My ears always perk up when I hear the distinctive crunch of a potato chip. A nice, delicious, salty, crispy, fried potato chip makes a glorious sound. Of all the ‘crappy for you’ things I used to eat, potato chips and pizza are the only foods that I miss and dream about and crave. I have found delicious Paleo substitutes for everything else in the food world, except for chips and pizza. I haven’t had potato chips or a slice of pizza since January… not even a cheat. And that’s probably why I want them so bad right now.
For a quick fix, we have tried all kinds of chip substitutes. For example… Baked kale chips, which taste decent, but have an underwhelming crunch akin to dryish leaves underfoot on a sad Fall day. They are just too light and airy to be satisfying. My opinion on kale chips goes back and forth. Today, while writing about potato chips, I despise kale chips.
We have also tried baked sweet potato chips, but we just can’t get them crunchy enough. I loves me some sweet potato, no doubt about that. But, our baked sweet potato chips end up being a little burnt and a little soggy at the same time. How is that even possible? A little trick of adding arrowroot powder to absorb the moisture, helped crisp them a little, but not quite enough. They are decent tasting and beat the pathetic kale chip without even trying. I’m starting to sound like a chip snob or a kale hater. AIas, I am both.
Anyway… we did find that plantain chips fried in coconut oil are pretty close to a legitimate chip. Good crunch, satisfying taste, but they are just difficult to cut thin enough during the prep. We tried both green and yellow plantains, and it’s like slicing an extra slimy banana. The inconsistent thickness might be a reflection of my mediocre knife skills, so you could have better luck. Overall the plantain chips were the most suitable replacement for my good ol’ Lays, Ruffles and Pringles. That is, until a couple weeks ago, when casual conversation with our chiropractor brought the obscure taro root into our lives.
Taro root is gods gift to the Paleo chip lover. It is kind of hard to find, but you can get taro root on Amazon if you don’t see it locally. It’s probably not on your regular grocery list, nor is it something you would randomly pick up to try. Taro looks like something ALF would pass after a late night out. But, behind that rugged exterior, there is beauty within. Taro root is used in Asian cooking and is typically served as a mushy dish. Nothing mushy here, though… we are going for a legit chip. Check it out below… and listen to the crunch here!
Here is my recipe for the perfect chip:
Start by removing the skin from 2-3 taro roots with a vegetable peeler.
Slice approx 1/16″ or thinner on a mandolin (this gives consistent, quick cuts and makes up for any deficient knife skills)
Lightly coat with olive oil.
Arrange slices side by side on cookie sheet lined with parchment paper (they shrink up a little so they can touch). Sprinkle with maldon salt or sea salt.
Bake in preheated oven at 425 for about 10-12 min. Watch them. When they start to brown and the edges curl, they are done.
Let cool to touch and transfer to your favorite snack eating bowl