Amaranth Chips: 11-8-12

i get alot of questions on making amaranth chips, so we’re going to go over the process step by step.  People tell me quite often that they try to make them, but it just doesn’t come out right.  And from what i have seen from recipes online, i don’t doubt that people have a hard time with this.  But it’s really so simple!  And it’s super yummy!  This is Kyla’s favorite snack.  She’s devoured most of what i’ve made through the week by the time i can sell them at the farmer’s market.  i don’t mind because they’re so good for her.  And this is the same exact process for any leaf you want to make chips out of: spinach, chinese cabbage, kale, orach, quinoa, chard and even beet leaves or the leaves on brussels sprouts plants…

First, cut the leaves off the plants.  For leaves with thicker stems, such as kale, first cut the ribs out of the middle of the leaves with a pair of kitchen shears before proceeding.  The stems can be discarded into compost.   i always try to harvest the biggest leaves on the plants so that i don’t have to cut as many.  It gets tedious cutting the little ribs out of a bunch of small leaves.

In a large bowl, toss the leaves with a bit of sunflower oil.  For a 2 quart bowl you’ll need no more than a tablespoon or so of oil.  It may not seem like much, but if there’s too much oil, the chips come out greasy and it takes longer to cook.  Plus, you can always add i little more if it’s not enough.  Just always initially toss with less oil than you think it needs.  It’s also yummy to use even less oil and toss with vinegar too for salt and vinegar chips.

Then lay the amaranth flat out on a cookie sheet to where they are slightly over lapped and add spices, salt, pepper, powdered cheese…  Whatever.  Its fun to experiment.  One of my favorites is chipotle chili powder.  Gives it a kick.  Even a powdered bar-b-q flavor sprinkled on might be interesting.  FYi i found a hickory season at World Market without MSG or other additives.  You could also try garlic, or onion powder.

Anyways, so bake the leaves at about 250°F to 275°F for 20 minutes.  If they aren’t crispy, then bake for another 5 minutes.  You want them to be crunchy but not burned.  They will shrink up in the oven.  This is the same sheet of amaranth after it’s baked.  As you can see, the color of the raw leaves doesn’t matter.  It always comes out green. The result is a light, crispy healthy snack.  It’s a great potato chip alternative.

Seriously still stunned.  The Bama, again??? ~me

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