I love finding ways to get more veggies into my kids–they can dip veggies into this dairy-free pizza dip, dairy-free ranch dip, or savory hummus, and they also love these kale chips and easy sun-dried tomatoes for snacking on. However, now we have a new favorite in our household, these Crispy Green Bean Crisps.
Veggie Chips are all the rage among “healthy snack seekers” but they are pretty pricey. We love them, but it's pretty easy to sit down and devour an entire bag of them- if I bought bags of these crispy veggie chips, we would devour them in no time flat, meaning that likely I would have to mortgage more than our home to afford having these snacks in our pantry regularly :).
I don't mean those “veggie sticks” that are really just potato starch with small amounts of vegetable powder. I mean those real veggies fried in oil that are crispy and a great alternative to potato chips if you are looking for something healthier.
However, besides them costing a small fortune, the “real veggie chips” have another problem as well–they are typically made with oils that I consider to be “less than optimal,” to be generous–for example, canola oil (that's almost for sure GMO), and the like.
So I decided that I would have to figure out a way to make these on the cheap and with oils that I feel good serving to my family.
I loaded up my cart with several of the big 5-pound bags of organic green beans at Costco and went to work.
And ended up with a recipe that is a real winner.
I do think, however, that we need to consider buying stock in the organic green bean company because we've been eating so many of these.
Seriously, I can hardly keep my kids out of them (and to be honest, I have a hard time not eating them too!)
Whenever my kids are going a little “overboard” on these crisps and I tell them it's too much, they are quick to remind me that they are eating a super healthy snack that's all veggies. I guess I should be really thankful – could be worse, right?
We've tried these with both coconut and olive oil. The coconut oil needs to be heated to melting first and it solidifies on the green beans if they are still pretty cold. For that reason, the olive oil is easier, but we prefer the taste of the crisps made with the coconut oil somewhat.
Also, since we are dairy-free for the most part, due to my son's life-threatening food allergies and myself having a recent diet change, I chose to use nutritional yeast on these, but you could always use parmesan instead if you can have dairy.
I am not thrilled with the folic acid in most nutritional yeast so I am on the hunt for one without folic acid (there are many concerns about synthetic folic acid for those with the MTHFR mutations, especially those with high homocysteine, apparently. There are other apparent concerns as well. I am doing more research into it, and am not sure that it's crucial to avoid all synthetic folic acid, but I do think it's possible many people have too much of it). I found one, but it is uber expensive, so the hunt continues. I hope to find something to share with you in the not so distant future.
UPDATE — I found a brand of nutritional yeast without synthetic folic acid and will be looking for more!
So many seasonings would taste great on these veggie chips. The above-mentioned options are wonderful but you could also use:
Really, the possibilities are endless.
I have received many comments from readers stating that their chips are “ugly” or not crispy.
I would like to address both of those concerns:
- These veggie chips are NOT pretty. I promise you that I barely altered the photo of my green bean chips. I made them a tad lighter and that's it. I don't own photoshop and am not great at photo editing in the first place, but I also want you to see what you are going to get.I think that the parchment paper and the little glass jar and the background of our antique table make them look nicer than they do in a plastic tub.
- Sometimes my chips aren't that crisp either. Typically that is because I haven't dried them enough.
- Here's my BEST crispy chip tip. SQUEEEEEEEZE out your frozen green beans before coating them. We do this almost every time, but once my husband did it (he's got a better grip than I d0) and the chips dried MUCH faster and the resulting crispy chips were super crispy. 🙂
In response to comments from readers about “ugly chips”, in addition to accusations that I doctored my photo a ton, here is the original untouched photo.
And here is the lightly lightened photo.
As you can see, there isn't a whole lot of difference. I think having the chips in a cute jar with parchment and doing a close up shot makes all the difference. BUT–since this image was shot, I changed how I am making these Green Bean Chips. Now we SQUEEEEEZE them really well before drying them.
So they are smaller, thinner and really not attractive, BUT they taste better and are more crispy.
I might try to update with a new photo, but I assure you, you want to ignore how these things look and SQUEEZE them out and make them.
If you'd like to make your chips look cute too…..
Here is the parchment paper
and here are the jars :).
Ugly or not, I love these chips!
What Kind of Dehydrator Should You Buy?
We love our Excalibur Dehydrator. Works great and makes a ton of food. We bought the 9 tray so that we could easily do lots of dehydrating at one time. It's been one of the best purchases we've made for our whole food kitchen.
If you think that's too much drying green beans power for you, then something like this 5-tray Excalibur might be enough.
Recipe Notes and Substitutions for Green Bean Chips
- Leave Chips in Dehydrator: The chips need to be really really dry in order to be crispy. If you remove them from the dehydrator too soon, they will be really hard to chew.
- Frozen or Thawed Beans: I have used both frozen and thawed beans. The oils solidifies quickly on them, but it does work.
- Appearance: The beans are NOT pretty when done. I have gotten quite a few comments from readers who were surprised that their beans didn't look like mine. My dehydrated beans do not look nice.
The photo is a true one and I only lightened it a tiny bit. The original looks almost identical to it. I think that somehow the lighting or the color of the table or the presentation made them look nicer than they do but please don't expect your bean chips to look pretty.
- Fresh Beans: One reader commented that she tried both fresh and frozen beans and that the fresh did not work. I have heard from others that fresh works, but the result isn't as good. One alternative is to flash blanch the fresh beans and then dehydrate them.
- Nutritional Yeast: If you don't like or don't use nutritional yeast, use 1 tsp each garlic powder and onion powder — See Easy Homemade Garlic Powder.
Can't Stop Eating 'Em Crispy Green Bean Chips
These Crispy Green Bean Chips are easy to make and a great way to get veggies into your and your family's diet. They're gluten free and dairy free too.
Place green beans in a large bowl. If using frozen green beans, simply allow them to thaw in a bowl (optional - see notes below). If using fresh beans, you will need to blanch them first.
Pour oil on top of beans. If using coconut oil, melt the oil first and work fast as the oils solidifies quickly if your room or beans are cold.
Sprinkle seasonings on top of coated beans and stir well.
Dry in dehydrator until crisp dry. This takes approximately 10 - 12 hours at 125 degrees, or 8 hours at 135 degrees, but occasionally longer. You could also bake in a low temperature oven.
Store in an airtight container.
Whatever way you choose to make these green bean chips, I guarantee you'll find it hard to keep them around very long :).
What's your favorite healthy snack?
Do you love veggie chips as much as we do?