Marmite. Love it or hate it?
I love it.
I slather Marmite on toast. I mix Marmite and peanut butter together and eat it on celery. I’ve spread it on a corn tortilla and baked it until crisp in the oven. Love it!
Marmite is thick, has a very salty flavor and, for some, is definitely an acquired taste. This dense, almost meaty flavored condiment made the list in Ginny Messina’s excellent post on Umami:
It’s been dubbed the “fifth taste” (the other four being sweet, sour, bitter, and salty). Discovered over 100 years ago, umami has more recently become a respectable area of research. The taste/experience of umami is imparted by high levels of the amino acid glutamate. While certain vegetables have umami, it’s especially abundant in protein-rich animal foods.
What’s in the wholly natural Marmite? Yeast Extract, Salt, Carrot & Onion Extract, Spice Extracts, enriched with B Vitamins – Niacin (B3), Thiamin (B1), Riboflavin (B2), and Cyanocobalamin (B12).
While some say Australian Vegemite and Marmite are the same thing, I think not Vegemite ingredients: Yeast Extract, Salt, Caramel, Malt Extract, Natural Flavor.
A few weeks ago I saw a mention of Marmite potato chips on their Facebook page.
I immediately started searching to find a local store that carried the crisps or an online source to place an order. I couldn’t find them anywhere in the U.S. I wrote about my obsession on my own Facebook page and was told that Walker’s Marmite Crisps weren’t vegan. Gasp!
Clearly, I needed to make them for myself.
I decided to try a baked and a high raw version of my very own Marmite Sweet Potato chips. Why “high” raw and not raw? Because I read this about how it’s made
While the process is secret, the general method for making yeast extract on a commercial scale is to add salt to a suspension of yeast, making the solution hypertonic, which leads to the cells shrivelling up; this triggers “autolysis“, in which the yeast self-destructs. The dying yeast cells are then heated to complete their breakdown… SOURCE
Raw readers – your thoughts?
I began by slicing sweet potatoes with my scary but awesome mandoline.
Marmite is really, really thick. And really, really salty. I decided to dilute the Marmite by adding hot water to the Vitamix and slowly drizzling it into the blender.
I added apple cider vinegar to the blender and then poured the foamy liquid over the sweet potatoes.
I tossed the slices and marinade with my hands (it loses the foamy-ness and becomes a dark liquid). After tossing to make sure that each slice was covered with the marinade I set the bowl aside for 15 minutes.
Then I loaded up a cookie sheet (for baked chips) and the dehydrator trays (for raw chips).
The baked chips took about 35 minutes (1/8 inch slices) at 400F.
The raw, at 125F, 18 hours.
I love these chips! My omnivore husband – not a huge Marmite fan – loved these chips! The raw both won the taste-test, though.
Okay, finally, the recipe!
Marmite Sweet Potato Chips (Baked or High Raw)
Keywords: bake dehydrator raw snack vegan
Ingredients (Makes about 4 cups)
- 4 medium sweet potatoes
- 1/2 cup hot water
- 2 tablespoon Marmite
- 2 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- Wash sweet potatoes and slice into 1/8 inch slices; set aside in a large mixing bowl.
- Pour water into the blender and turn it on (low). Drizzle the Marmite in slowly.
- Add vinegar, turn on high super-quick and then you’re done. This will seem like 2 cups because it will be foamy.
- Pour over the potato slices in the mixing bowl. Toss, using your hands, to make sure all slices are covered.
- Set the bowl aside for about 15 minutes.
For baked chips
- Heat oven to 400F
- Place potato slices on a cookie sheet, single layer, and pour about 1/4 cups of marinade over each sheet.
- Bake for 35 minutes (or until crisp), turning at half-way point.
For high raw chips
- Place potato slices on a ParaFlexx sheet on the dehydrator tray, single layer, and pour about 1/4 cups of marinade over each tray.
- Dehydrate on 125F for 18 hours (flip chips over, off the ParaFlexx sheet and onto the mesh screen, at 3 or 4 hours).
If you want a thicker marinade, I would suggest playing with it. Cut the water to 1/4 cup or increase the Marmite another tablespoon. Baking time will vary depending upon the thickness of your potato slices; if you opt for thinner than 1/8 inch, it will require less baking time.
So, Marmite fans, play with this recipe and let me know what you think!
I Eat Plants columnist JL Fields is a certified vegan lifestyle coach and educator. She writes about her transition to a vegan diet and lifestyle at JL goes Vegan: Food & Fitness with a Side of Kale. Her original recipes have been featured on Foodbuzz, BlogHer and Meatless Monday. She is the editor of the community blog Stop Chasing Skinny: Find Happiness Beyond the Scale. JL is the founder and lead consultant for JL Fields Consulting. She serves on the board of directors of the Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary and the advisory board of Our Hen House. Follow JL on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and Google+.