For those of us looking to cut back on our French fry habit, sweet potato fries offer a tasty alternative.
Love fries but want to change the flavor and cut the fat that usually comes with them? Easy! Try these oven roasted sweet potato fries seasoned just the way you want ‘em.
Here are a few tips:
- Sweet Potatoes or Yams? Sweet potatoes and real yams are very different vegetables. In the United States, there are two primary varieties of sweet potatoes: one, called a “sweet potato” has a golden skin with yellow flesh and relatively dry and coarse texture; the other, called a “yam” originally by African slaves because of their similar appearance and texture to native African and Asian yams, has a burnt orange colored skin, bright orange flesh and a more moist and creamy texture. I used “yams” to make the recipe you see here.
- Although this recipe was made with sweet potatoes, you can use the same technique shown here to make oven roasted fries using any kind of potato.
- To Peel or Not to Peel the Skin: I recommend not peeling the skins from the sweet potatoes. Not only is peeling an extra step, but more importantly, removing the skin significantly decreases the nutrient and fiber content found both in and right below the sweet potato skin.
Preparation Time: 5-10 minutes
Cooking Time: 25 minutes
(for 3-4 as side dish)
2 Sweet Potatoes
Ground Black Pepper
Garlic Powder (optional)
Favorite Spice Seasoning (optional)
Sponge with Abrasive Pad
Potholder or Folded Dishtowel
2. While the oven warms, prepare the sweet potatoes. Start by rinsing and scrubbing the sweet potatoes clean with an abrasive sponge to remove as much gritty dirt as possible. If you don’t have an abrasive sponge, you can use your hands or a vegetable brush.
Cut the pointed tips from both ends of the sweet potatoes. Then carefully cut a 1/2 inch (15 mm) lengthwise slice from the sweet potato.
Hold the sweet potato with the freshly cut flat side down on the cutting board and make lengthwise slices 1/2 – 3/4 inch (15 – 20 mm) wide. If cutting the slices is difficult: set the knife blade into the sweet potato flesh, then use the heel of your free hand to press down on the top, dull side of the knife to drive the knife blade through the sweet potato, as shown in the picture on the right.
Cut each of the slices into lengthwise strips also 1/2 – 3/4 inch (15 – 20 mm) wide and either leave the strips as is or cut them in half as shown in the picture on the right.
3. Spray a baking pan with a generous, even layer of cooking spray and pour the cut potatoes onto the pan making sure to…
4. Shake on a dusting of salt, a good crunch of ground black pepper and…
…your choice of optional flavor toppings like garlic powder and spiced seasoning (Cajun spices are shown here).
Top the sweet potatoes with another generous, even coat of cooking spray.
6. When the timer sounds, check the roasted sweet potato fries for doneness by driving the tip of a sharp knife into the middle of one of the largest sweet potato pieces on the baking pan. The sweet potato piece should be soft throughout. If your potatoes are not soft throughout, keep roasting and checking for doneness at 5-minute intervals until they’re cooked through.
7. When the roasted sweet potato fries are cooked through, remove the baking pan from the oven with a potholder or folded dishtowel, and…
…serve the freshly roasted potatoes warm.
Images courtesy of the author.