiment, I bought a bunch of organic beets (3 medium sized ones to this particular bunch) and one gigantic sweet potato (it was orange flesh – a yam? A sweet potato? I don’t know –can’t remember the variety).

I found a basic recipe and how-to from Mommypotamus and got my veggies cleaned up and ready to go. For the beets, I followed her recipe but adjusted the oil for three beets instead of two (probably a mistake right there - see the pic? some beets are a little too shiny) and then for the sweet potato I upped the oil to 3 tbsps to accommodate its obese size and added in some Italian seasoning (much like as though I were baking them as fries).

Now, I do have a small, hand-held mandolin which actually scares me a little, okay, a lot. The blade is ceramic and sharp as anything and believe me, I know from experience. Cheese graters scare me too. I’ve got scars on my knuckles from those things but anyway, I have sliced part of my thumb off on this stupid mandolin of mine. For this though, I managed to stay intact and injury-free!

I sliced both veggies on the thinnest setting (0.5 on mine) which for the beets still seemed a bit too thick and at times a bit too thin for the sweet potato. After coating/mixing the veggies I put them onto the Teflex sheets. I started with six trays, four of them were just sweet potato! I put them in at 115 degrees for about two hours before I removed the Teflex sheets and put them on the mesh screens. They dried the rest of the way like this for a total for 20 hours.

In the end, the sweet potatoes were crunchy like chips with good flavor but I think sweet potatoes have a less than smooth texture when kept raw. For the most part, this doesn’t bother me but still prefer baked fries because I like them squishy soft in the middle. The beets, well, they were still chewy (bummer). I needed to slice them thinner and can’t achieve that with the mandolin I have. Mommypotamus does suggest finishing them up in the oven if you want them crispy if you can't get them thinner. So depending on your views or preference, you may agree or disagree with that last step. I didn’t do that but should’ve tried it though because I like my chips crispy. I’m still getting used to the flavor of raw beets – these chips still hold that earthy flavor well and I take that as a good thing plus they're much healthier than fried beet chips.

Okay, this post was probably longer than it should've been for simply reliving my experience with dehydrating beets but hey, whatchya gonna do? hee hee!

Thanks to Mommypotamus for her recipe, suggestions and how-to’s and thanks to my reader who asked me in the first place and got me inspired to try raw beet chips.

I’ll probably attempt beets again but down the road sometime. Hands down though, my favorite dehydrated veggie chips still stand as kale (cheesy, of course!) and zucchini.

Have any of you successfully dehydrated beets?
What are your favorite dehydrated veggie chips (whether bought/made for you or you make yourself)?

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