My toddler has always loved crunchy things and while I want her to explore textures, I don't always love how much salt is added to store-bought chips. I've been trying for a while and I'm so happy to finally share a recipe for these delightfully crisp—and crazy easy—homemade Sweet Potato Chips!
This easy toddler recipe is one that would work well as a snack or a simple side dish. It's literally just sweet potatoes baked low and slow. I've tried many other recipes and there's usually a point at which you have to stand watch at the oven because they have to bake long enough to get crunchy, but if they turn brown at all, they get super bitter. And trust me, you don't want bitter sweet potato chips. And they turn brown in an instant. Which brings us to how this recipe is different.
The version here, which simply involves slicing a sweet potato super thin with a mandoline and baking the slices at a low temperature, avoids bitterness (and browning) all together because the oven is cool enough to prevent that from happening.
And now for some straight talk about why I left out the salt. It may seem odd to have a chip recipe without it, and generally speaking I am a big fan of properly flavoring food. But, I've decided that sometimes it's okay—great, even—to break convention and just let the kids taste something in it's pure state. I realize that might sound lofty or idealistic, but when a vegetable is turned into a super crunchy chip, the kids will eat it, salt or no salt! (I feel similarly about sugar: If a kiddo happily eats something with very low added sugar, there's just no reason to add more!) So while the flavor might take some getting used to for you, I bet you too will be quickly won over by the crunch factor and the clean flavor. And to be honest, neither my husband or I missed the salt at all—and my husband loves salty chips!
These chips are thin—thinner than many versions of store-bought chips—so they are easy for little ones to much. That said, if you have a younger toddler who's closer to their first birthday than their second and they have not eaten many crunchy foods, you may want to wait until they are a little older. (My daughter got a small piece of tortilla chip stuck in her throat a few months ago and while she was totally fine, it was scary for everyone and she still talks about it.) Then again, if they are comfortable with all sorts of textures, use your wise mama judgement and let them have at it!
1-Ingredient Sweet Potato Chips
You can make as many chips at a time as will fit onto the number of baking sheets that will fit into your oven. I used 1/2 of a large sweet potato, halved, spread onto two standard size baking sheets. The serving size entirely depends on who's eating—and how willing they are to share! Want something a little sweeter? You can do these exact same instructions with an apple!
- 1 medium (or 1/2 of one large) sweet potato
- Preheat the oven to 200 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside. Peel the sweet potato and discard/compost the skin. Use a mandoline set in the middle setting to slice into thin slices. On mine, which is this one, it's the middle "2" setting, which is about 1/8-inch thick. Arrange on the baking sheet close together but without overlapping. Bake for about 90 minutes or a bit longer*, until dehydrated, curled at the edges, and crispy, swapping the sheets halfway through to ensure even baking. Let cool and serve. These are best eaten on the day they are made, though they will stay crunchy if stored in an airtight container at room temperature overnight.
*It may take up to 30 more minutes depending on the moisture levels in your sweet potatoes.