Whenever possible we make things in the microwave. It’s easy, convenient, and often fat free. This time around we made crisps from a bunch of purple potatoes from our cardboard box potato experiment (which has been going rather well).
The purple potato, first cultivated in the Peruvian Andes by the Incas, is believed to be one of the earliest grown varieties.
While the Atkins brigade has attempted to discredit the potato as a nutritional source, the fact remans that it is rich in vitamins, minerals and fiber.
A medium potato (150g/5.3 oz) with the skin provides 45% of the daily value of Vitamin C, 18% of the daily value of potassium, 10% of vitamin B6 and trace amounts of thiamin, riboflavin, folate, niacin, magnesium, phosphorus, iron, and zinc. Moreover, the fiber content of a potato with skin (2 grams) equals that of many whole grain breads, pastas, and cereals. Potatoes also contain an assortment of phytochemicals, such as carotenoids and polyphenols. The notion that “all of the potato’s nutrients” are found in the skin is an urban legend. While the skin does contain approximately half of the total dietary fiber, more than 50% of the nutrients are found within the potato itself. The cooking method used can significantly impact the nutrient availability of the potato.
Among the various varieties, purple and red potatoes are the richest in anthocyanins – the pigments that impart to fruits their vibrant colours. Anthocyanins are members of the flavinoid group of phytochemicals. Their antioxidant properties are known to combat cancer, aging, bacterial infections and inflammations.
According to one study, “The hydrophilic antioxidant activity of solidly pigmented red or purple potatoes is comparable to brussels sprouts or spinach.” Purple potatoes, also called ‘Delta potatoes’ are rich in the same antioxidants found in blueberries. In taste, they are quite similar to regular yellow, white or red potatoes.
The trick to making crisps in the microwave is to slice them thin, get some air space around them so that they can breathe, and watch them like a hawk. Microwaves are notorious for hot spots (even the ones with a carousel) and that means constant monitoring.
1) Cut the potatoes into even slices preferably using a mandoline (we cut them to 2mm thickness).
2) Place them on a plastic perforated rack without overlapping them. We improvised with the steamer that came with our rice cooker. A regular plate will work, but it may take longer.
3) Microwave for three sets of three minutes each at 50% power, 40% power, and 30% power. Turn after every three minutes. Reducing the power of the microwave is not essential, but if operating at full power reduce the time accordingly. I found that reducing the power gave me some respite from the “hawk” duties while continuing to cook other things. As a calibration guide, our Microwave can bring 250ml of water in a glass cup to boil in 2 minutes (at full power). Be aware that water heated in a microwave can ‘explode’, causing serious injuries.
4) Leave them alone for 5 minutes after they come out of the microwave to crispen a bit more.
PURPLE POTATO CRISPS with dry garlic chutney
This is our entry for Rachel’s Go Ahead Honey, It’s Gluten Free: Seasonal Vegetables Event @ Crispy Cook
and Srivalli’s Microwave Easy Cooking event @ Cooking 4 All Seasons
and Easycrafts’ WYF: Colour in Food @ Simple Indian Food.