Never Eat Fast Food French Fries Again

This is a guest post by Lisa Cain, PhD, a.k.a Snack-Girl

Yes, you can do it! You can give up your beloved french fries and celebrate their exit from your life.

Seriously.

Before you start arguing with me about how you simply will never leave them – have you met “homemade sweet potato fries”? Get out of that BAD relationship and move into a healthier and more loving space, and you will NEVER go back. I promise.

Baked sweet potato fries have the crunchy outside, and the soft inside and they pack a nutritional wallop with 219% of your daily allowance of Vitamin A in one serving. And that is just ONE of the benefits of eating them.

Half a potato is going to set you back 111 calories (with the olive oil), but that is nothing compared to buying and eating fast food fries (560 calories for a large fries). You could eat the entire recipe below and still have calories to spare!

What I really like about making my own fries is that I can customize the flavor. Some great additions to sweet potatoes are:

  • brown sugar
  • cajun spice
  • cinnamon
  • cayenne pepper
  • minced garlic
  • taco seasoning

Grab your favorite flavors and just toss them in. They become so flavorful and seriously addictive (like those other french fries – but you have forgotten them and moved on because these are SO much better).

After you make these, just pop them in your fridge. Eat them as a snack or add them to your salad. Mush them in your yogurt or eat them for breakfast After they are refrigerated, they aren’t as crunchy but they still taste really good.

What do you put in your sweet potato fries?

Sweet Potato Fries Recipe

(serves 4)
aluminum foil for pan
2 medium sweet potatoes
2 tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 450 F. Half the sweet potatoes lengthwise. Place on flat slide and slice 5-6 spears (thick and long strips) of sweet potato. Place them on the aluminum foil and toss with olive oil and your favorite flavorings.

Spread them in one layer. It is important that they have space around them and aren’t piled up on each other. Bake for 15 minutes and turn with tongs or a spatula. Bake for another 5 to 10 minutes, until lightly browned. Add optional salt and pepper. Serve hot, room temperature, or cold.

For one serving: 111 calories, 6.8 g fat, 11.8 g carbohydrates, 1.1 g protein, 1.9 g fiber, 21 mg sodium, 4 PointsPlus

Lisa Cain, Ph.D. writes about healthy snacks on Snack-Girl.com. She is a published author, mother of two, and avid snacker.

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  • http://twitter.com/katsugankz John Marshall

    Already made the switch! I love sweet potato fries~

  • http://www.sweetpotatoes.com Wayne E. Bailey Produce

    More info on sweetpotatoes: http://www.sweetpotatoes.com and also search for Wayne E. Bailey Produce Company on facebook! We are an industry innovator, providing delicious, nutritious, and healthy NC sweetpotatoes to grocery store shelves near you!

  • vidiot23

    The wife and I make these about every other day (we cube the sweet potatoes, rather than cutting into fries). Once you start with these, regular old french fries taste pretty blah. You won’t want those any more!

  • Jjkasmith

    Do they need to be peeled?

    • http://www.sweetpotatoes.com Wayne E. Bailey Produce

      Peeling is a personal preference, the skin is full of nutrients and fiber.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=716125990 Rita Marino

    Another great way to have sweet potatoes (SP) is my SP with Beet mash!
    Roast one sweet potato and 2 beets to equal the size of the SP mash together with ½ cup of warm low sodium organic veg stalk and once you get the mash consistency you desire add 2 tablespoons
    of organic maple syrup. Looks like a beautiful red side on your plate and tastes amazing! Not to mention full of vitamins! One cup about 200 calories and based on a 2000 daily calorie intake Vitamin A 80%; Calcium 7%; Vitamin C 18%; Iron 11%

    • Lisa

      Funny about the aesthetic comment – every time I mash sweet potatoes, everyone comments on how pretty and bright it looks on the dish!

  • http://www.theotherbigo.ca Lauren

    I love sweet potato fries! They are so good and a great guilt-free alternative to regular French Fries. I sometimes make a combo of sweet potato & parsnip fries – yum!

