Sweet potatoes have gained popularity in recent years as a healthier alternative to regular potatoes. Both are excellent sources of fiber, vitamins, and antioxidants – but what sets sweet potatoes apart is their beta-carotene. One cup of sweet potatoes alone already covers 375% of your daily beta-carotene needs. It’s packed with anti-aging and anti-inflammatory benefits, making it a super treat at home or on the go!
By dehydrating sweet potatoes, you can have a crunchy and guilt-free snack for your next Netflix and chill date, a bag of handy goodies when you go for a hike, or even a yummy and healthy treat for your fur baby! You can also store and conveniently mix them in any soup or stew, up to days or weeks later.
The best part is, they’re inexpensive and really easy to prepare at home. Simply throw them in your dehydrator, fire them up in the oven, or get this – you can even use your microwave! Here’s how to dehydrate sweet potatoes.
How to Dehydrate Sweet Potatoes
Preparing sweet potatoes for dehydration
Estimate how many sweet potatoes you’d like to use depending on your dehydrator’s number of trays, or the size of your oven. Once you’ve selected your potatoes, thoroughly wash them under running water and remove all the dirt with your hands or a vegetable scrubber. Once done, pat dry with a clean towel.
To peel or not to peel
You may opt to peel your sweet potatoes or leave the skin on. The former gives you additional color and texture and provides more nutrients. If you choose to leave the skin on, it is best to buy pesticide-free sweet potatoes.
Before you start slicing, you could try to put them in the microwave for a couple of minutes. This will help soften them, so they’re easier to slice. But if you’re up to put some of those muscles to work, slice away!
A mandolin would be a great help to have uniform paper-thin slices, which will ensure they all dehydrate at the same rate. If you’ll use a mandolin, don’t forget to use the vegetable holder to avoid any accidents.
If you don’t have a mandolin, your go-to knife will do just fine. Aim for ¼ inch thick slices and try to keep them as uniformed as possible. If you’re dehydrating sweet potatoes to satisfy your crunchy chip cravings, the thinner the slices, the better. If you’re dehydrating them for your dogs, thicker slices would be ideal for a nice soft, chewy treat.
Additional prep tips for sweet potato chips
Soak the sweet slices
If you’d like to keep their color for that rustic organic touch, try soaking them in ice cold water first for 1-2 minutes.
If you’d like to ensure you end up with crispier chips, you can soak them in a bowl of room temperature water for 1-2 hours to help remove some of the starch.
After either step, pat them dry with a clean towel.
Spice it up
Once completely dry, you may drizzle or brush some olive oil to help produce even crispier chips! You can then add any seasoning you want and customize your flavor. You could go with a classic salt and pepper, try a fresher take with some rosemary and thyme, or just add a simple kick with cinnamon.
Now you’re ready to start dehydrating your sweet potatoes slices!
Here are some easy methods depending on which equipment you have at home. A dehydrator would be best – but no worries if you don’t have one as an oven can give you similar results, and you can experiment with your microwave as well. You can even explore the more traditional route!
Dehydrating sweet potatoes in a food dehydrator
- You can now spread out your sweet potato slices in a single layer on your dehydrator trays. Check to make sure that your slices aren’t touching or on top of each other, so they can all dehydrate evenly.
- Set your dehydrator to 125F, leave for 10 hours, and then see how you like the texture.
If you want it to be crunchier or a little more brittle, you can try cranking it up to 145F for an hour, or leave it at the same temperature for two more hours.
Dehydrating sweet potatoes in the oven
- Preheat your oven to 115F to 145F – the lower the better.
- Arrange your sweet potato slices on a cooling rack. Spread them out in a single layer with enough space in between. Put the cooling rack into a baking tray, slip it in the oven, and keep the oven door slightly open.
- Allow the sweet potatoes to dehydrate for 20-24 hours at 115F, or for 10-12 hours at 145F.
If your oven’s lowest setting is above 145F, it would be best to check every hour or so until your chips have reached your preferred level of crispiness.
Dehydrating sweet potatoes in the microwave
- Cover a microwave-safe plate with parchment paper and lightly spray some cooking oil.
- Lay out your slices and leave some breathing room in between.
- Set your microwave at power level 9 and check crispiness after 4 minutes. You may continue to cook and check every 30 seconds until the desired crunch is achieved.
Try the natural way
- Lay out your sweet potato slices on a cooling rack, or any rack you have handy. Arrange them in a single layer.
- Leave the rack under the sun for 2-3 days.
You may have to wait a few more days in case of cold or cloudy weather. That’s it!
How to Store Your Sweet Potato Chips
When your sweet potato chips are crunchy or chewy enough to your liking, just take them out of your dehydrator, oven, or microwave, and allow them to cool on the trays you’ve used.
Once they’ve reached room temperature, you can simply store them in canning bottles or any other airtight container that you have. If you’re storing crispy chips, best to stay away from vacuum bags as these can get punctured by the chips’ sharp edges.
Keep your containers in the fridge and enjoy their yummy healthy goodness for 2-3 weeks!
READ ALSO: How to Store Dried Vegetables – Methods, Pros, and Cons