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Thursday, October 14, 2010

October Reci-pea: Baked Squash Chips

Seasoned to be either sweet or savory, these baked squash chips are a tasty fall treat for the whole family. Not only are they loaded with Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Magnesium and more, these seasonal eats contain far less than half the calories of potato chips. Pack them in lunchboxes or put them out at your Halloween party.

  • 1 squash, either a kabocha squash or a butternut squash (one with a long neck)
  • olive oil, a couple tablespoons or a can of olice oil spray
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon garam masala, herbs de provence, or other spice blend

Adjust the oven rack to the two center-most positions and preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Put a pot of water on the stove to boil. Prepare an ice bath.

Spray two large baking sheets with olive oil (or use 1 tablespoon of olive oil per sheet and spread with a pastry brush or small piece of paper towel)

If using a kombucha squash, cut off both ends of the squash. There's no need to peel it; the skin of kombucha squash is edible! Cut the squash in half from pole to pole. Scrape out the seeds and pulp. With the flat side down, cut each half in half (again, from pole to pole), then in half, crosswise. Using a mandoline (if you have one) or a chef's knife, slice the squash thinly, about 1/16 of an inch thick. If using a butternut squash, cut off the bulb part of the squash and set aside for another use. Peel the neck of the squash and cut it into 3-inch lengths. Then slice into 1/16 of an inch thick.

Blanch the squash slices in the boiling water for 90 seconds then transfer them to the ice bath. Dry all of the chips with a towel and lay them out on the greased baking sheets in a single layer. Spray or rub the top of the squash slices with olive oil and sprinkle lightly with salt and spices.

Set the squash on the oven's middle most racks and bake about 8-10 minutes, flip the chips and bake a couple minutes more until lightly golden brown and crispy. Keep an eye on them as some brown faster than others.

Season with additonal salt if desired and serve. Store in an airtight container for up to a few days, not that they'll hang around more than a couple hours!

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