It’s officially March and we finally had a snow day. After multiple incidences of having our high hopes for a snow day being crushed, we had not one, but TWO snow days in a row here in Baltimore. The thrill of having a day with no classes propelled me to bake something and I wanted that ‘something’ to be healthy.
My good friend Jeana came back to school from winter break with several Ziploc gallon bags stuffed with baked apple chips. She shared them with a bunch of friends in class and we were all immediately hooked. Her mom uses a dehydrator to make large batches of chips, without adding anything else! This inspired me to make my own version of healthy chips with sweet potatoes, that have been lying around in my pantry waiting to be put to use.
I love sweet potatoes – not only are they delicious, they can also be cooked in a variety of ways and are good for you. They are rich in vitamins and minerals but are most well-known for having many carotenoids, which explains their orange color. These carotenoids improve vision as well as increase immunity to disease, such as cancer. What more can you ask for in a simple, yummy, and addicting snack?!
BAKED SWEET POTATO CHIPS
2 large sweet potatoes
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp salt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet (or 2) with parchment paper.
Rinse and dry sweet potatoes. Slice them thinly with a mandolin or sharp knife. In a large bowl, toss with olive oil and salt. Place on parchment paper (they don’t have to be very spread out since they shrink in the oven).
Bake for 10 minutes. Flip chips over and bake for another 10 minutes. Watch closely towards the end. Take out the browning chips, which are usually the smaller ones.
Let the chips cool for 5-10 minutes so they crisp up. If they are still moist/chewy then you can put them in the oven again for 1-2 minutes.
Repeat with remaining sweet potato slices.
adapted from The Minimalist Baker
The freshman dining hall that I dreaded last year has had some major changes – so major that I actually prefer going there than any other dining hall. One of the main draws is that they consistently served sweet potato fries, every day! They have even served sweet potato quiches! This is a huge deal for someone who is as big of a sweet potato fan as me.
I buy sweet potatoes from the grocery market and make sweet potato fries in the toaster oven or microwave them. The great thing about them is that they can taste great just plain and are healthy! This time, I got fancy and added some toppings. I cooked some turkey bacon and apple chunks and simply stuffed them into a sweet potato that I baked in the toaster oven. So simple!
Sweet potatoes have a huge amount of beta-carotene and vitamin A. Not only are your taste buds going to enjoy them, but they are great for your vision and cardiovascular health. I usually make one sweet potato at a time as a snack or small meal, but you can make more for your family and friends!
APPLE BACON STUFFED SWEET POTATO
1 sweet potato
1 slice (turkey) bacon, chopped
1 apple, diced
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
Poke holes in sweet potato with a fork and wrap tightly in aluminum foil.
Bake for 45-60 minutes at 350 degrees F until potato is soft inside. Unwrap foil and cut a slit down the middle of each sweet potato. Let sit until cool enough to handle.
While potatoes are baking, heat a skillet over medium heat. Add bacon and cook until crispy and place on a paper towel to drain.
Add apple chunks to the skillet with nutmeg, cinnamon, salt and pepper and cook until soft. Toss bacon back into the skillet and set aside.
Spoon the apple bacon mixture on top and serve!