Try mak­ing these baked BBQ zuc­chini chips

It’s easy to cre­ate a BBQ potato chip flavour with all nat­u­ral in­gre­di­ents

The Hamilton Spectator - - FOOD - MELISSA D’ARA­BIAN

It all started with the kale chip.

I fell in love the tex­ture of the thick, green leaf made thin and so del­i­cately crisp by bak­ing that it felt al­most flaky, with just enough thick­ness to im­part a sat­is­fy­ing lit­tle crunch be­fore nearly dis­solv­ing into salty-grassy good­ness on the tongue.

And I wasn’t alone: health-conscious eaters crowned the kale chip its un­of­fi­cial sweet­heart and sud­denly they were avail­able not just in health-food stores, but in min­i­marts, air­ports and gas sta­tions.

Which led me to ask: what else might we chip-up in a de­hy­dra­tor or oven? And what other flavours might we add?

My daugh­ter’s all-time favourite potato chip is bar­be­cue, so that be­came my mis­sion — a baked veg­gie chip that mim­icked the BBQ potato chip flavour, with all nat­u­ral in­gre­di­ents.

In mix­ing up var­i­ous spice rubs, we were sur­prised by how much brown su­gar we needed to em­u­late that char­ac­ter­is­tic flavour. And then we struck gold: what if we used a nat­u­rally sweet veg­etable, which would al­low us to re­duce the added su­gar down to nearly noth­ing?

And thus, the baked BBQ zuc­chini chip was born! It was a huge hit with the BBQ-potato-chip-lovers in my house. And here’s the re­ally good news: you don’t need any spe­cial equip­ment to make this hap­pen.

If you have a de­hy­dra­tor, great — you prob­a­bly al­ready have a strong veg­gie-chip game go­ing. For the rest of us: your oven on low will work great for this recipe. And, you don’t even need a man­dolin for slic­ing. I have one, but al­most never use it ever since nip­ping off a bit of fin­ger years ago on an episode of “Ten Dol­lar Din­ners.”

Use a knife and slice rel­a­tively thin, and that’s fine. In fact, the slices are bet­ter and stur­dier when they aren’t too thin any­way. I do rec­om­mend us­ing a bak­ing rack, only be­cause the chips will dry out faster and more evenly. But even this is op­tional equip­ment — just use parch­ment pa­per on a tray, cook a lit­tle longer, and flip the chips half­way through the cook­ing time if you don’t have a rack.

Kale chip, move over.

Baked BBQ-flavoured Zuc­chini Chips MAKES 4 SERV­INGS

2 tea­spoons smoked pa­prika 1 tsp chipo­tle or an­cho chili pow­der (or plain chili pow­der) 1 tsp brown su­gar 1 tsp kosher salt 2 large zuc­chini 2 tsp olive oil

Start to fin­ish: 2½ hours Pre­heat oven to 200 de­grees. In a small bowl, stir to­gether the smoked pa­prika, chili pow­der, brown su­gar and salt and set aside. Slice the zuc­chini thinly, about 1/16 of an inch, but not pa­per thin.

You can use a man­dolin, but slic­ing by hand is just fine. Don’t worry if you can’t quite get the slices su­per thin. Place the zuc­chini slices in a large bowl, and blot with a pa­per towel to re­move ex­cess mois­ture.

Driz­zle with olive oil and toss the slices to coat. Sprin­kle with the spice mix­ture and toss to coat.

Line two or three large bak­ing sheets with bak­ing racks, and spray briefly with non-stick spray. Spread out zuc­chini slices and bake un­til dry and slightly crispy, about two hours. Al­low to cool on rack be­fore re­mov­ing. Best eaten the same day.

NOTE: In­stead of a bak­ing rack, you may in­stead line the bak­ing trays with parch­ment pa­per, in which case flip the chips about one hour into cook­ing, and note that chips will re­quire about 30 ex­tra min­utes of bake time.

Per serv­ing: 54 calo­ries; 24 calo­ries from fat; 3 grams fat (0 g sat­u­rated; 0 g trans fats); 0 mil­ligrams choles­terol; 513mg sodium; 7g car­bo­hy­drate; 2g fi­bre; 5g su­gar; 2g pro­tein.


Baked BBQ zuc­chini chips: you don’t need any spe­cial equip­ment to make this hap­pen

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