Sweet Potato Fries: Beta Carotene Meets Big Flavour
Courtesy Lianne Phillipson-Webb
I have yet to meet someone who turns his or her nose up at sweet potato. And as I teach cooking classes for new parents to make food for their baby and toddler, sweet potato is usually a staple in their food repertoire. It’s always gobbled up.
What’s not to love? Its smooth - even creamy - orange flesh is packed with nature’s unsurpassed source of beta-carotene (which is then turned into vitamin A in our body) to help with immune boosting, free-radical squashing and healing.
There are several ways to eat sweet potato: Steaming and roasting help release the most nutrients. If you are baking them, you can lay off the brown sugar (‘cause they are sweet enough) but DO add a bit of butter or oil, which helps the absorption of the sweet potato’s nutrients. Did you know you can eat them raw too? Try them out with a favourite dip for a new twist on dip and crackers.
Sweet potato can be used in all sorts of cooking and baking. I’ve added sweet potato to muffins, used it as an icing for a birthday cake and substituted it in topping to shepherd’s pie.
My family’s all-time favourite? Sweet potato fries with generous amounts of paprika and garlic powder. Shake that paprika jar until they are coated and looking red as in my photo above.
Sweet Potato Fries
2 medium sweet potatoes or yams, peeled*
2 tbsp (30 mL) extra-virgin olive oil
1 tbsp (15 mL) garlic powder
1 tbsp (15 mL) paprika
1. Cut sweet potatoes into small fries either by hand or with a mandolin. In a sealed storage bag, toss the sweet potato fries with olive oil, garlic, and paprika, coating completely.
2. Spread out on a parchment-lined baking tray and bake at 350ºF (180ºC) for 20 minutes or until tender (they won’t be as crispy as potato fries). Makes 2 to 4 servings.
* You can also keep the skin on. Parsnips, carrots, or potatoes are also good.
Sweet potatoes are high in beta carotene, fibre, potassium, and vitamins C and E.
Yams, jewel, garnet are some of the names and types of sweet potato. I’m not picky about which ones I buy. What’s your favourite? If you try this recipe, let us know how it turns out!