These ‘chippy’ parsnip chips have all the good qualities of a great ‘chippy’ chip, without any of the negatives. They’re plump, floury like a good chip potato should be, they crisp up, and yet are soft enough to soak up the vinegar ‘a real treat’. They taste like a parsnip potato hybrid, not strongly sweet like a roast parsnip can, which for me, someone who cannot eat potatoes but who once loved them, is fantastic! They’re also far lower fat and lower glycemic load (GL) than traditional potato ‘chippy’ chips, being parsnip, oven baked, and cooked in a far healthier oil too.
Though I don’t generally eat them more than once a week, parsnip chips have been an important part of the success of the specialist diets I follow. Avoiding deadly-nightshade family plants as part of my anti-inflammatory diet for pain reduction has meant that potato’s out, and led me to embrace other root vegetables in a way I had only half-halfheartedly before. Now I am on a journey of learning to cook them in a way that befits them, I’ve found that I LOVE all the beautiful root vegetables, in their often gnarly earthy state (in fact the gnarlier the better, my favourite looker is a celeriac, tangled end still thick with earth), and I love their range of unique flavours. Dishes like parsnip chips are a treat for me, they fulfill a wonderful role in my diet that mean not only am I’m not missing out I am gaining.
Tatties are great vegetables, but I find that, especially supermarket potatoes, they are more often than not stored for a long time and have a mouldiness about them that cannot be good for anyone. A fresh new potato is a beautiful thing, and I do miss patatas bravas, and Shepherd’s pie (a true nightshade-family plant celebration!), but year-round, potatoes, like tomatoes (also on the nightshade black-list for me), tend to dominate cooking, and there are so many great, often more nutritious and healthier, alternatives. If you need to for health reasons, such as arthritis, avoiding them may seem like a difficult move to make, but it opens up a whole world of culinary variety.
I used to eat quite large portions of potato, too large, and so often in dishes it comes loaded with fats and is in essence lacking in goodness apart from the skin (which unfortunately in non-organic vegetables is where the highest concentration of chemicals are). Other root vegetable alternatives, such as parsnip, don’t have that same quality, they’re higher in fibre and more filling, yet also somehow far less heavy, and have a flavour that is delicious, but not such empty-minded shovel fodder as, say, mashed potato or potato chips can be.
it helps you eat the right amount, leaves you happy, feeling lighter after eating, and generally healthier.
In my diet, I don’t focus on calorie control. I am slowly losing weight, or rather getting closer to my naturally healthy weight and size, but I am not doing this by focusing on restricting myself and analysing every meal calorie-wise. One, I have more than enough on my plate to focus on food-wise. Two, I believe, and know from experience, that such a focus causes stress and that such stress is unhealthy. I have enough stress in my life I don’t need to load more onto myself, and a positive relationship to food is so incredibly important for health and happiness, for wellness. Also, calorie counting, though a useful guide, is often not giving the full picture of how our bodies process food. In my diet I focus on nutrition and whole goodness, and having a relatively low carb diet, with no sugar or grains, as this helps me control the health conditions I live with. I eat foods that are low GI/GL, nutritious, satisfying and that taste fantastic. I eat whatever I want, but don’t over eat, and my diet helps me every step of the way with this. I’m healthier, love every meal, and truly never feel deprived.
if I want chips, I have them, no stress involved.
And believe me, parsnip chips are not a compromise. I was always a big chip fan, but in reality, afterwards they inevitably made me feel ill, ‘chippy’ chips especially; they’re so fatty, rarely ever cooked in good, fresh oil, and left me feeling heavy and generally gross. But a good chip is a thing of beauty.
If you like your chips really crispy and also chewy, then cut them thinner, boil them for less time and leave them in the oven slightly longer. This recipe makes a fatter chip, crispy and soft. A chippy parsnip chip. Serve with salt and vinegar to taste, and avocado ketchup ♥
- 3 large parsnips/ 5 medium
- 3 tbsp of buckwheat flour, or flour of choice - a little teff is very good mixed with a lighter flour
- 3 tbsp mild coconut oil, or generous drizzle of other light oil
- 2 large pinches of salt, or to taste
- Vinegar, to taste, I use raw cider vinegar
Heat a hot oven, 220 C.
Wash the parsnips and quarter them length-ways, and then chop each stick in half to make eight stubby parsnip chips. Depending on the size of your parsnip you may want to make more or less.
Bring a pan of salted water to the boil, add the parsnips and simmer, with the lid on, for ten minutes, or until soft. Drain them and add the flour and oil, tossing gently to coat.
Turn out onto the oven tray and cook in a hot oven for ten minutes or so on either side, turning and rearranging the chips as necessary as they do tend to brown more on the edges of the tray. Add more salt to taste, and drizzle with vinegar (I use raw cider vinegar) and serve as is or with a dip, or as a side to a meal, or with a salad.
You can make them lower fat than the recipe states too if you like. For the purpose of this post I didn't worry too much about that side of things, but you can certainly have a tasty low fat parsnip chip. Use a spray oil, mix the flour with a little water and a pinch of bicarb too and toss the parsnips in the sticky batter, add to the tray and then spray with oil. Turn and spray again to make sure they're covered.
BON BONFIRE NIGHT! (**** I missed a trick, should have made sweets…)
I’ve been listening to… Amadou & Mariam Dimanche á Bamako
I’ve been reading… Simone de Beauviour’s the Second Sex
I’ve been watching… Ken Russell’s A House in Bayswater…