3 Healthy Freeze-Dried Snack Replacements For Chips

During the cold days of winter, most of us have to fight the primal urge to hibernate and eat as many carbohydrates as we can get our hands on. Modern snack food is designed to be deliciously addictive – no potato chip or cookie manufacturer wants you to be able to eat just one. That’s a double hurdle for those of us trying to maintain a normal body weight during the winter months, or trying to lose holiday weight before summer.

It seems like there are two categories of snackers: Salty and Sweet. Those with a sweet tooth have quite a few healthy options for satisfying cravings. Those of us who love crunchy, salty snacks have a harder row to hoe. What tastes better than potato chips? (Oh yes, flavored potato chips.)

If you have a freeze dryer, it’s very easy to get your crunchy snack fix without adding carbs, fat or calories to your diet. We mentioned last week that freeze-dried okra is all the rage among our friends in the South. There are more vegetables you can substitute for chips, and you can even add your own healthy flavorings if you want.

The key to really fantastic vegetable chips is a kitchen tool called a mandolin. With this slicing aparatus you’ll be able to get thin, uniform slices every time. You don’t need an expensive wooden mandolin – an inexpensive plastic version is just fine.

Here are some of our favorite vegetables to slice, toss in spices and freeze dry for chips:

Sweet Potatoes

What’s not to love about a sweet potato? From a health standpoint, they’re packed with nutrients and fiber. From a foodie standpoint, they’re extremely versatile as they can go either savory or sweet. Cut the potato in half lengthwise, then use a mandolin to make very thin, half-round slices. Toss the slices in a tiny bit of olive oil and salt, then freeze dry. When they’re done, you can kick up the flavor with any kind of herb mix or seasoning salt.

Green Beans

We love green beans because it feels like we’re eating french fries when we eat them. Use the freshest string beans you can find and just leave them intact. Toss with a a little olive oil and salt before freeze drying, or with a little olive oil and lemon pepper seasoning.


This leafy green is so packed with nutrients that they are difficult to get anywhere else from a single food source – but by this point in Winter you may be tired of kale-based soups. Kale chips get a boost from 1 tablespoon of nutritional yeast per 12 oz bunch of greens. Toss the greens with sea salt and olive oil and freeze dry, then place in a gallon Ziplock baggie, add the nutritional yeast and give the bag a gentle shake. We learned about nutritional yeast from our vegan friends who use it to make things taste cheesy – don’t ask us how that works, but it does!

One last tip – you don’t have to segregate your vegetables. In fact, making a big bag of mixed freeze-dried vegetable chips looks beautiful and provides a pretty good nutritional balance for a salty snack. We’re always looking for interesting seasoning mixtures, so if you have a favorite – share it on our Facebook page!


I have a query regarding horseradish. Is is possible to freeze dry horseradish? Do I need to process prior to freeze drying? I was thinking of making a horseradish powder and reconstituting small amounts as needed. Would appreciate any suggestions.

I don’t know if anyone reads the comments here, but I highly recommend cooking both sweet potatoes and okra before freeze drying. I haven’t perfected sweet potatoes yes but the freeze dried raw ones are not inedible, but they leave so much to be desired. My experience with preserving with oils has also been a bust, I would skip the olive oil. I can give some good advice on the okra though because I have perfected that. Cut tops off okra and boil in salted water for 5 minutes after the water has returned to boiling. Then drain and rinse. Then soak for 10 minutes and rinse again. Rinse until the water doesn’t seem syrupy. The only problem with not rinsing is how sticky the okra will be in your molars! Then freeze dry and it’s a great great snack! Perfect veggie for lunch boxes when the kids just start giving the baby carrots a ride to school and back.
Also had great success with snow peas prepared similarly. Lightly boiled, maybe 3 minutes and skip the draining.

THANK You Danielle!!!!
LOVE it when there’s specific instsructions, although I’m not sure if i rinse with cold or hot water?

so is it better to put the flavouring on AFTER FDrying?
That’s interesting about NOT putting on olive oil.
I haven’t FD the turnips yet, but they’re sliced and in the Freezer with a bit of oil, sour cream and seasoning. WONDER how that’s going to work.

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