Sweet Potato Chips and Spicy Guacamole

I find that people tend to be passionate about sweet potatoes. Which makes sense, because they’re awesome. There are so many different varieties: Hannah, jewel, garnet, Jersey white, Okinawan, and my personal favorite, the purple sweet potato! I seriously eat purple sweet potatoes every single day with my breakfast hash. They’re the best, and when they’re in season, I buy them like I have foreseen an upcoming famine.

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Our CSA box this week featured what I believe is the world’s most enormous sweet potato. I couldn’t figure out the best way to prepare it, then I thought it would be funny to make the world’s biggest chips. I did not really consider how difficult it would be to cut very thin, very large, round chips while I rocked the potato back and forth with my sharp chef’s knife. Thankfully, I only ruined a few chips, and somehow I did not cut myself! The key with these chips is to cut as thinly as possible safely, whether that be hand cutting with a sharp knife, using a mandoline, or using a food processor (I have yet to master this…somehow it’s always uneven).

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I find that since my tiny, pathetic apartment oven cooks so unevenly, that it’s difficult to gauge the appropriate chip cooking time and temperature should be. I usually say around 400 degrees is a good temperature, but unless I constantly open the oven and shift around the chips, the outer ones always get burned. I mean totally blackened (and mostly crispy, which is good, I guess). I usually cook them for 20 minutes, take them out, flip them quickly, and put them back in on the other racks for 20 more minutes. Sometimes it takes longer, and sometimes they’re already burned. I think I’m going to start using my oven thermometer more so that I can finally find the right temperature!

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I have made guacamole countless times, and each time it’s just a little bit different. Sometimes I add habanero peppers, or ground scorpion pepper, or a lot of cilantro, or some lemon juice, or even some other greens or herbs. This batch had rehydrated habanero peppers, so it was quite spicy. Feel free to switch it up with jalapenos or other types of peppers depending on your heat tolerance!

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Crispy Sweet Potato Chips

These chips may take less time (or longer) depending on how accurate your oven temperature is. Mine is extremely inaccurate and cooks very unevenly, so it’s always a gamble when they’ll be ready. I keep an eye on them so they don’t get too burned!

Yields: Approximately 3 servings

  • 1 extra large (or 2 small to medium) sweet potatoes of choice
  • 2-3 tablespoons of coconut or avocado oil, melted
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon finely ground sea salt
  • Optional additions:
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Place parchment paper over two cookie sheets or baking pans.

Wash and scrub your sweet potatoes. Using a mandoline, a food processor, or your own hand and a very sharp knife, cut round chips as carefully and thinly as you can. I recommend wearing a cut-proof knife glove if you have one.

Optional: soak the cut chips in a bowl of ice water for 20 minutes. This apparently helps them crisp up, but if you don't have time, it's not absolutely necessary.

Put the chips in a bowl and toss with the melted oil and your choice of seasonings. Adjust seasonings if it looks like they aren't fully coating the chips.

Place the chips on the parchment-covered cookie sheets, and make sure they do not overlap! This prevents them from becoming crispy. After the sheets are filled (this may take more than one batch), put them in the oven and set a timer for 20 minutes.

Watch the chips to make sure they aren't cooking too quickly or unevenly. After 20 minutes, take them out and flip them carefully, then put them back in the oven again for 20-25 minutes. Watch them again to make sure they aren't browning too quickly, usually the ones on the outside of the pan cook much quicker.

They're ready when they nice, browned and crispy!

  • Preparation time: 30 minutes
  • Cook time: 45-60 minutes
  • Total time: 1 hour 30 minutes