Vegetable chips (also referred to as veggie chips) are chips or crisps that are prepared using vegetables. Vegetable chips may be fried, deep-fried, dehydrated, dried or baked. Many different root vegetables or leaf vegetables may be used. Vegetable chips may be eaten as a snack food, and may accompany other foods such as dips, or be used as a topping on dishes. In the United States, vegetable chips are often mass-produced, with many brands marketed to consumers.
While potato chips are, strictly speaking, "vegetable chips", they are usually considered separately. This article focuses on non-potato vegetable chips.
Preparation and ingredients
Vegetable chips may be prepared with sliced vegetables that are fried, deep-fried, baked, dehydrated, or simply dried. Vegetable chips may be produced from a variety of root vegetables and leaf vegetables, such as carrot, turnip, parsnip, beet, radish, taro root, sweet potato, garlic, zucchini, cassava, kale, spinach, fennel and jicama, among others. Some baked versions utilize vegetables that are sliced, lightly tossed in oil, and then oven-baked until crisp. Vegetable chips prepared using this method have been described as more healthful compared to deep fried chips, particularly when prepared using "heart-healthy" olive oil.
Simple versions are prepared by slicing vegetables and drying them, without any cooking involved. Sometimes a mandoline is used to slice vegetables for vegetable chips, which can accommodate thin slicing and enhance size consistency. Vegetable chips may be flavored with spices such as salt, sea salt, pepper, cajun spice, curry, allspice, chipotle powder, sweet or smoked paprika, adobo seasoning, dried chives and many others. Mass-produced varieties may contain food preservatives or monosodium glutamate. Vegetable chips can be homemade using various recipes and preparation processes.
Carrot chips are carrots that have been fried or dehydrated. Some U.S. companies mass produce and purvey carrot chips to consumers, such as Connecticut Country Fair Snacks, Ltd. and Caroff Foods Corporation, among others.
Cassava chips are a common food in much of Africa, including the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ghana and Malawi. In Ghana, cassava chips are called konkonte. Dried cassava chips are also used to supplement the carbohydrate content of livestock feed in Ghana. In Malawi, cassava chips are prepared by soaking cassava, slicing it, and then letting it dry. This is the primary means by which cassava is transported to markets from production areas.
In addition to prepared cassava chips from thinly sliced raw cassava root that is then immediately fried or deep-fried, chips may be prepared in a multi-stage process, starting with a dough made from cassava flour. The dough is steamed, thinly sliced, dried, and then fried in oil. This style of cassava flour chips is a popular food in India, Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines.
Consumption and uses
Brands and companies
Brands of vegetable chips (other than potato chips) include Calbee, Beanitos, Terra, Food Should Taste Good, JicaChips, Sensible Portions, and Uprooted, among others. As of February 2016, Kettle Foods produces the Uprooted brand of vegetable chips made from sweet potatoes, including varieties with and without the addition of beets and parsnips. The product is "lightly seasoned with oil and sea salt". Marketing of the product to consumers began circa February 2016.
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