Well I have finally found a way to get my husband to eat beets. He now eats beets chips and asks for more! I have to say these are truly scrumptious. Frying them takes away that slight dirt like flavor beets are known for and replaces it with a slightly sweet flavor.
We also made chips out of the greens but beware. The greens cause the oil to pop and splatter. The kids love them but mom can only take so much of that so we don't do to many of the greens.
We used the Bull's Blood beets that our CSA members had in their baskets last week. They are huge. A lot of them are as big as my fist- perfect for beet chips. Aren't the beets beautiful?
Beets are super good for you. They are packed with many nutrients including: potassium, magnesium, fiber, phosphorus, iron; vitamins A, B & C; beta-carotene, and folic acid. Perhaps frying them isn't the healthiest way to eat beets but they are a good splurge.
Be sure to use a "clean" cooking oil. Most oils are processed with chemicals to get a neutral flavor. Even worse, a lot of oils contain GMOs. Stay clear of canola oil and vegetable oils. Vegetable oils usually contain any combination of soy, corn, and canola. Soy, corn, and canola are two of the most common genetically modified crops. "About 90 percent of the U.S. canola crop is genetically modified" and "93 percent of soy is genetically modified." http://www.huffingtonpost.com/margie-kelly/genetically-modified-food_b_2039455.html. 92% of the corn planted in 2016 was Genetically modified. We don't want to contaminate our heirloom, pesticide and chemical free beets with GMOs and counter act all those nutritional qualities! In our house we use organic extra virgin and first cold pressed olive oil. And just in case your wondering, for baking we use organic virgin cold pressed coconut oil or homemade butter from our fresh cow's milk. If you want to learn more about GMOs visit our GMO page here.
Now back to the beets. These are so easy to make. Just clean and peel the beets then slice them about as thin as you can. It can be done this way and I make homemade potato chips for my family like this but beets are harder than potatoes. For beets I like to use my food processor with the slicing attachment. Maybe you have something similar or some other fancy gadget, like a mandoline slicer, that will slice them for you.
I use a Kitchen Aid food processor. I have had it for almost ten years and the motor is still going strong. I think it actually runs better then my professional grade Kitchen Aid mixer. It has multiple attachments for slicing, shredding, and juicing. If you are looking for a food processor invest in the best one you can buy it really will save you money in the long run. If you don't want to make that big of a commitment then go ahead with the mandoline slicer. It will still work great and the one below even cuts fries. I think I would like it just for that. I cut a lot of fries all by hand. The mandoline could really speed things up for me.
And here is what you get. Perfectly sliced beets. The right tools really make all the difference. With them you are a lot more willing to do the task. Don't they look so nice?
Heat your oil up to 350 degrees. I usually turn my burner to high then once it warms up I turn it down to med-high. When the oil is heated carefully drop individual slices into the oil. They will shrink a lot so it is fine to overlap a little just stir it a few times to make sure they don't stick together.
They will have some brown on them when they are done. If you don't cook them all the way the center will be soft and mushy. You want them to cook longer than this so that the sugars begin to caramelize. They should be a little crispy and a little chewy. That may not sound great for chip but trust me it is. You can cook them until they are completely crispy but they always seem to brown and/or burn. We are happy with the chewy/crispy texture. My husband actually enjoys them. Twelve years of marriage and I can finally get him to eat beets. That says something.
I don't like to use paper towels. It seems like such a waste to me so I have a different method for draining the excess oil from the finished chips. I place my stainless steel cooling rack over a cookie sheet. When the chips are placed on the cooling rack the oil can drain down onto the cookie sheet. No wasted paper!
If you are so brave to try beet leaves, if the thought of perfectly crisp (the leaves do fry to a perfect light crisp) is something you can't brush off, then I have a very important tip for you: DON"T WASH THE LEAVES. Yes, you heard that right, don't wash the leaves. Well, on second thought maybe you should. I don't know where you got them from. But if you got them from our farm there is no chemicals, insecticides, or herbicides on them and frying them will kill anything else. But seriously, we eat straight from the garden all the time. From the plant to the mouth. Never been sick from it once. Simply brush off the leaves with a cloth and make sure nothing is on them then go ahead and fry them. If you do wash them it will be pretty much impossible to dry them 100% and the oil will splatter even more. I don't know what the deal is but even when we fried them without washing the leaves, and they were absolutely perfectly dry, they still splattered. They didn't splatter as much but they still splattered so much so that I think I only did one for each person. Mommy can only take so much oil splattering at her and burning her. So she sucked it up enough for everyone to enjoy one cause she loves her family. They love her enough to understand she doesn't want to be splattered with hot oil. They also have super full bellies from all the beet chips so they don't really have much room for beet green fries. See, just make more fries and everyone will be happy and forget about the greens.
Eat local, eat organic, and know where your food comes from.
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Hello, I'm Jaci. I love wandering around in my gardens admiring God's creation. I'm passionate about whole foods and clean eating. I look forward to sharing my farming and homestead adventures and helping you reach your gardening goals! If you have any questions then don't be shy, I'd love to hear from you. Send me a message and I will be glad to help!