Healthy Chips :: Pears & Sweet Potatoes & Bananas, oh my!

pear chips

How’s that healthy-eating New Year’s Resolution going for you? If you’re like most people who make one, there’s a 29% chance that it’s faded into a distant memory already. I don’t know about you, but the hardest part of trying to eat healthy is finding snacks that don’t “break the bank” calorie or carb-wise.  I crave something with CRUNCH.  Enter Pear Chips – and Sweet Potato Chips, and Kale Chips and yes, Banana Chips.

I’m not talking “dehydrated” or “fried.” I’m talking baked – long and low, until these tasty and nutritious treats reach their crunchy best. {These were probably the hardest pics I’ve had to shoot, because I kept eating the subject!}

I have made potato chips in the microwave – which are surprisingly easy and delicious. But you can only make a small quantity at a time. Also, if you don’t watch carefully while making chips from foods with a higher sugar content – like beets, you could end up with flames. That may or may not have happened to me.

Look at these sweet potato chips!  Aren’t’ they gorgeous?

sweet potato chips

There’s a reason kale is all the rage as a “super food.” It’s soooo good for you! Husband doesn’t like it raw in a salad, but spritz with a little olive oil and sprinkle with a bit of kosher salt, bake until crisp, and you’ve got yourself a crunchy, healthy treat. Really. You forget you’re eating kale.

kale chips

So the last time I was looking for a healthy snack in the airport, I was drawn to the banana chips… until I read the package. Oh my word, what’s with all that added sugar? The great thing about fruits and veggies is that they have natural sugars and don’t need much else, if anything, to bring out their delicious flavors. I thought I’d try and make my own.

When I pulled these out of the oven I thought I’d ruined them.  They were so…. brown… and looked like they had adhered to the parchment.

banana chips on parchment

They were brown because I hadn’t brushed with lemon juice, as some recipes recommend. And you know what? You don’t need it. Look at how beautiful these chips are. {And they popped right off the parchment after all – crisis averted!}

banana chips

Pear Chips
Try this with your favorite fruit or vegetable.
  • 2 pears
  • 2 Tbs fresh lemon juice.
  1. Preheat oven to 200º.
  2. Fill large bowl with cool water and add lemon juice.
  3. Using a very sharp knife, or mandoline, slice pears into very thin, even slices. {No need to peel pears, but remove stem either before or after baking}. Add slices to the bowl of water and let sit for about 3 minutes.
  4. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment.
  5. Carefully remove pears from bowl and drain on paper towel or a clean dish towel. Place in a single layer on the parchment-lined baking sheets.
  6. Bake for 2 hours, checking every 15 minutes after 1½ hours. Cooking time depends on how thick or thin your slices are. Remove from oven when lightly browned but still slightly pliable. Chips will crisp as they cool.

You can experiment with oven temperatures and times. Obviously, the thicker, more moist foods will take longer. Kale chips take very little time at all.

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