It’s hard to imagine I once lived without knowing the existence of sweet potato fries. Since I first discovered these about 5 years ago, I’ve made them at least once a week. Which means I must have popped around 260 oven trays filled with sweet potato fries into my oven. And I can assure you I’m far from sweet potato fries boredom (as if that were even an option).
Sweet potato fries are super easy, require only 20-30 minutes baking, are loved by most children, and are incredibly healthy. They taste great with any kind of meat or seafood, but can also be mixed in your lunch salad the next day. Some also like these as an afternoon snack.
The deep orange to red colour of sweet potatoes indicates their high concentration of carotenes, which are good for the eyes, heart, and skin, and support the immune system. In addition, sweet potatoes are powerful antioxidants, very high in vitamins C and B6, and a good source of manganese, copper, vitamin B2, B5, and B7, and dietary fibre.
I usually make my sweet potato fries with olive oil, tamari, garlic, and thyme. An even healthier and equally tasty way of preparing them is by using coconut oil instead of olive oil. Coconut oil is more heat resistant than olive oil and has many health-promoting benefits, such as improving cholesterol levels, protecting hair and skin, and promoting weight loss.
A few tips for perfect crispy sweet potato fries:
- Cut them rather thin, but not too thin. If they’re too thick they won’t get crispy, and too thin will turn them into dry chips. But don’t worry, you’ll figure out the perfect size soon enough
- Try to cut them into similarly sized fries so they’ll bake evenly
- Spread the fries in a single layer for a crispier result
- Ideally you flip them half way through baking, but I usually forget this step and they always turn out fine (though turning does make them crispier)
- Some coat the fries with corn starch for crispier results, but I’ve never tried this
- Bake them long enough, until they become crispy. The edges might turn dark brown, but don’t worry because those little edges taste great (caramelized rather than burnt).
- Before baking I usually season them with tamari, thyme, pepper, and fresh garlic. Other great options are cayenne pepper, sea salt, cumin, curry, or paprika powder. I also like to add a few sunflower seeds for an extra bite (make sure they’re coated with olive or coconut oil before baking, otherwise they’ll burn).
- 3-4 medium sized sweet potatoes
- Olive or coconut oil (about a tablespoon per potato)
- Tamari (about a tsp. per potato)
- 2-3 cloves garlic
- Optional: a handful sunflower seeds (see comment above)
- Heat the oven to 200°C (400 °F)
- Cut the sweet potatoes in thin fries
- Put them in a large bowl and mix with all other ingredients. Make sure all fries are well coated with the oil
- Spread them in a single layer on an oven tray lined with baking paper
- Bake for 20-30 minutes. See comment above for tips
- They’re ready when crispy and slightly burnt on the edges