    I’m currently studying to become a Registered Holistic Nutritionist and I did learn the dangers of using aluminum foil while cooking. Traces of aluminum can seep into the food when heated. Aluminum is scary because its been tied to causing Alzheimers & other degenerative illness. I make sweet pototo fries all the time, and just put them straight on a baking sheet. Just thought I’d pass along a healthy tip!

    • Lisa

      Thank god for parchment paper. :) Don’t tell me that’s bad for me, haha.

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_R7AD4VDCURMCACQOITZPDSTCKM MichaelT

        I think parchment is probably OK. If you can find the unbleached kind even better (less chemicals).

        • Kss Kylie

          MORE CHEMICALS= BETTER!!

      • Kss Kylie

        IT IS SOOO BAD FOR YOU!!

    • Mmorelli04

      The amount of aluminum that can potentially leak into your food is far less than the amount you would have to be exposed to in order for it to cause neurological damage. Using aluminum foil and products containing aluminum have been shown to have no relation to cancer or other illness. Now, if you were referring to aluminum powders and filings that could be ingested in higher levels, I would happily concur.

    • SusanHTurner

      You can also use baking paper so they wont stick and dont have a clean up job

      • Kss Kylie

        STICK=GOOD!

    • Sue

       Most baking sheets now days are made from aluminum or coated metals.  Go to your restaurant supply store and find steel pans and line them with parchment for a non-stick surface.  Safest choice all around!

    • Mary Karas

      Thank you for giving that bit of information on using aluminum foil for cooking.  I try to tell people not to use it for the same reasons you just gave, but usually, I am ignored. 

  • http://twitter.com/lauren_015 Lauren Smith

    I seriously make homemade sweet potato fries weekly. I use cayenne pepper to season them. I freeze the leftovers, and then I pop them back in the oven for 5-10 minutes to reheat them. They get crispy again!

  • Charlotte

    Thank you Snack Girl! I’ve made them in past years, but they always get too soft. Guess I need to get some guts and turn up the heat on them! With the BBQ season soon kicking in again, I’m sure these will become a staple again! :)

  • Lisa

    I looove sweet potatoes. Even just mashed with a bit of cinnamon, oh man. So good. I’ll have to try it w/ garlic.

    Best thing is when you bake the fries just right and they’re crispy on the outside, slightly caramelized and soft on the inside. I use grapeseed not olive oil.

  • Pdrockton

    The essence of the Every Other Day Diet is that if today is strictly prohibited many of the products, then tomorrow you can eat them. Every Other Day Diet is effective diet for those who cannot!

  • LCL

    Are these sweet potatoes or yams?

    • FrugalArugula

      Sweet potatoes. I always thought they were the same, but recent read that yams are less nutritious and higher in starch than sweet potatoes.

      Visually, I’m not sure how you can tell. But I’ve only seen “yams” in a can at the store lately.

      • Dafiloola

        The companies mis label sweet potatos as yams… they are NOT yams.

    • http://www.culturezest.org/home/users/detail/?UserHexID=CB3D4F23-1DCD-414A-9970-EB77DD878289 Liz Raj

      When I go to buy these at the store they’re called yams – these have the dark orange interior. When I’ve bought what are labeled sweet potatoes, the inside is white in color. i believe both are a variety of sweet potato.

    • Mmorelli04

      Actually, a true “yam” is a bowling ball sized root vegetable with a greenish-brown exterior and white interior. Some tribesman use it as currency. Oh, and it’s toxic if eaten raw.

  • FrugalArugula

    I toss them in unrefined coconut oil or peanut oil “pumpkin pie spice,” “curry powder,” garlic powder, cayenne and s&p. 400 degrees for 20 or so minutes. Sometimes I just pan sauté the cubes. Oh and I NEVER remove the skins.

    Soooo good with braised collards and blackened local catfish.

    • Lisa

      Is catfish strong tasting? Really fishy? I’ve wanted to try it for awhile and your combo sounds delicious. SP’s go well with rainbow trout and guacamole. That was my dinner last night.

  • FrugalArugula

    I toss them in unrefined coconut oil or peanut oil “pumpkin pie spice,” “curry powder,” garlic powder, cayenne and s&p. 400 degrees for 20 or so minutes. Sometimes I just pan sauté the cubes. Oh and I NEVER remove the skins.

