Another recipe for you and, after the calorific nature of my last recipe, I thought I better make this one healthy! Sweet potato fries are one of my favourite sides to get in restaurants like Eddie Rockets and Counter Burger. However, I really hate that places like these deep-fry them rather than bake them. I understand that frying is quicker and makes for a crispier, crunchier chip but, it pretty much makes the health factor of these potatoes null and void.
Sweet potatoes are one of the best complex carbohydrates you can eat. They are packed full of fibre which fills you up as well as being chock full of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants which can help protect against heart disease and high-blood pressure.
For a really healthy dinner, have some sweet potato fries with a burger patty, including all the trimmings you like; lettuce, tomato, onion, pickles (though maybe not the cheese, bacon and fried onion rings!), but, just leave off the burger bun! A perfect balance of good carbs, vegetables and protein!
Sweet Potatoes (2 medium size make enough fries for 3 people)
Olive Oil (Good quality)
Chilli Flakes (optional)
To prepare, preheat your oven to 350F, 180C or Gas Mark 4. Line a big baking tray with tinfoil/aluminium foil. The trick to getting your fries nice and crispy and not soggy is to have them evenly spaced out with as much space around each chip as possible so, the bigger the tray, the better!
Peel your potatoes and cut them in half lengthways. Then turn each half on its flat side and make cuts lengthways again, about a centimetre wide. If these chips are too big, cut each one again. All of your fries should be in-and-around the same size, shape and thickness to ensure even cooking.
Lay the chips evenly across your covered baking tray. Try to have as few touching as possible. I did overload this tray and, in future, would probably line and use two trays instead of just the one.
Drizzle some olive oil over the fries, add a pinch of salt and some chilli flakes. Use your hands to lift up the fries and coat them in the mixture. The trick here is to add a little bit of everything and then repeat the process if necessary.
Your fries should all just be glazed in oil and not sitting it puddles of it, you don't want to undo any nutritional benefits of the fries by adding too much salt and you don't want to override the taste of the sweet potatoes with too much chilli. I would say add about a tablespoon of oil to begin with (I rarely measure anything, just eyeball it!) and then work up to a point where every chip is coated, front and back, but not sodden.
Pop the baking sheet in the oven for 25-30 minutes. It's best to check every 10-15 minutes or so and give them a toss around so that each side is exposed to the heat at some point. Because I did overload my tray as I mentioned above, I gave them about 40 minutes overall to crisp up.
Judging the colour will be the best way to know if they are done. I like the surfaces to be slightly mottled, crisped at the edges and blackened in spots. These baked sweet potato fries won't give you the insanely browned, crunchy result that a deep-fat frier does but, trust me, they taste just as good!
Serve with a little dipping sauce if you like and you're good to go!
Hope you enjoyed this healthy way to eat chips! When I make them again, I will definitely use two trays as I mentioned about and I will also use more chilli flakes. I think I'll also try it with some flavoured chilli or garlic olive oil instead of plain!
Let me know if you try these!