Monday, November 15, 2010

Crispy Sweet Potato Oven Fries

Crispy Sweet Potato Oven Fries

Growing up, my parents made sure that my taste buds had access to a wide variety of flavors. I never had to clean my plate, but I always had to taste everything that was served. If I didn't like something, I didn't have to eat it, but I had to try it again next time. Because of this, I am not a picky eater and I love to try new food (thanks Mom and Dad!) Over the eighteen years that I lived at home with my parents, there was only one thing that I never learned to like: sweet potatoes. Each time I took that "trial" bite of baked sweet potato, I literally gagged. When I came home from college, my dad finally relented and gave in to the fact that I would never learn to like sweet potatoes. Fast forward to a few years ago when I tried sweet potato fries at a restaurant. Yum! I couldn't believe it, but I actually liked them! I started making them at home and discovered that roasted sweet potatoes are delicious. They are wonderful by themselves or in burritos (like the yummy Black Bean & Sweet Potato Enchiladas), but my favorite thing is to make my own oven fries. I have made oven fries for years with all kinds of potatoes, but sweet potatoes proved to be a bit more challenging. Because they are so dense, it is difficult to get them browned and crispy. Many times they turn out limp and soggy. After many batches, here is what I have come up with for no-fail crispy fries.

-2-3 sweet potatoes
-Cooking spray
-Hungarian Paprika (yes this is different than regular paprika--see the photo below for what it looks like--you can find it in any grocery store)
-sea salt

1. Preheat oven to 500°F.

2. Wash and peel your sweet potatoes. I like to use a "garbage bowl" a la Rachel Ray when I am peeling and dicing things.
3. Cut each sweet potato in half, then in quarters. Slice these pieces about an eighth to a quarter inch wide. This is important! The thinner the slices, the better chance you have of them turning out crispy.
4. Spray a large baking sheet with cooking spray. Arrange your sweet potato slices onto your baking sheet, then lightly spray them with the cooking spray. This is also important. Too much oil will make your fries soggy. Sprinkle hungarian paprika and sea salt over the sweet potatoes.

5. Roast at 500°F for 15-20 minutes flipping halfway through. Be sure to keep your fries arranged in a single layer on the baking sheet. If the fries feel or look too dry while they roast, you can spray them with a little more oil. When they look nice and crispy, pull them out and enjoy! We like to eat them plain or with a little organic ketchup.

Look at that beautiful browning! As a bonus, these sweet potato fries are healthy and kids love them. If you have never learned to like sweet potatoes, give these a try and tell me what you think!

This post is from Alysa Bajenaru, RD.

Thank you, Alysa, for such a wonderful recipe.  I know many people who have converted to eating sweet potatoes when they were introduced to sweet potato fries.  Even my mom, who has hated sweet potatoes all her life, loves sweet potato fries.  Your blog is delightful and I'm happy to share you with my readers. 

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