I've been on a search for tricks and tips to getting the best sweet potato fries out of your oven. You know the goal: slightly salted caramelized browned edges encasing rich warm sweetness with just a bit of resistance. Mouthwatering yet?
Here are the ideas I've found to work. As a side benefit of my research, I found that sweet potatoes are full of minerals and vitamins that we need to keep us healthy and make us feel good. So read to the end and you'll discover those secrets, too.
1. Cut peeled or unpeeled sweet potatoes into the same size so that they
all cook at the same rate. Try to make sure you don’t make your fries too large
as they will cook on the outside, but will still be soft in the center. Sliced to about 1/4″ thick works best.
2. Soak your potatoes in cold water for around 45 minutes to an hour to draw out the excess starch. This helps them to cook all the way through so they are crispy on the outside, and soft on the inside without burning. Remove from water, shake off excess and rub them in a dry towel before adding the oil.
3. Use a large bowl to toss sweet potatoes in just a bit of of olive, peanut or coconut oil,1-2 teaspoons per potato. Add seasoning after tossing with oil to help the spices stick. Note that salt, or seasoning with added salt, draws moisture from the fries and creates steam in the oven that will make them soggy. So, add salt after the fries are cooked.
4. Preheat oven to 400°F. A dark heavy metal baking pan works best to roast the fries. For best results, preheat the pan before placing the sweet potatoes on it. They must be arranged in a single layer with space between to allow the moisture to evaporate and ensure they reach that desired crispiness
5. Place pan with sweet potato fries on a shelf in the top third of the oven. Cook for 30-40 minutes. If you are cooking your fries on separate trays, switch them halfway through cooking for even baking.
6. When sweet potatoes are fork tender, browned on the edges and pull away from the pan easily, they are done. Turn the oven off and leave
them in the oven with the door ajar for another 10 minutes to allow steam to escape and give them a final crispiness.
Along the way in my search for the best sweet potato fries, I discovered some secrets to good health that this humble tuber is just waiting to release upon you.
Sweet potatoes are complex carbohydrates that contain protein, vitamin B5, B6, thiamin, niacin, riboflavin, and, due to their orange color are high in disease fighting, antioxidant rich, carotenoids. One sweet potato contains about half of the daily recommended intake of vitamin C to support a healthy immune system. Vitamin A is linked to anti-aging benefits, cancer prevention and the maintenance of good eyesight.
They are high in fiber and have a low glycemic index this means that they help to ward off hunger for hours and maintain steady energy level.
Their high potassium content is also helpful for your heart, as it lowers blood pressure by maintaining fluid balance, as explained by thePotassium is also an important electrolyte that helps regulate your heartbeat.
And finally, sweet potatoes contain magnesium, the go-to mineral for de-stressing. According to Psychology Today, magnesium promotes relaxation, calmness and a good mood.
So why not stock up on some today and try some new recipes? Toss roasted sweet potatoes in salads and quinoa, whir them into blended soups, bake them into bread and sandwich them in wraps.