Since my son’s diagnosis as coeliac we’ve had to take a look at everything we eat and see how it can fit in with a gluten free diet. With the sun showing a lot more of itself recently, the prospect of a picnic becomes a real one, and one which usually involves a bag of crisps. We don’t eat many crisps, but they kind of have to be involved in a picnic. The trouble is that many crisps seem to not be gluten free, due to different flavourings and being unable to guarantee that no cross-contamination occurs in the factory. As a result, we have a limited source of commercially available crisps (although PomBears are gluten free and were a favourite anyway). This, and the discovery of a rogue beetroot at the allotment when digging last week, led me to the decision to make our own. I can guarantee no cross-contamination; it’s my kitchen.
Vegetable crisps have been around for a while, probably since the mid-19th century when the potato crisp was also popularised, however they have never been a mass market snack. They are however, delicious. They’re also pretty simple to make.
You will need (for the equivalent of a large bag of crisps)
1 large carrot
1 large parsnip
Oil for frying (I used rape-seed oil, but any mild flavoured oil is good)
Flaked sea salt
First, make sure the vegetables are clean and free of soil on the outside of the skin (they’re best with the skins left on I think). Using a speed peeler, peel thin slices of the vegetables to form the ‘crisps’. You’ll find that the initial peelings are usually a little too small, but as you get further into the vegetable they will become more of a suitable size. Once you’ve got a pile of shaved vegetables; it’s best to remove some of the moisture by placing them on a paper towel and pressing from above with another piece to absorb any liquid. This helps to give you a crisper crisp.
The next stage is to fry the crisps and to do this you need a saucepan of hot oil. I’ve never been a fan of deep frying things, but if you get the oil to a high temperature you don’t tend to get a greasy result; just a crispy one. So, heat some oil to 150ºC and fry the vegetable slices in batches (it’s probably best to leave the beetroot to last as it does give the oil a rosy hue) until lightly golden and crisp, 2 to 5 minutes per batch. When the crisps are crisp, remove them from the oil with a slotted spoon, allowing excess oil to drain away before placing the chips on a paper towel covered baking tray. Salt the hot crisps immediately and start the next batch of vegetables. Once you’ve fried all the crisps, toss them in a bowl and you’re ready to devour these moreish snacks.
Obviously, this recipe is adaptable. You can use lots of different root vegetables. Celeriac works really well, both as a snack, but also a garnish for soup. Parsnip or Jerusalem artichoke crisps on their own would be an excellent accompaniment to a simply roasted guinea fowl, or a steak. But of course, a bag of these makes a great snack for a picnic.
I’ve only made baked vegetable crisps, due to the oil, but these look so good I think I’ve been swayed!
Thanks. They don’t end up being oily, as long as the oil is hot enough and you make sure the veg is as dry as possible before frying. Thanks for the comment.
Yum, you make that sound really easy. I’m going to try this, thanks
It’s pretty simple. Essentially, peel the veg, dry it a bit, then fry it. Keep an eye on the veg as they can burn if cooked too much. Have fun, let me know how it goes.
Since you say that, like me, you’re no fan of deep fat frying, I’m going to have to try these. I know they’ll taste good.
They’re pretty good if I do say so myself. Enjoy.
I meant to say veg crisps are a good idea for children
I defo giving these a try 😉
Thanks – they’re good.
These look amazing! Please can you make some for when I next see you?!
I’m sure I could if I knew who you were and when you’re visiting?
Did you know you can make crisps in the microwave? It may be a device you don’t want to use but look it up. Low or no fat. Very crunchy. I should try it with veg types.
Hey, that’s interesting. I’ll have to give it a go sometime. Just look it up online you say?
Yep! It’s really fast too. Sometimes time is the biggest drawback when you need crisps.
Such wonderful colours and so much more interesting than a bag of bog standard crisps. I think I would eat all the beetroot ones first! Thanks for entering these into Four Seasons Food – they are lovely!
Yeah, I would go for the beetroot ones first too. I love the earthy sweetness. Thanks for commenting.
these sound good, but if you’re out and about and need gluten free crisps then many of the Kettle Chip varietys are gf and they are clearly labelled.
Fab, thanks for the tip.