What? You don't believe me? No such thing as healthy french fries, you say? I beg to differ. With cold weather comes sweet potatoes. And with sweet potatoes comes the inevitable urge to use my mandoline.
Luckily, a lovely recipe in the November issue of Canadian Living caught my eye. I've made sweet potato fries many times before, but I'm always up for new ideas. I was curious about the use of egg whites as I usually just toss sweet potato pieces in oil and pop them in the oven. Even though I have nothing but love for mashed sweet potatoes, or baked sweet potatoes, I find the french frying process raises the sweet potato to new levels (even without the frying).
I was not disappointed by this recipe! The fries were tender, with crisp edges. Sweet potato french fries are different from potato french fries, but different in a good way. They're so flavourful and have a fantastic texture. I used my mandoline this time to get perfectly shaped fries, but hand cutting them works just fine as well. I've done this many times in the past and it gives a more rustic feel to them. It just depends on what you're going for!
Using a sweet potato helps pack these fries with more vitamins than from a regular potato (including yummy beta-carotene!) and sweet potatoes are also lower on the glycemic index, which means they won't spike your blood sugars as much as a regular potato would. And the quick toss of canola oil means they only have 1 gram of saturated fat! A serving also offers a respectable 4 grams of fibre. See? Told you they were healthy! (Nutrition Information from Canadian Living Magazine, November 2007 Issue)
The recipe in the magazine calls for them to be served with a curry mayonnaise so I knew they would go perfectly with my tandoori haddock, in keeping with the Indian theme. (And Tandoori Haddock is a fancy name for a piece of haddock smothered in a tandoori spice rub from a jar and put under the broiler - so don't be too impressed)
They're not very time consuming to make, which makes them a good partner to a quick fish recipe. So the next time you're craving french fries, leave your fryer in the cupboard where it belongs and find a sweet potato. You might just never look back!
Recipe - Sweet potato french fries
Adapted form Canadian Living Magazine, November 2007 issue
2.5 lb of sweet potatoes (roughly 4)
2 egg whites
1 Tbsp canola oil
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
Preheat the oven to 425°F.
Peel the potatoes, trim the ends and cut them into 1/2 inch thick slices, about 1/2 inch wide. Or use your trusty mandoline and let it do the hard work for you!
In a large bowl, whisk the egg whites until they're frothy. Whisk in the oil, cumin, paprika, salt and pepper. Add the potatoes and toss to coat.
Spread the fries onto a baking sheet covered with a silpat or parchment paper. Try to spread out the fries as much as possible.
Bake in a preheated oven for 30 to 35 minutes, rotating the pan halfway until the fries are tender and the edges are brown and crispy.
Serve with the dipping sauce of your choice. (I personally enjoy either ketchup or sour cream, but feel free to get creative!)