One night, my mom was cooking her famous elk burgers and decided to take a risk with some sweet potatoes that needed to be used up. She cut them into strips, threw them in the oven with some salt and olive oil, and voila, the sweet potato fry was born into my family! Ever since that night, the sweet potato fry has been a favorite side dish in our house. Elk burgers and sweet potato fries are always highly requested for birthday dinners and family gatherings now. Every time I come home from college, my mom asks if there is anything in particular she should cook. Guess what I say every time? Yep, I just want some sweet potato fries and a juicy elk burger.
Now that you know the history of the sweet potato fry, let’s get down to the nitty gritty. Sweet potatoes are a highly nutritious food. I’m sure you have heard by now that they are chock full of this antioxidant called beta-carotene. This super nutrient protects the body from harmful free radicals that damage otherwise healthy cells. Once in the body, beta carotene is then converted into vitamin A which helps keep the skin, eyes, and immune system healthy. Sweet potatoes also contain a high amount of vitamin C and E and provide you with four grams of fiber per serving. I know that potatoes get a bad rap for being too starchy and calorie dense. I want to knock that myth right now. One medium sweet potato contains just about 100 calories and yes, this vegetable is starchy, but you won’t be getting simple carbs that spike your blood sugar and make your energy crash shortly after. Sweet potatoes contain a type of complex carbohydrate which means that they don’t digest as quickly and help keep your blood sugar at a stable level.
Are you ready for the secret to my sweet potato fries? It’s the microwave! Let me explain. Most recipes suggest throwing the cut sweet potato fries directly into the oven until they become crispy. This method works, but it is a bit time consuming and when I want sweet potato fries, I want them right away! Before baking the fries, cut them up and place them in a microwave safe container and microwave until soft. Using the microwave means you can make crispy fries in about half of the regular time.
I tried cutting my sweet potatoes into thin circles so they would be more like chips than fries. Both ways are delicious!
Sweet Potato Fries
- Sweet Potatoes, 1 per person
- Olive oil, about 1 Tablespoon per baking tray
- Sprinkle of salt, to taste
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
- Cut sweet potatoes into evenly sized strips or round slices. Place in a microwave safe container and microwave until sweet potatoes are soft, about 3 minutes per potato.
- Line a baking sheet with foil and brush with a little olive oil. Transfer sliced sweet potatoes onto baking sheet and spread them around the oily tray
- Bake in oven for 20 minutes making sure to flip potatoes over after 10 minutes.
- Broil for the last 5 minutes to get sweet potatoes nice and crispy.
- Cut the sweet potatoes into evenly sized pieces so that they will cook at the same time.
- Instead of drizzling oil over all the potatoes, lightly coat the tray with oil. This allows more control over the amount of oil that is being used.
- I like to jazz up my sweet potato fries with a sprinkle of cinnamon, ginger, or a dash of cayenne pepper.
And there you have my top secret sweet potato fry recipe! If you end up with too many fries and need to save some for another day, just stick them in a tupperware container and reheat them at a later time. I personally love sweet potato fries reheated in the microwave although they do loose their crispiness. You can try sticking them under the broiler for a few minutes to warm them up and keep them crispy. My favorite part about this recipe is that sweet potatoes are really cheap and I can choose to make just the right amount to eat with my meal. They really are the perfect Table for One food!
Questions of the Day:
1. Are you a sweet potato fry lover?
2. How else do you like to eat your sweet potatoes?