Sometimes, only crisps will do. But don’t ruin your diet day by inhaling a plastic family pack of fatty potatoes. The healthy (and delicious) answer lies in these humble parsnip crisps.
When I’m getting together with friends, there’s a conversation that often goes like this:
Friend A: “Chocolate or crisps?”
Friend B: “Eh?”
Friend A: “Are you a chocolate person? Or a crisps person?”
Friend B: “Oh! Chocolate!”
Friend A: “Really? I’m crisps. Every time.
Friend C: “Me too. Crisps all the way.”
Friend A: “Jacqueline? What about you? Chocolate or crisps?”
Whether you’ve got a sweet or savoury tooth (or both), it’s those apparently innocent little snacks that so often scupper our diets.
I can plan meals like a ninja, heaping my plate with inspired dishes cleverly conjured from fresh veg, lean protein and smart flavours. I can swerve big fat puddings, stocking my freezer with low-fat fruit granita. I can even curb the wine intake (most nights) and be happy with a spritzer.
It’s between meals when it all falls apart. Which is where these genius little munchies come into their own. Parsnip crisps are much easier to make than you might think (no deep frying) and they have a great earthy flavour.
Minimal oil means they satisfy the cravings for crunch, without the guilt of finding yourself hoovering up the crumbs at the bottom of a family pack of crisps. Three cheers for a great British winter vegetable.
Parsnips make a healthier alternative to potatoes and give these crisps a distinctive earthy flavour.
For 4 • Ready in 35 mins
1 tbsp rapeseed oil
Freshly ground black pepper
½ tsp paprika
400g parsnips (4 medium or 2 large), peeled
• Preheat the oven to 160°C/140°C fan/325°F/gas mark 3.
• Place the oil, pepper and paprika in a large bowl. Use a vegetable peeler to slice thin strips of parsnip into the bowl. Use your hands to toss the parsnip thoroughly in the oil.
• Arrange the parsnip strips over two baking trays and then place in the preheated oven to cook for 25–30 minutes, turning them halfway through cooking. When cooked they will be golden and crisp.
• Transfer to two large plates lined with kitchen paper and sprinkle liberally with salt.
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