Being a single lady who owns their own home, I tend to be on a tight budget. While, food shopping is one of my weaknesses, attempting to food copy cat is a strength. Recently I was on my way to get pizza crust from Trader Joes and while shopping become so immediately and insanely hungry I had to get a snack. Cue these guys:
I admit, they were quite good. But at $3 for something that I could eat in one second I had never brought myself to try them before. According to the delicate wording on the back of the bag, "After a quick blanch in boiling water, we remove the skin and slice them to just the right size. The low heat dehydration process removes 97% of the moisture, making them crunchy and delicious." Um... I have a pot, water, AND a dehydrator. I think I can do this.
So I went and bought some beets and attempted to try. I've dehydrated beets before and while I thoroughly enjoyed them as a dip-able treat for hummus and such, I've never gotten them as crispy as the ones from Trader Joes.
Step one: Mess up description on back of bag by cutting before blanching.
I used the thin setting on my mandoline slicer. Mandoline's may share their name with a folksy instrument that makes you think of the Ren Faire but it is really an instrument sent down from the kitchen gods to make your life infinitely easier. They let me cut up those beets in about 1 minute to identical thickness.
Step two: After getting water boiling, set a timer for one minute. Get a bowl of ice water prepared for step three. Throw beet slices in boiling water for one minute.
Your water will turn a deep red reminiscent of beet's previous use: dying clothes in the colonial period.
Step three: Take them out and put them in cold water quick as a bunny!
Step four: Pat them dry on a paper towel and lightly salt them.
Step five: Lay them on dehydrator racks spaced enough that they are not over lapping.
There are plenty of fancy dehydrators out there. I think mine cost about $50.00 and has worked great for years.
Step six: Put on dehydrator at vegetable setting and check every few hours until desire crispness has been achieved.
6 hours later my beet chips were ready! I will say these were far crunchier than any beet chips I had made before, but because the beets I bought were small to begin with, my beet chips turned out very small.
As I took the top off the dehydrator and snacked on half the batch I pondered that they would be delicious on top of soup as a crunchy add on or with a salad to replace croutons. Perhaps if I can exercise some self restraint that's where they'll end up! Either way I just made twice as many chips as were in my Trader Joes's bag at half the price. I call that a win.