May 11, 2010

Baked Carrot Chips: Better than Goldfish

I've been trying, with varying degrees of success, to avoid dairy, gluten, and caffeine since ending the elimination diet. Some days, I do really well. Other days, I eat a snack bag of Goldfish and have milk in iced coffee (well, the coffee and milk only happened once).

Since I've given up the rigidity of the diet, it's been harder than I anticipated to avoid the mindless eating I thought I'd magically beaten. This is also because I crave salt the way most people crave candy. My mother has joked more than once about buying me a salt lick for Christmas.

My constant salt craving has been leading me to the Goldfish more than I'd like recently, and I'm determined to put an end to it, for my skin and my waistline's benefit. In that light, I wanted to try making an alternative to Goldfish tonight--something that was still crunchy and salty, but that was also gluten and dairy free.

Since this is the last week before I get paid, I was limited to the complete chaos that has become my fridge and pantry. A brief cross-section for you: I have coconut milk, red beans, artichoke hearts, two bunches of carrots, brown rice, tahini, an egg, a ton of fresh dill and mint, and some deli turkey I've been eating with salads for lunch.

So I chose the carrots. The recent success of my baked sweet potato chips and fries told me that baking carrot slices was the way to go, and so that's the way I went.

I started by slicing the carrots pretty thin, so that they had the best chance of drying out and crisping up in the oven. I coated them in about 2 tbsp. of olive oil, and then sprinkled on a liberal amount of kosher salt and pepper.

I put the carrots in the oven to bake at 400 degrees, figuring 10-12 minutes would be perfect. Then, I promptly forgot the carrots were in the oven because I was too focused on my other project: sun-dried tomato and artichoke pesto. By the time I finally remembered (about 20 minutes), some of my poor carrot babies had been burned, but many were still good and some were perfect.

I picked this little guy as a demonstration of how crispy some of the carrot "chips" had gotten--they were curly and crunchy and salty and beautiful. I ate a bunch of them mixed in with brown rice and avocado, and they provided wonderful texture and flavor to an already delicious standby (what is it about brown rice and avocado?).

Of course, after I ate the carrot chips you see above with the brown rice and avocado, I scraped the rest of them (even the burned ones, which were delicious) into a bowl and ate them like chips. Very pleasing, very healthy, and way better than Goldfish. So there!


  1. wow, I have never heard of baked carrot chips. Sounds fantastic! I wonder if I can sell the idea to my kids ;-)

  2. I tried these. They're so good!