What’s Red and Tastes Like Dirt?

Not really a joke, but if you asked my boys that, they would all say beets.  None of them inherited my beet lover gene.  I’ve always loved beets.  Even as a kid.  Give me a bowlful of pickled beets next to my liver and onions and I was one happy girl.

I thought I would try beet chips tonight.  I know I like beet chips.  I’ve made them before and could eat a full pound or more by myself. I wanted to see if I could get my beet hating family to eat them.

I don’t like lying to my kids so when they asked what they were, I couldn’t tell them potato chips.  So instead of telling them beets right away and having them refuse to try them, I told them I would tell them what they were after they ate one.  Luckily they smelled really good and looked like potato chips so they accepted my offer.

Computer Boy thought about it for a little bit and said, “They’re beets right?  You cooked everything that is bad about beets out of them.  They’re ok.  Not good but ok.”

I’ll take it.

The Husbeast, who hates beets with the passion of a 4 year old, says in utter astonishment, “These are beets?!?!  What could you possibly do to dirt to make them taste this wonderful?!”  The man who thinks beets are the result of the Fall (Adam and Eve eating the forbidden fruit), actually ate a whole plate of chips by himself.  Someone is going to be pooping red tomorrow!

Cuddlebug preceded to try and eat the rest of the beets chips before anyone else could try them.  I think he likes them.

**Warning!  Beets make your poop red.  Someone I know once gave me a phone call all concerned that they were pooping blood and would be going into the doctor that afternoon.  They later called and told me not to worry, they just ate a lot of beets.  Haha!  BUT, if beets turn your urine red, that’s an indicator that you have too low stomach acid.  If that happens, you might want to take HCL with your meals.

The following method has rhyme and reason.  For the extra sciency why, check out this article from Serious Easts: Extra Crunchy Potato chips. Basically, the key to the perfect chip is to cook all the water out but not caramelize the sugars.  Boiling them before you fry them draws a lot of the starches/sugars out.  Adding the vinegar allows you to boil the potatoes longer thus expel more of the sugars.  End product is a crispy chip that doesn’t taste burned.

I actually tried two batches to see if the vinegar makes a difference.  Oy vey, what a difference.  The first batch, when cooked to taste good, turned out limp.  When I left them in long enough to get crispy, they tasted burned.  Yuck.

The second batch?  Oh the second batch.  Perfect.  Utterly perfect.  Crispy like a good kettle chip but no yucky burned after taste.  Boiling it does take a little more elbow grease but it’s worth it.

Crispy Beet Chips

Beet Chips

  • Beets, as many as you want
  • Large pot of water with 1/4 cup vinegar
  • Oil, (lard, tallow, duck fat, palm oil are what I recommend for frying)
  • finely ground salt (powderizing it in a coffee grinder is even better)

Step 1: Peel and trim beets.  Cut into thin slices either using a mandolin or food processor (or by hand).  Toss them into a bowl of cold water. While you are doing this, get your oil heating up to 365F and get your water with vinegar boiling.

Step 2: Drain the beets and place them in the boiling water for about 10 minutes.

Step 3: Dry beets off well and fry in small batches.  You’ll know they are done when the oil is no longer boiling ferociously.

Step 4: Drain, salt to taste and enjoy.


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