July 21, 2002 – The potato chips you take along to a party or beach picnic don't have to be the commercial variety. If you make them at home from sweet potatoes, you'll get a healthy dose of cancer-preventing beta carotene along with crunch and good taste.
Sweet potatoes are large edible roots that belong to the morning glory family and are native to the tropical regions of the world. There are many varieties of sweet potato, but the two grown commercially are a pale sweet potato and the darker-skinned variety that Americans mistakenly called a "yam." The true yam is not related to the sweet potato.
In the chip recipe here, I use the darker variety, which has a thicker, dark orange skin and vivid orange, sweet-tasting flesh.
To make sweet potato chips more healthful, instead of deep frying them, toss them with oil and bake in the oven. For extra flavor, depending on whether you favor salty, tangy or sweet, you can add plain salt, lime salt or a dash of cinnamon.
Sweet Potato Chips
1/2 pound sweet potatoes, well scrubbed and dried
1 1/2 teaspoons corn oil
Lime salt, optional *
Ground cinnamon, optional
Use a sharp knife to cut the uncooked potatoes into 1/16-inch slices. Pat slices dry with paper towels. Place slices in a mixing bowl and add oil; toss to coat. Preheat oven to 400 F. Place oil-coated slices on a baking sheet in a single layer. Bake for 15 minutes. Use a metal spatula to turn chips over. Bake 5 minutes more. Remove from oven and sprinkle lightly with salt, lime salt or ground cinnamon. Let cool on paper towels.
* To make lime salt: Finely grate enough lime zest to measure 1/2 teaspoon. In a small cup, stir together this zest and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Sprinkle this mixture over the chips
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