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Penny Pinching Epicure: I Have a Crush on Sweet Potatoes

Friday, October 2, 2009

I Have a Crush on Sweet Potatoes

No joke. I am a huge fan of sweet potatoes, not only because they are delicious and filling, but also because they are packed with fiber, vitamins and nutrients. They have a highly versatile flavor profile and do well as sweet, savory, even spicy. My fave: baked sweet potato fries. It's a minimalist recipe, but that really makes sweet potato the star of this dish.

Warning: These fries are healthy and highly addictive. You have been forewarned.

A note about peeling sweet potatoes (and most fruits and veggies): Many of the vitamins and nutrients are located just under the skin, and you lose that when you peel it off. The skin also helps crunchify these fries, so unless you are extraordinarily averse to potato skins (or eating healthy), just scrub it clean and leave it on!

Baked Sweet Potato Fries


4 medium sweet potatoes, scrubbed
2 Tbsp light olive or vegetable oil
1 tsp sea salt (more if you like your fries super salty)

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Cut sweet potatoes into strips (you can do shoestring or boardwalk size, just know you'll have to adjust the baking time depending on how thick they are).
  3. In a large bowl, drizzle strips with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Stir to coat. Spread strips in a single layer on a baking sheet (they won't crisp up if they are all jumbled--if you don't have enough room, use more than one sheet).
  4. Bake in the oven 30-40 minutes or until fries are crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. Stir every 15ish minutes so they bake evenly. Cool completely before storing.
Fun variations:
  • Toss with chopped fresh rosemary and a few peeled garlic cloves before baking.
  • Toss with 1/2 tsp of chili or curry powder before baking.
  • Omit salt and sprinkle with 2 Tbsp Parmesan cheese before baking.
P.S. Playing this song while munching on your fries will really enhance the experience:)

The cost:
sweet potatoes: 1.58

Grand total: $1.58; serves 5-6 as a side

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Blogger xerpentine said...

A tip on salting fries (and starches generally): They swallow salt during the cooking process. Use a little a start to draw out the moisture and, thus, the flavor in the cooking process.

If you want a salty product, you can get it using a lot less NaCl by tossing the fries in salt just out of the oven. The salt stays on the surface and registers more readily on the tongue.

October 5, 2009 at 11:56 AM  

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