    Soooo good with braised collards and blackened local catfish.

  • Lisa

    I’m all over this post, but when it comes to sp’s, does organic matter? Particularly if you want to leave the skins on? I’ve heard different things about the necessity of buying organic when it comes to taters. I think yes because it’s a root veg, but I’d like some advice.

  • Lisa

    I’m all over this post, but when it comes to sp’s, does organic matter? Particularly if you want to leave the skins on? I’ve heard different things about the necessity of buying organic when it comes to taters. I think yes because it’s a root veg, but I’d like some advice.

    • Mmorelli04

      Truth be told, organic does not mean NO pesticides. Without them you would have no crop. It simply means no synthetic pesticides and isn’t very regulated either. Keep in mind that synthetic pesticides tend to be more environmentally safe, cost effective, and less toxic. Organic, for the most part is pseudoscientific nonsense. There is no evidence of organically grown produce being any healthier, safer, or nutritionally dense than conventionally grown. Although, it’s always a good idea to try and buy local produce organic or not.

      • http://www.facebook.com/lgenton Laura Genton

        wow, I had no idea people really believed that still.  synthetic pesticides are NOT more environmentally safe, cost effective, or less toxic!  first, understand that anything that kills insects is considered a pesticide, so when I make my own out of garlic, spearmint, horseradish, tobacco, beer, etc, it automatically is then classified as a pesticide.  not only that, but organic gardening is so much more than just natural vs synthetic pesticides.  organic gardening/farming is about enriching the soil for the best possible plant health, attracting beneficial predatory insects to take care of pests, using cover crops, crop rotation, and living mulches to reduce and eliminate pathogens, and soil nutrient depletion.  conventional farming kills biodiversity in the soil, and in the insect kingdom (honeybees and other pollinators are dying by the billions) and there is a huge problem with runoff from the chemical fertilizers used.

        • farmer fred

          Laura,
          You couldn’t be more wrong about pesticides and their proper uses.  Please try to educate yourself and understand the topic before posting inaccurate information. A book often used to substantiate the claims and positions of the “anti-crop protection” movement is Rachel Carson’s Silent spring a totally inaccurate fear mongering book that has been disproved since its release.
          Synthetic pesticides are by far less expensive to manufacture, produce, license and distribute then organic (that is why they came about, I know capitalistic pigs trying to make a profit)  When fertilizers and pesticides are properly used and applied via a certified pesticide applicator with a calibrated machine there is minimal chance for any significant run off or pollution.  However it should be noted that most runoff and pollution, and mismanaging of other resources such as water and mulches are caused primarily by HOME OWNERS and hobby farmers.

          • Dafiloola

            Are you kidding me!  Fee that horse poo to someone else pa-lease!  I used to live near commercial farms and it was common knowledge by everyone there that those who lived down stream of the river from these farms got sick (Cancer), you couldn’t swim in the lake and just driving by these farms would make our whole family sick.  I have heard about farmers lying to people about pesticides but untill now had never actually read or heard it for myself.  And for your information no one is anti-crop protection.  We are just pro-species/earth protection.  How anyone can call a pesticide safe is beyond me.  And I’ll take my tomatos un-gassed if you please.  I really don’t care if they are more or less nutritionally dense, what I do know is that they taste better and the crap stores carry now (All that ”wonderful” JUNK commercial farms put out.) isn’t worth spending money on.

          • Bmacgill1

            I hate all of you because I have no idea who or what to believe. Can’t someone tell the honest truth? I’m so confused at this point that I give up. This goes for everything pertaining to the feud on organic/non-organic. I read an article today about McDonald’s chicken nuggets that I found out is false but it was so convincing I even forwarded it to my friend. The point is a lot of people are like me and are giving up on researching organic information because of banter like the two of you have in this thread. I guess ill go back to shopping at stop and shop with all the pesticides. :/

