19 December

It always seems impossible until it’s done. - Mandela

Christmas Crisps Recipe (aka Beetroot & Zucchini Chips)

(gluten-free, dairy-free, sugar-free, grain-free, egg-free)






Oh wow – these are delicious!


They are a nutritious alternative to deep fried crisps which are often available at social events and which are usually laced with MSG, colourants, preservatives and trans fats.


You can make them with a variety of different vegetables (parsnips are particularly good) but to keep with the festive theme, I have chosen beetroot and zucchini for the red and green 🙂


The amount of ingredients to use really depends on how many baking trays you have! The vegetables shrink a lot once cooked – so what may look like a mountain of soon-to-be crisps going into the oven, will be a third of the size when they come out! My advice is to fill all your baking trays, and perhaps even do a few batches throughout the day.


This recipe is taken from my book Mila’s Meals: The Beginning & The Basics.

Veggie Crisps

Key: gluten-free, dairy-free, sugar-free, grain-free, egg-free, paleo, vegetarian, vegan, for adults too

Makes 2 small bowls


(t. = teaspoon; T. = tablespoon, C. = cup)

  • 1 large zucchini or 4 baby marrows, washed
  • 2 beetroot, washed and peeled
  • 5 T. organic olive oil
  • ± 3 t. desert or sea salt



  1. Preheat your oven to 100°C (220°F).
  2. Using a pastry brush (or painting brush), brush your baking trays with olive oil.
  3. Thinly slice the zucchini (or baby marrows) and beetroot (a mandolin is great for this).
  4. Place the slices on the prepared baking trays and brush lightly with olive oil.
  5. Sprinkle the salt over all the slices (less is more!)
  6. Bake in the oven for approximately 2 hours – they should be crispy, not soggy or brown.
  7. Cool on a wire rack and serve.
  8. These can be stored in an airtight container for 3 days. If they get a little soggy, simply ‘refresh’ in the oven until crispy again.

Mila's Meals Veggie Crisps

Why you should make these


Store bought crisps are loaded with a variety of ingredients which you would be better off avoiding.


An example of the ingredients in a store-bought bag of veggie chips:

Vegetables (Sweet Potato, Butternut, Carrots, Beetroot), Vegetable oil (Canola, Maize germ oil, Antioxidant: TBHQ), Salt, Rice flour.



Three of these ingredients are cause for concern:

Canola Oil and Maize Germ Oil (also known as Corn Oil)


Over 90% of Canola Oil is genetically modified (yes those fields of striking yellow flowers as you drive from Cape Town to the Garden Route are more than likely GMO crops – which really takes away from their beauty). Maize Germ Oil is also more than likely produced from GMO Corn. Canola and Corn oils are also a partially hydrogenated oil. Ah, what?


Weston A. Price foundation and Fat Experts Sally Fallon and Mary Enig explain:

“Like all modern vegetable oils, canola oil goes through the process of refining, bleaching and degumming — all of which involve high temperatures or chemicals of questionable safety. And because canola oil is high in omega-3 fatty acids, which easily become rancid and foul-smelling when subjected to oxygen and high temperatures, it must be deodorized. The standard deodorization process removes a large portion of the omega-3 fatty acids by turning them into trans fatty acids. Although the Canadian government lists the trans content of canola at a minimal 0.2 percent, research at the University of Florida at Gainesville, found trans levels as high as 4.6 percent in commercial liquid oil. The consumer has no clue about the presence of trans fatty acids in canola oil because they are not listed on the label.”


Source: Dr Axe


Trans fatty acids (the result of this hydrogenation process) are really not good for you!


As I write in Mila’s Meals: The Beginning & The Basics:


“Trans fat increases LDL (‘bad’) cholesterol levels while decreasing HDL (‘good’) cholesterol; increases the risk of heart attacks, heart disease and strokes; and, contributes to increased inflammation, diabetes and other health problems.


The Institute of Medicine has advised consumers to consume as little trans fat as possible, ideally less than about 2 grams a day (that much might come from naturally occurring trans fat in beef and dairy products). The Harvard School of Public Health researchers estimate that trans fat have been causing about 50,000 premature heart attack deaths annually, making partially hydrogenated oil one of the most harmful ingredients in the food supply.”



TBHQ is a synthetic antioxidant. As I write in the Appendix of my book:


“Most people think antioxidants are beneficial, and this is true for natural antioxidants such as vitamin C and vitamin E. However, there are two groups of synthetic antioxidants that can cause nasty side effects – gallates and synthetic antioxidants tBHQ, BHA and BHT.


Antioxidants in food work in a similar way to preservatives – extending the shelf life of food and improving their taste and appearance. They do this by preventing, or slowing down, oxidation – that is, preventing rancidity in fats and oils and the natural browning by enzymes in fruit and vegetables.


TBHQ (also known as: tBHQ tert-Butylhydroquinone and E319) is usually found in any food that contains fats or oils and they are not necessarily labelled. Examples include: margarines, vegetable oils, fried foods, and any food containing vegetable oil.


Reasons to avoid: there is build up from small doses eaten nearly every day. TBHQ can be associated with the full range of food intolerance reactions such as irritability, restlessness and difficulty falling asleep; mood swings, anxiety, depression, panic attacks; inattention, difficulty concentrating or debilitating fatigue; eczema, urticaria, contact dermatitis (from cosmetics etc) and other itchy skin rashes; reflux, sneaky poos, bloating, abdominal pain, stomach aches and other irritable bowel symptoms including constipation; headaches or migraines; frequent colds, flu, bronchitis, tonsillitis, sinusitis; stuffy or runny nose, throat clearing, cough or asthma; joint pain and arthritis.”

I list the ingredients to look out for in the “Feeding With Awareness: Chemical Cuisine” chapter of my book and go into further detail of why they should be avoided in the Appendix. You can download my Worst Offenders Chart here for easy reference when being a food detective!

Mila's Meals: The Beginnings & The Basics - Food Additives Worst Offenders

Be sure to come back to our advent calendar tomorrow to open another surprise 🙂

mila's meals advent calendar 19 december
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