I LOVE TO SNACK.
There. I said it. I love snacking, and you’ll be hard pressed to stop me doing it. Sometimes I just want to nibble something, and unfortunately most of the nibbles that tend to be in the house are either of the crisp or chocolate variety.
Packaged snacks are typically not the healthiest things on the market, or the cheapest. Whilst there are times when i’m well up for munching on a stick of celery or some cucumber, there are other times when things like crisps seem a much more appealing choice (most times, actually)!
So how can I turn my snacking habit into a slightly more healthy one? This is something i’ve been thinking a fair bit about lately, especially as it’s now all wintery and I tend to want to eat more at this time of year. One thing that seems to be “all the rage” in healthy eating right now is vegetable crisps!! They are ALL OVER my pinterest and they had them on the apprentice last week… lets just say that they have snuck their way into my brain and I started thinking “could they really be that good?”
Well this weekend I decided to find out for myself. The butternut squash in thats been sitting in the cupboard had been calling my name, so I figured why not see if a butternut squash version of crisps could really be all that good. I was rather sceptical!
I have to say, I was pleasantly surprised with how they turned out! I think the key to these veggie crisps is that you do have to make sure you cut them extremely thinly if you want them to go crispy like proper crisps – which is difficult when your potato peeler isn’t big enough to do an entire slice of the squash, and your afraid you’ll chop your finger off with the sharp knife!
I decided to give our butternut squash crisps a spicy kick – coating them in chilli infused oil and sprinkling them in cayenne pepper before baking them, but you really could go a number of ways with these. I think they would taste great with a variety of herbs and oils, or with something like parmesan cheese – you can experiment and make multiple flavours – just like a normal potato crisp!
I left my crisps in the oven for quite a long period (turning them half way through). Around 20 mins either side on 190 degrees worked for us, but every oven varies, and cooking time will also vary with these depending on there thickness. So i’d just check them every 5 or 10 minutes and then pull them out once they have crisped up (but before they burn).
Obviously, you can’t actually mistake them for potato crisps – they aren’t that similar – but I wouldn’t hesitate to make them again, because I really did enjoy them as a guilt-free healthy snack and they make a nice change from cucumber sticks! I’m intrigued to see if other vegetables crisp up as well as the butternut squash did and wouldn’t mind finding out in the future!
Butternut squash crisps:
You will need:
- 1 butternut squash (use the neck to make crisps and save the part where you have scooped out the seeds for something else.. like roasted squash mmm)
- Olive Oil (or another cooking oil of your choice)
- Herbs/Spices/whatever takes your fancy to flavour!
- Pre-heat the oven to 190 degrees
- Cut the squash in half width-wise separating the neck and the body (where the seeds are), put the body to one side to use for something else.
- Cut off the very top of the squash and discard – peel the remaining neck of the squash
- Slice the neck of the squash into very thin circles
- Coat the circles in a small amount of oil and with any seasonings you wish to add flavour to the crisps (I used cayenne pepper)
- Lay the circles out in one layer on a baking tray
- Bake in the pre-heated oven for 20 minutes then turn over the crisps
- Bake for another 10 minutes, or until the slices become crispy (check regularly)
- Take out of the oven and transfer to a plate, leave to cool and then enjoy!
Have you ever experimented with vegetable crisps? What are your favourite vegetables to bake until crispy?