          • Frugal Health Nut

            Just use common sense and your instincts. Chemicals are NOT good for your body. The less the better. If possible grown your own and then there won’t be any confusion. If you can’t grow your own shop local, do not buy organic or non organic from other countries. Especially ones where the people that live there are risking their own lives to get out. Last but not least, throughly wash all your fruits and veggies. Buy a veggie brush for potatoes and things with tough skins. The thinner the skin of the fruit or veggie the more concern you should have about pesticides. I know it’s all very confusing when you’re just trying to do what’s best for your health without feeling like you’re being scammed. I hope this post helps a little. Also, make as much food as you can and buy as little shelf food as possible. There are lots of rodents in manufacturing companies. Their main objective is to get things packaged and on the shelf. It’s impossible for them to keep packaged food 100% rodent free. If you are making foods like peanut butter yourself you know whats in the container. It takes less than 5 min to make fresh peanut butter. Live smart, live healthy. Dont worry so much about all organic or not. Pick and choose what should be and what doesn’t matter. (thick skinned fruits and veggies like bananas and oranges).

  • Jywhitnall

    french fries may taste good but they are bad for you.they are way too greacey and they have alot of calories

    • http://www.sweetpotatoes.com CT

      Did you notice in the article that they are baking the fries? Plus these are made with healthy, nutritious, and delicious sweet potatoes which are packed full of vitamins, minerals, fiber, all sorts of nutrition and were rated by CSPI as the most nutritious vegetable on the planet? Also, you misspelled “greasy”.

  • Terrym5

    CT, why is it so important for you to point out a spelling error? You might try being a little kinder.

  • Christiaan Mc

    I hate the taste of sweet potatos and unfortunately I find sweet potato fries revolting. Nice try, but it’s nothing like a French frie.

    • Easyasthebreeze

       I’m with you.    My wife tried to turn me on to these and they are just gross.   I think sweet potatoes are disgusting.     It seems even more likely I will never give up regular fries if this is the best alternative.   Gross!

  • Fifi

    I would eliminate the taco seasoning from the recipe. It’s loaded with MSG.

    • Becky

      You don’t have to buy taco seasoning!  Make it yourself.

    • JWoo

      Good for you.  I won’t.

    • Tjnanbennett

      make your own taco seasoning, no MSG

  • Faliticj

    Have made these for years-are great!!

    • Kss Kylie

      Not as long as mee!!

  • Barbara Ross

    I was truely surprised that you said to put the sweetpotatoes on aluminum foil. Aluminum is toxic. Try just putting them on a stainless steel cookie sheet. Can find out about alumin toxicity in Prescription for Nutritional Healing – author’s - James F. Balch, M.D. - Phyllis A. Balch
     

  • KarenJ736

    Boy I got to try this

    • Kss Kylie

      Yes, you do!

  • Blondie

    I use Chinese Five spice all by itself! its so yummy and uber delish and festive when sweet potatoes are in season. 
    I also use parchment instead of aluminum 

  • Cubanpete41

    You guys are so informational its been a blessins to learn what in the foods and sweets we all consume! Keep up the great job still learning!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Kayla-Marie/100003093837763 Kayla Marie

    Since when is taco seasoning a healthy allternative to fast food fries? Its not.

    • Acoll05

      You can make your own taco seasoning and take out the additives that are added to the store bought kind.

  • http://www.lindasdietdelites.com LindasDietDelites

    My sister starting making these a while back. Although they are very good, the work required is pretty high and they definitely don’t taste like french fries – then again the variety and lower calories make them worth including.

  • Maczs

    Cut them into thin wedges and put the skin side down.  I do the same with potatoes.
    Bake in a cast iron skillet.  Spray with olive oil before you drop in the oven.

  • http://www.asenseofreason.blogspot.com smizell49

    Well, Kayla, let’s give the woman some grace here . . . she could have been talking about homemade taco seasoning! However, I do take issue with the aluminum foil!!! Parchment paper is what you SHOULD use. Aluminum is a heavy metal that should NEVER be used in food prep. Why do health-conscious folks choose baking power WITHOUT “alum”? Why are you choosing organic deodorant over conventional “anti-perspirants”? Why do we throw away all aluminum cooking pots for stainless steel and/or glass cookware? Because aluminum is a known health risk, especially contributing to Alzheimer’s. Please don’t use aluminum foil in your cooking, ladies!!! Use parchment paper instead. It won’t burn unless it directly contacts a heat source. I cook my Thanksgiving turkey, my BBQ briskets, cakes, etc with it and the results are the same (or better, if you will, because there are no moisture droplets  dripping off the foil onto my food!

