When the kids ask for French fries, it's easy to grab a bag from the freezer, but after reading the ingredients, you should think otherwise. The oils used in store-bought fries are on my list of bad fats, fried in soybean, cottonseed and canola vegetable oils. They are high in omega-6 fatty acids, which when higher than omega-3 intake, as our diets usually are, cause inflammatory conditions. Also, soy has estrogenic properties and think about it, cotton is clothing, not a food. Canola oil is overly processed, deodorized with hexane and can rancidify during the process.1 Canola has also been reported to contain some trans fats and to create even more when heated.1,2 Cold-pressed canola oil would be a better, but hard to find.
Think it's a huge pain to make your own fries? Let me help you simplify the process. You'll get a better tasting fry with lots of antioxidants and nutrients minus the bad fats.
Leave the skin on for added nutrients since the majority of fiber is in the skin. (Note, I don't have the skin on in these photos because the sweet potatoes were a little older than I would have liked). High in phytonutrients, sweet potatoes are rich in beta-carotene and other carotenoids as well as contain vitamin C, B vitamins, potassium and iron.
Also, here's one I didn't know until recently, you need to add 3-5 grams of fat to make beta-carotene in sweet potatoes more readily available for use in the body. (5 grams is around a teaspoon).
Baked Sweet Potato Fries Recipe
3 medium to large sweet potatoes
2 tablespoons avocado or coconut oil, melted
2 tablespoons arrowroot flour
Celtic sea salt
Equipment needed: One gallon Ziploc bag, baking sheet
Pre-heat oven to 425°.
Place coconut oil in a small pot on the stove and melt; let cool. Wash sweet potatoes. Slice into long sticks or wedges. (Leave skin on for added nutrients). Place cut sweet potatoes in a large Ziploc bag. Add arrowroot flour, salt and pepper. Add cooled coconut oil, seal bag closed and shake until all fries have been coated with the mixture. If there are too many fries to fit, use half the ingredients and separate into two or three batches.
Bake for 15 minutes, then with a spatula, flip the fries over. Cook 5-10 minutes more or until desired level of crispness.
1. Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health website. Ask the Expert: Concerns about canola oil. Available at: http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/2015/04/13/ask-the-expert-concerns-about-canola-oil/. Accessed 12/29/16.
2. Wiley Online Library Website. Levels of Trans Geometrical Isomers of Essential Fatty Acids in some unhydrogenated U.S. Vegetable Oils. Available at: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1745-4522.1994.tb00244.x/abstract#fn1.