The Cottage Smallholder

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Beetroot crisps recipe: a way to cope with and enjoy a beetroot glut


Photo: Organic beetroot

Photo: Organic beetroot

Vegetable crisps are surprisingly delicious. I was first introduced to them at a party in the 90’s, when a bowl of these were passed round and scoffed. They must have been Tyrrell’s  as this was the first company to manufacture them in the UK.

Last year I dehydrated  beetroot slices for the winter and discovered that I had made tasty, healthy crisps. They didn’t last very long once we’d tasted them – we guzzled the winter stores within a week. 

This year I’m going to increase our vegetable crisp repertoire and try parsnips and carrots – presumably like the beetroots they have to be cooked first. Tyrrell’s crisps are fried so ours are a much tastier no fat healthier option. I’m going to experiment with dehydrating sliced potatoes too. If I was serving these to guests I would sprinkle over a little finely ground sea salt and perhaps some olive oil. What do you think?

Meanwhile here’s how to make simple, oil free beetroot crisps.

Leave at least 6”/15 cm of stem on the beetroot so that the nutrients are not lost during cooking and when you are washing them try to avoid damaging the skin. Simmer the beets whole until soft (this can take from 1-2 hours depending on their size). When they are cooked the skins should easily rub off in your fingers. If they don’t, return them to the pot.

When cooked halve and slice the beetroot fine (this makes dehydration faster) and dehydrate until brittle. Store in an airtight container. If you haven’t got a dehydrator these chips can be made in a conventional oven (spread on trays, overnight at the lowest setting possible) but have to be eaten within a day or two as some moisture always seems to remain in the beetroot even if you have an Aga. But if you do have an Aga you could part dry them and then finish them off in a dehydrator, saving on extra fuel costs. I’d love an Aga but reckon that they are expensive to run all year.

  Leave a reply


  1. Not really crisps at all, but I was just reading this article: about meringues, and thought the dehydrator would be the perfect way to cook them; 60/70 degrees for 10 or so hours. Has anybody tried?

    I’ll give it a go sometime, and report back.

  2. Suki Bryson

    I’ve done apple crisps in the dehydrator before, and have just ordered me a new 9 tray excalibur (only had a small westfalia before), so I’m looking forward to doing lots more different things and I’d love to see more postings about dehydrators and what you do with yours (and what you’ve tried that didn’t work too!). With my apples the way we like best is to core them but leave the skins on, then place them overnight soaking in water that’s infused with honey, lemon, cinamon, cloves and a little all spice. Then dehydrate and you have apple pie flavoured apple crisps 😀 yummy!

  3. Charlie

    Wasn’t which post to put this comment on as both made me think about my Great Aunt May and I really had to share. It was one Christmas Day a few years ago and on the table we had a few nibbles to keep people going before lunch including a bowl of vegetable crisps. We also had a nice bowl of christmassy pot pourri on the table – my Aunt is very short sighted and it took us quite a while to realise that she was eating from the wrong bowl. Henceforth veg crisps were referred to as pot pourri by our family!!

  4. Scott at Real Epicurean

    A great idea, I’ve eaten beetroot crisps before and loved them.

    When to plant beetroot, by the way?

  5. Fiona Nevile

    Hi Jenny

    Thanks for the link – I hadn’t heard of Everwarm. I’d love one of those but a bit out of our price range ATM!

    One January I was decorating a house where the heating had been switched off (the clients were away on holiday). The Aga was cleverly positioned in the centre of the house so it was warm everywhere apart from the old fashioned single paned conservatory.

    Hi Jean

    I’ll try the blanching method – sounds good.

    Last year we made strawberry chips and they were to die for.

    Hello Barbara

    Courgette chips – I wouldn’t have thought of those.


    Hello Ruta

    I can totally understand where you are coming from – if the house is cold and damp you have to keep it running all year. But the cost of oil is horrendous and presumably will keep on going up.

    I’ve heard of people converting Agas and Rayburns to being fuelled by wood – could this be an option for you?

  6. Ruta Masteika

    I have a love/hate relationship with my Rayburn. It’s a newish model but still horrendously expensive to run. The last 1000L cost over £650 which only lasts a few months if we don’t run the central heating system. As well as giving us hot water (new washing machines only use cold!) it keeps the damp at bay in our old farmhouse that was built straight onto clay. Without it the house becomes cold and damp and apart from a hotplate it’s my only cooker so I have no option but to keep it running all year long.

  7. Barbara

    Thank you for this, it is really timely. I was wondering how to make beet crisps, and now I know– they are in the dehydrator as I write. I really like courgette/zucchini crisps and started making last week. So far they are still crisp!

  8. Jean Damgaard

    I used to make carrot and parsnip chips by drying them. I blanched them first then dried them. My daughter (27) asked for some earlier this year, my old dehydrator is long gone, so I have saved up and am buying a new one, she has great plans for it. She also suggested, swiss chard, curly kale, and strawberry crisps, but this year we will be concentrating on the vast amounts of apples we harvest.

  9. I’d love an Aga but at the moment it’s quite out of the question. I’ve also looked at the Everhot ranges ( and I think they’re very economical. It seems that the makers of all these wonderful ranges have cottoned onto the fact that they’re going to have to make them truly efficient, if they’re to sell well. They are, after all, wonderful to have in the kitchen!

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