Poor chips - they've got a rather bad rap when it comes to health don't they? I'm all about breaking stereotypes though, and while chips are not traditionally glorified as a health food, with a few simple changes there's no reason they can't make a more regular appearance on the menu.
What first and foremost needs to be kept in mind when making a healthier chip is the cooking method - traditionally they're deep-fried in vegetable oil and coated in loads of salt, making them quite high in fat/calories for what they are (particularly the skinnier chips - they soak up a tonne of oil), and lacking in much nutritional benefit. For a healthier (and delicious) alternative try oven-baking them instead - baking instead of frying will greatly reduce the fat content of the fries (note: dietary fats are good - but not the kind and quantity that typically cooks commerical fries), and you can use spices and herbs, to add further flavour.
For the best chips you need the right potato to do the job - go for a floury fluffy textured one, such as Agria, Fianna or Red Rascal, or one labelled as a roasting/baking potato.
Healthier Crispy Potato Chips
4 floury-textured potatoes
1 tbsp of oil
Sprinkle of salt
To serve: smashed avocado/tomato sauce
1. Preheat oven to bake 200 degrees celcius. Line two baking trays with baking paper.
2. Leaving the skins on, cut the potatoes into similar sized fries shapes. I find the easiest way is to slice the body of the potato long-ways into thirds, and then slice each thirds into thirds again/three separate chips - so roughly 9 chips/potato.
3. In a bowl, toss fries with oil and a good sprinkle of salt. Mix together until evenly coated.
3. Arrange the chips on two baking trays. Try not to overcrowd - if they're touching or are too close this may encourage them to steam rather then crisp.
4. Bake for 30-45 minutes or until golden and crispy - the baking time is approximate depending on how thick you cut them - regularly check the oven towards the end of the cooking time to make sure they don't wind up burning.
5. Remove from oven, sprinkle with a little extra salt, and then let them cool for 5-10 minutes before digging in! I like serving mine with mashed avocado to dip and a squeeze of lemon.
Delicious flavour variations:
- Rosemary and sea salt: toss with a the leaves of a few sprigs of rosemary and rock salt before cooking
- Spicy paprika: toss with paprika and chilli flakes before cooking