To nourish your mind as well as your body

Anger and intolerance are the enemies of correct understanding.

-Mahatma Gandhi

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Green Bean "Chips"

Okay. I don't know if y'all have tried veggie chips before. If you haven't, you're missing out on an awesome mouth experience. I first got turned on to these by my mother, actually, who found them in little plastic containers at the little independent market near our house a few years back. Since then, I've seen them showing up more and more. I haven't yet spotted them at Ralph's (though I might have just missed them), but they are definitely available at Whole Foods and Trader Joe's. Now, the ones my mom got (way back when) were a mixed bag of green beans, carrots, parsnips, yams, and taro. And every time I see this mix (which is basically every time I go home because my mom's awesome and does that), I automatically go and pick out the beans and carrots for myself. Because I'm greedy when it comes to delicious vegetables.

Here's the only problem I have - they're too darned expensive. Nothing that edible should cost that much per 8 ounces. $7? For a bag that I will probably finish within at the most a day of opening it? No. I think not. And they shouldn't be. Not really. So I put my thinking cap on and invented a way to DIY your own veggie chips. The green beans anyway.

Now, the only way to get the exact crunchy texture of these right is to own a dehydrator (which I don't and I assume most of you don't either), but you can get pretty close just using your oven.

Without further ado, my nummy green bean snack. Guilt-free, tasty, mid-day veggies!



Green Bean "Chips"

~16 oz green beans, trimmed
1 Tbsp olive oil
1-2 tsp Vignalta - Salle Alle Erbe Delle Marlunghe [This is a radical salt with herbs that I like to use on most of my straight up veggie dishes these days. It's just, frankly, awesome. If you want to buy it, you can Google it or click here. If you don't, just use salt. Or whatever kind of salt you want. Sea salt, table salt, garlic salt, onion salt, whatever. :) ]

Set your oven to 395 F.

Trim your beans, drop them in a big microwave safe bowl. Nuke them for ~3 minutes (this is my lazy way of "blanching").

Prep a baking sheet with parchment paper and then set a drying rack on top of it. The smaller grating here, the better.

Add olive oil to the beans and stir well, making sure they all get a nice coating. Shimmy some of the salt in. Stir again. Then, once they're all nice and olive oil/salt-ified, place them on the rack, making sure to leave at least a little space between them all if possible. They won't get as crispy if they're touching. I'm not sure exactly why. Now load them into the oven and bake for about 35 minutes (I put them in for 15 and then checked them every five minutes after that until they got to the right crispiness for me).

Soooo good. :) And best of all, the 16 oz baggie of beans cost me $1.49. Yummy for my tummy; yummy for my wallet.

Alteration:

16 oz green beans, trimmed
1 tbsp olive oil
2+ shakes garlic powder
juice of 1/2 lemon

Follow above instructions. :) Enjoy!

8 comments:

  1. Do these really have the same crunch as the fried ones they sell in the buckets? If so, I will be sooo excited. I am totally addicted!

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  2. A note on the crunch factor:



    The final crunchiness of this recipe is going to depend on a lot of different things; your elevation level, what the humidity of the air is like, what kind of oven you have, etc. Here's a couple ideas on how to add that extra crunch to this recipe.



    After you wash and trim the ends of the beans, but before you salt and oil them, set your oven to 130 F and let them bake for about six hours. I know. It's a wicked long time, but that will dry out the beans. The thing that makes those store bought ones so crunchy is the lack of moisture in the vegetables... and actual frying. But we don't want to fry our beans. That takes them out of the 'healthy snack' arena.



    If you're looking for a quicker path to delicious crunchiness - not to mention an extremely useful kitchen tool - you're going to want to look into purchasing a dehydrator. As with all nifty kitchen tools, they come in a wide range, but the one that I find has the best reputation and is the easiest to use is by Nesco. It runs at about $59.99 and is dishwasher safe. What this nifty gadget does is actually suck the moisture right out of whatever you put into it. You can use it to make all kinds of dry snacks - fruits, vegetables, even jerky. Hope this helps!

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  3. So if I'm starting with frozen green beans, thaw, oil and salt, then 6 hours in my Nesco. Do Frozen beans require blanching?

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  4. Frozen beans should already be blanched

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  5. Why do you blanch the green beans first? Is this required? I'm trying to integrate more raw food in my diet on the basis that raw veggies keep more of their nutrients. Even if the beans have to be blanched, I'm still definitely trying this. Looks delicious!

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  6. How many ounces of dried green beans do you get from that 16oz fresh green beans? Thanks I cannot wait to try this!

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