Potato chips are a guilty pleasure snack for people of all ages. They’re salty, savory and bad for your heart and waistline.
If you can’t resist chips but you want to improve your eating habits, learn how to make your own veggie chips — with all the savory crunch but none of the harmful additives. (h/t to BeansBulletsBandagesAndYou.com)
With a dehydrator, you can make veggie chips right at home. Zucchini and tomato chips are cheap and easy to make. Aside from being a tasty, nutritious snack, you can use veggie chips as additives in tomato sauces, soups and stews.
Zucchini is nutrient-rich, filling and you don’t need to refrigerate it. This is an easy vegetable to dehydrate, especially if you’re new to making your own veggie chips.
Making tomato chips is easy if you want to save up on tomatoes when they’re not in season, but you don’t have the time for canning.
Protecting your crops
Zucchini’s greatest enemy is the squash bug. To keep this pest away from your home grade naturally, use self-rising flour. Sprinkle it on the bases of zucchini stems every couple of days. (Related: Home gardening tips for preppers: Get rid of squash beetles with this item from your pantry.)
To protect organic tomatoes, use two natural methods. First, tie them up to keep bugs and slugs away from your tomatoes. Next, mulch under tomatoes to prevent water from hitting the soil and splashing up onto the leaves, which causes tomato fungus.
How to make veggie chips
- Seasoning of choice (e.g., cinnamon, chili and garlic powder or grated Parmesan cheese)
- Slice the pieces about a quarter of an inch thick. If you have a big zucchini, quarter it lengthwise before slicing it into 1/4 inch slices.
- Place the zucchini slices on trays, leaving a tiny bit of space between pieces.
- Run the dehydrator at about 135 F until your zucchini chips are dry and crispy.
- Dry zucchini plain if you’re going to add them to other dishes. Alternatively, you can sprinkle seasonings to make chips for a healthy snack.
- Pack the zucchini chips into pint or quart jars with a canning lid on top. If you use a vacuum sealer, the chips will last for at least five years. Add an oxygen absorber if you wish.
If the zucchini chips in opened jars lose their crunch, process them again in your dehydrator.
Zucchini chips seasoned with cinnamon powder pair well with Greek yogurt, while zucchini chips with chili and garlic powder are best dipped in hummus. Zucchini chips with grated Parmesan cheese are best paired with chili or bean dip.
You can also experiment with veggie chips made from:
- Sweet potato
Making tomato chips follows the same process above, but with tomatoes. To use dehydrated tomatoes in dishes, you can break up the chips and sprinkle them on winter salads.
Impress your friends at a potluck dinner by bringing a hefty serving of zucchini and tomato chips paired with hummus and salsa.
If you’re in the mood for fruit chips, you can dehydrate apples when they’re in season.
Making homemade fruit and veggie chips is a great way to add shelf-stable food to your survival stockpile and save on grocery bills. As a bonus, you can serve your family healthier snacks that don’t contain additives, unlike salty store-bought potato chips.