National French Fries Day Today. Here’s A Healthy Alternative Recipe

Sweet Potato Fries

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Today is National French Fries Day, another made up holiday by the food industry to get us to eat more.  Fries originated in Belgium, but it was our third President, Thomas Jefferson that asked for “Potatoes, prepared in the French manner” that led to the misnomer. Perhaps he drank too much wine during his stint as ambassador to France to notice they had copied the Belgians. So while the rest of the world calls them chips, we are stuck with French fries.

French fries are by far the most popular use of potatoes, but unfortunately are not a very healthy side dish – 560 calories for a large portion of fast food fries (wink wink McDonald’s). Since Fooducate is all about healthier alternatives, take a look at this recipe, courtesy of Lisa Cain, aka Snack Girl. Baked Sweet Potato Fries

Before we begin, here’s why sweet potato fries rock our world:

- 219% of your daily allowance of Vitamin A in one serving

- twice the vitamin C f a potato

- 30% more fiber than a potato

- lower glycemic index than potatoes

Sweet Potato Fries Recipe by Snack Girl

(serves 4)

Ingredients:
2 medium sweet potatoes
2 tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

you’ll need an aluminum foil for pan.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Halve 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 (some suggestions: brown sugar, Cajun spice, cinnamon, cayenne pepper, minced garlic, or taco seasoning).

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

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  • EVIL food scientist

    Here’s another excellent “French fry” substitute that’s popular around our house.

    Get some small Russet potatoes, like the kind that come in your standard grocery bag of ‘taters (not the huge baker potatoes) . Bake or microwave-bake them until cooked through. Cool until you can handle them.

    Slice in half lengthwise, then slice lengthwise into “wedges”. Ever see the fried thingies referred to as “jo-jo’s” in the Midwest? Like that. Potato wedges, steak fries, that is what you’re shooting for in your tater hunks.

    Spray them on all sides (I use a misto sprayer with soybean oil) with a thin sheen of vegetable oil, then salt and pepper them. Grill over high heat, turning regularly. You’ll get a nice crisp exterior with some spiffy grill marks and a soft fluffy interior. Goes great with anything you’d traditionally serve with fries. I like it with steaks, burgers, and periodically I’ll make some up for a side for sandwiches.

  • MrBillWest

    Sweet potato fries are awesome!!! Although, I also love a good french fry.

    Has anyone tried “french frying” other root vegetables? Beets, rutabagas, celery root,…? I might need to experiment!

  • Home Cooked Healthy

    LOVE sweet potato fries. Would only suggest using a substitute for the olive oil. It has a very low flash point so not too great for baking. Maybe try a grape seed oil instead. Happy French Fry Day.

  • http://twitter.com/HomeCookHealthy Angela Sage

    LOVE sweet potato fries. Would only suggest using a substitute for the olive oil. It has a very low flash point so not too great for baking. Maybe try a grape seed oil instead. Happy French Fry Day.

  • rich

    Sweet potato fries are amazing. Try grilling them as well. First boil the potato until slightly soft, about 8-10 mins depending on the size. Don’t boil it to the point where the skin falls off when you cut it. Remove potato and cut into wedges. Toss wedges in a little bit of balsamic, honey, thyme, cinamon and olive oil. Careful w/ the amount of balsamic. Too much and it overwhelms the flavor. Throw it on the grill, flipping sides after grill marks have formed.

  • Carol

    What is the serving size used for the nutrient data comparisons? 219% sounds a little more exact/precise than possible in nature (vitamin content varies with age/ripeness, variety, etc. of all vegetables, fruits, etc.).
    PS: You can also buy sweet potato “fries” in the freezer section of supermarkets, and many “fast food” chains also serve them now.

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  • Cindy

    For an even healthier version, we do carrot fries at our house. It is all basically the same, except they need to be baked longer. The kicker is that they taste exactly like sweet potato fries :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/houtekierphilip Philip Houtekier

    Belgium as a country was created in 1830 only. Before that it was mostly part of France (to make the story short). That would make the “Belgian” invention evidently also French …