  • Mommy adventures

    I LOVE sweet potato chips (sorry, fries…)!! I don’t have time to make them, but I buy the frozen ones. Once you try them, you’ll never go back. Also, when I do have time, I make carrot chips exactly as you make the sweet potato ones. They too are super delicious, especially if made with purple carrots.

    • Makeart96

      I just heard about purple carrots. Do they taste the same?

  • Dj022669

    Tried this recipe last week. Very satisfying indeed. Added a little cinnamon for a bit of a treat.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Madalyn-Tonges/539313007 Madalyn Tonges

    I’ve tried these and I really don’t like them. But the rest of my family loves them. Everyone says I’m really picky tho. I think it’s a texture thing.

  • Achapa542

    I love THIS ! I was just talking about it to my co-workers * You all have the best Blogs :] 

  • Pat

    I don’t like traditional french fries and this recipe seems like it would be a tasty replacement.

  • Anonymous

    I LOVE butternut squash fries! Pretty similar to these. Making a nice large batch tomorrow! :)  

  • Margaret Edwards

    After reading all the comments I’m a little scared to post here! Clearly everything related to healthier eating can tap into some strong emotions.

    I just wanted to thank the author for this simple, simple recipe that will help even a minimally motivated person (me) to make a positive change toward better health. Now if she’d just post one on how to make kale taste good …

  • Kyle Krotzer

    eat healthy America 10 healthy foods

  • http://twitter.com/NaturaALI Ali Steven

    Great article! My fiance and I eat sweet potato fries weekly and guests always love them too. I like to use coconut sugar instead of brown sugar. It tastes just as good and only 1/3 of the affect on your blood sugar level :)

  • Verow75

    You really don’t need brown sugar, they are sweet enough! ;- )

  • KingAnon

    wow that sounds so laaame. that defeats the point of frys

  • Sue

    Instead of putting the fries onto aluminum foil, try parchment paper or an oiled baking pan.  Much safer than aluminum for your body!
     

  • Kyle Krotzer

    wedge potatos 8 ways put in freezer bag with ample amount of olive oil, add any kind of seasoning you desire, throw in oven. ps crispy leave in longer!

  • Kyle Krotzer

    more depthful recipes and ideas try here http://www.demosentialdesign.com/go/7y0uB.php

  • acha dewe

    You got me! I love baked sweet potato. With a sprinkle of cinnamon, brown sugar and a drizzle of honey once they come out from the oven is the best thing I have. I also love to enjoy them with sour cream. Perfect hit to my taste! However, I don’t call them my heaven if once give me this sweet potato with butter or mallows. Just too sweet to my taste.
    How to Make Sweet Potato Fries

  • Nicole

    I’ve never tried them before, are they good?

  • Gonadtroup

    These things are fried. They are not guilt-free and still pack loads of fat calories. Stick a sweet potato in the microwave and squeeze some fresh lime on it. That’s yummy and healthy.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/C-Reese-Nebeker/1585776607 C Reese Nebeker

    The nutrition information is not really clear because you are vague about portion size. Half a potato is the listed serving and that’s not at all consistent. Pleas use a weight measurement in future. Also, the flavorings, which include brown sugar, are not clearly a part of the nutrition information. Are they included?

  • Alwaysandforever2011

    I just made them for dinner two nights ago and they were delicious!

  • noggin

    try a halogen oven for wonderful fat free ‘fries’……maybes merely coating the baking tin with olive oil helps them not stick (but arn’t we all supposed to be having our daily ration of ‘good’ fat these days ?) Halogens are wonderful for fat free ‘frying /roasting’….much quicker, no smell etc…and in the South a Godsend on the a/c bills in summer. Try one ..you might all be pleasantly surprised !

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1663927692 Alicia Celorio

    thanks so much for the info! i knew sweet potatoe is much better than the regular potatoes and i love them more forsure, but i didn’t know it was so easy to bake! now my mission is to convince my son and husband that is better than fast food french fries!