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October 27, 2015. I started making these for Deacon, our Welsh Corgi. Then friends and family who give Deacon treats started tasting them. While Deacon could only watch. He was shocked. So were they, because these are shockingly delicious. Crisp and crunchy. Just one ingredient. Sweet potatoes.

No oil. Few calories per handful. No salt unless you want to add it. Perfectly crisp and crunchy. Less than ten minutes of your time to make a batch.

Four tablespoons scooped out of a baked sweet potato makes about two ounces of light, thin, one-inch square crisps with pure, strong sweet potato flavor. Deacon eats them plain. You might want to serve them like that for Thanksgiving snacks. Or use them to garnish your Sweet Potato Pie.

No real recipe here, just simple instructions. Bake your sweet potato or yam until the orange flesh is very soft. 90 minutes at 450 F. Let it or them cool, turn the oven down to 350, then slice the potato(es) open. Scoop out the now spreadable flesh and put it on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a Silpat mat. One small sweet potato gives you more than enough to cover an 18″ x 13″ pan.

Use a rubber spatula or big flat spoon to spread the orange lump into a thin layer, 1/8″ thick or less. I use this soft spatula for best results. The object f the game is to spread it thin – and to make a layer that’s uniformly thin so it all bakes evenly. In less than five minutes, you’ll have it. It won’t be perfect, and some of the chips will be darker, some lighter. From deep brown to bright orange. Before you put the pan in the oven, use a pastry scraper or large knife to “score” the sweet potato layer into squares. You’ll end up with a single baked layer that easily snaps apart into uniform chips.

Now thirty to forty minutes in your 350 F oven should do the trick. If the outer edges are getting too brown while the center remains sticky and undercooked, remove the pan from the oven and snap off the darkest ones. Then put the pan back in for a few minutes.

Make the World a Better Place with Beta Carotene and Vitamin A
Orange-flesh sweet potatoes are wildly rich in beta carotene, an antioxidant our bodies convert to Vitamin A. We all need it, but millions of people in the developing world don’t get close to enough of it.

Vitamin A deficiency is the leading cause of preventable pediatric blindness in developing countries. It not only causes blindness, but also increases the risk of child and maternal mortality. Provision of Vitamin A is one of the most cost-effective ways to save the sight and lives of children. Want to help them eat as well as Deacon?

Helen Keller International (HKI) saves the sight and lives of thousands of people every year through Vitamin A supplementation programs. A small donation to HKI’s sight- and life-saving programs goes a long way. Full disclosure: my wife, Kathy Spahn, is CEO and President of Helen Keller International, so: a) I’m biased; and, b) I have personal knowledge of the effectiveness of their good works. Which include “homestead farming programs” that yield tens of thousands of home gardens that grow sweet potatoes. That are incredibly inexpensive lifesavers in many parts of our world.

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