Sweet Potato Oven Fries

Sweet Potato Oven Fries Recipe


I'm going to get a little more nutritional and science-based today. As I was browsing on Amazon, a book caught my eye, so I ordered it. SuperFoods Rx : Fourteen Foods That Will Change Your Life. It's not your standard cookbook, and I'm not sure my life needs much changing -- but some of the information and ideas presented in this book looked fresh and important.

The basic premise is that there are fourteen nutritional powerhouse SuperFoods that can help you live healthier, for longer. Even if you think you are eating 'healthy' you may not be getting as much nutritional bang for your buck as you could be. The foods Dr. Pratt covers and advocates are: broccoli, oranges, spinach, blueberries, pumpkin, turkey, soy, yogurt, walnuts, wild salmon, tea, beans, tomatoes, and whole grains.

The book kicks off by listing staggering statistics about Americans and their declining health - more than 125 million of us having at least one chronic condition like diabetes, cancer heart disease, or glaucoma. Scary.

SuperFoods can apparently help combat this trend through their wealth of micronutrients (polyphenols, carotenoinds, and phytoestrogens). I have a hard time pronouncing the different types of micronutrients, but I did get a good sense of what they were good for -- At their basic level, just think of them as the nonvitamin, nonmineral, super strong, healthy stuff inside different foods. SuperFoods are packed with positive micronutrients which provide the foundation for the book.

A few interesting bits of information from SuperFoods Rx:

-The blueberry combines more powerful disease-fighting antioxidants than any other fruit or vegetable. They also appear to have the ability to slow or even reverse many of the degenerative disease associated with the aging brain.

-A compound found in broccoli was found to prevent the development of tumors by 60 percent in the study group, and reduce the size of tumors that did develop by 75 percent. (In a study at Johns Hopkins University).

-One bowl of oatmeal a day can reduce cholesterol by 8 to 23 percent.

-One study showed that by drinking one glass of orange juice a day you could reduce your risk of stroke by 25 percent.

...This book is brimming with this sort of information. It also includes 10 days of menus and recipes from Michael Stroot, chef at the Golden Door Span in Escondido, Ca. It was from this menu section that I picked todays recipe: Sweet Potato Oven Fries.

An alternative to pumpkin, the sweet potato is off-the-charts rich in beta-carotene (one of the worlds most studied antioxidants), which has been shown to help prevent many diseases, but lung cancer in particular.

The recipe itself was easy enough, it is essentially sweet potatoes cut into strips, sprinkled with a spice rub and a bit of olive oil, and roasted on a bed of rosemary sprigs.

I could imagine the waves of warm rosemary air streaming out of the house, the smell was so strong. The sweet potatoes roasted up nicely, the only problem was that they never crisped up. They went from limp to burnt, with seemingly nothing in between. The recipe mentioned that the fries would "puff up" a bit at some point late in the roasting stage, but that never really happened.

Nevertheless, they were tasty, delicious, and smelled perfect. Not a home run, only because I believe a fry should be able to stand on end, and these only slouched and slumped. But hey, they were baked and not fried, so my expectations were set regarding texture and crispness from the start.

Regardless, this is an important book, everyone should at least read it and take the ideas and presented facts into consideration. Armed with this information it seems very easy to improve the nutritional impact of your diet substantially though a few easy choices. A great way to kick off the new year.

 
 
 
 

In some of the early entries on this site I didn't request permission to run the recipe I was writing about from the publisher so it won't appear here. The majority of entries on 101 Cookbooks will have the recipes attached, this just happens to be one of the ones that doesn't.

From: SuperFoods Rx Page: 223

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Your Comments


Donna in Harrisburg
February 2, 2004

To get my sweet potato fries to crisp, I put my baking sheet in the oven while it preheats. When the oven is hot, I remove the baking sheet, and pour my sweet potatoe fries on to it. The olive oil (that I tossed the sweet potatoes in) sears the edges to a nice crisp, without burning them. Rosemary and a spice mix... sounds divine.

 

Heidi
February 2, 2004

I'll have to try it this way. Do you use a non-stick or regular baking sheet? -h

 

Chris
February 2, 2004

Interesting idea. I'll have to try it, as it's tough to crisp sweet potatotes in an oven (there's too much water in them). I've found that an industrial-strength heavy gauge sheet pan (just like skillets-- the heavier, the better) is essential for even browning of veggies (potatoes, cauliflower, etc). I use the plain stainless steel ones, as you can get them cheaper and they last forever. You can always put some parchment paper on them to keep stuff from sticking and make cleanup easier.

 

Angela
February 2, 2004

It sounds like the fries never crisped due to steam getting trapped in the bed of rosemary that they were lying on. If you make these again, you could just toss them with a tablespoon of finely chopped rosemary instead to get them nice and crispy.

I've never used a spice rub on sweet potatoes but my favourite way to serve them is roasted with chopped rosemary alongside some jerk chicken and sugar snap peas sauteed with garlic.

 

Donna in Harrisburg
February 4, 2004

Heidi -- I just grab whatever cookie sheet or jellyroll pan my hands land on. My guess is they are coated -- but not all "non-stick". I think once they are tossed with olive oil and put onto the hot pan, the high temp sears them off, and traps most of the moisture inside to puff the potato sticks. I've never had any probs with sticking! Good luck -- I'm going to try your variation tonight!

 

Donna in Harrisburg
February 5, 2004

I made your version... but chopped the Rosemary and sprinkled it on after the last toss and for the final 20 minutes or so; also, sprinkled with a mixture of Ancho chile powder, Allspice and Ground cumin. Not overpowering, at all. Just a slight hint of full mellow savouriness. Wonderful.

I also made a special note last night that I use the convection function on my oven -- whether or not that helps with crispness, I'm not sure. I used a heavy dark jelly roll pan, non-stick. They came out crisp on the outside (the real fat ones were limp, though!) and moist inside. Delicious. Thanks for the fine idea.

 

Heidi
February 5, 2004

I made them again last night too. I noticed a couple things:

+The smaller I cut the fries, the crisper they got (but also can burn very easily). No suprise here.

+ I cooked one pan of them on a rack in the bottom third of the oven and those browned up much nicer than the ones on the top rack.

+I scrapped the bed of rosemary altogether, and preheated the baking sheets a bit per your suggestion. I missed the wonderful smell of the herbs, but the fries crisped up quite a bit more.

Thanks for the tip.

 

josie
February 6, 2004

those look sooo delicious and sweetly salty... yum yum.

 

Dave
March 9, 2004

Your photos are fantastic! I occassionally make potato chips (deep fried, best use of a mandoline slicer) and they're absolutely heavenly with a russet. But sweet potatoes don't come out nearly as well. This case, although baked with a skim of oil, may be analogous. Maybe it's because of they have a greater sugar content and are less starchy they don't get as crisp? They sure look awesome though.

I look forward to a daily read, thanks.

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Homepage: http://davesbeer.com

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