Sweet potato is a large, sweet tasting and starchy tuberose root. The edible root is quite long and has a smooth skin with its colors ranging between orange, red, brown, purple, biege and yellow. However, sweet potatoes with white or pale yellow skin are moist and less sweet compared to the pink, red or orange skin. In some parts of North America, the orange sweet potato is mostly called yam even though it is very different from yam.
Study shows that sweet potato is the 7th ranked food crop worldwide following wheat, rice, maize, potato, barley and cassava. Sweet potatoes has some positive properties compared to other root and tuber crops. First, the crop has a very short production cycle compared to other root and tuber crops. Not only that, it is richly endowed with alot of nutritional benefits. Infact, it is due to these positive properties that have led to the existence of quite a large number of cultivars today. Research however shows that sweet potato being a very essential economic crop is produced worldwide with over 104 million tons of sweet potatoes for human consumption. The original home of sweet potato is Central America and the western coast of South America.
Sweet potatoes are wonderful because they can be prepared in diverse ways and they still end up having a great taste. Let’s take for instance sweet potato fries. Sweet potato fries can either be prepared salty or sweet, depending on your taste. The choice of flavor to add also depends on you. That is they can either be flavoured with cinnamon or perhaps with either pepper, salt and other spices for an amazing recipe.
Sweet potato fries are very healthy. They contain about 181 calories per serving. However, a cup of sweet potato fries is said to contain at least 4 grams of fiber which is very healthy for the human body. Not only that, sweet potatoes are a strong source of vitamins such as vitamin A and vitamin C. Research however shows that a medium sized sweet potato contains roughly about 560 of your vitamin A daily value.
Sweet potato fries are also a great source of fat especially when you pair your sweet potato with a healthy type of fat such as Olive oil. Fat helps your body in a unique way to absorb beta carotene in sweet potato hies. Therefore, you should aim for 3-5 grams of fat.
Sweet potato fries is also one hundred percent gluten free. Moreover, if you are purchasing your sweet potato fries from a store, you are adviced to read the label carefully. This is simply because some brands of sweet potato fries are coated with flour which therefore makes it to contain gluten.
What type of food is sweet potato fries best enjoyed with?
Sweet potato fries can be best enjoyed with any kind of food. It is interesting to note that sweet potato fries can serve as a snack, a main meal or even a side dish! Below are some ideas on how to enjoy your sweet potato fries:
1. Sweet potato fries paired with protein.
You can combine your sweet potato fries with some proteins such as chicken breasts or even an healthy carbohydrate such as brown rice in order to get a balanced diet.
2. Sweet potato fries can be consumed as a side dish during meal time.
Sweet potato fries can be consumed alongside a main dish. It is also a perfect pair for your pasta and many more healthy dishes.
3. Sweet potato fries can also be consumed as part of your breakfast
You can have your sweet potato fries along with your eggs and salsa for a perfect breakfast.
If you prefer to have just sweet potato fries, you can as well dip it in some ketchup, honey, ranch, barbeque sauce as well as your mixture of buffalo and ranch sauce.
How to make the healthiest sweet potato fries
You can either peel your sweet potato or leave it unpeeled. Most people prefer to peel their sweet potatoes because they do not like the skin. Personally, I’d prefer my sweet potato skin peeled but if you don’t mind the rough texture of the skin, you can as well go for it as the skin are actually very nutritious. Research has shown that sweet potato skin is said to contain reasonable amount of fiber and vitamin A
How to cut your sweet potato fries
The best way to have your sweet potato fries is by cutting the sweet potato into pieces of the same size as this helps to cook them properly in the oven. The size should therefore not be more than ¼ inch pieces.
Do you prefer your sweet potato fries crispy? Here’s how to achieve that:
All you need to do is to coat the sweet potatoes with corn starch as this will help to create a crispy outside with a very sweet and tender inside.
Once that is done, be sure to cut the fries into strips that are not larger than ¼ inch pieces. This is so because if cut any larger than that, it will prevent the fries from cooking into the perfect texture.
Then spread the fries evenly on the baking sheet to give it a crispy end product. Note that you are not allowed to over lap fries as this will make it become soggy.
Should incase the sweet potato fries are remaining, what should I do with the leftovers?
Do not panic. All you need to do is to reheat the leftover sweet potato fries by placing some oil in a skillet and cooking it over a medium heat thereafter. Although personally, I recommend that sweet potato fries should not be made in excess as alot of people love to eat it straight out of the oven.
Recipe for sweet potato fries
Sweet potato fries are very easy to make. The dish only takes nothing less than 5 minutes for preparation and an additional 25 minutes to cook, altogether 30 minutes!
Ingredients necessary for making sweet potato fries
1. 2 pounds sweet potatoes (should be about 1.25 pounds of sweet potato once the skin is peeled off and cut into ¼ inches fry shapes)
2. 2 tablespoon olive oil
3. 1 tablespoon cornstarch
4. ½ teaspoon black pepper
5. ½ teaspoon garlic powder
6. ½ teaspoon paprika
7. ½ teaspoon onion powder
8. ½ teaspoon salt to taste
1. First of all, preheat oven to 400 and then spray baking sheet evenly with pan spray.
2. After that, wash and peel your sweet potatoes, then cut into ¼ inch strips to resemble fries.
3. Carefully place your cut sweet potatoes in a large bowl and fill with cold water. Allow it soak for about 30 minutes.
4. Use a strainer to drain sweet potatoes. Using a paper towel, pat sweet potatoes until it is completely dry.
5. Carefully place your sweet potatoes back in zip lock bag then add olive oil. Once that is done, mix until coated.
6. Mix your cornstarch, garlic powder, paprika, onion powder, pepper and salt in bowl.
7. Add the cornstarch mixture to the sweet potatoes in the ziplock bag and mix properly.
8. Once that is done, carefully place your sweet potatoes fries on prepared baking sheets. Make sure that the fries doesn’t touch each other. This is because they might become soggy. Fries can however be close together.
9. Bake your fries for nothing less than 15 minutes. Flip them and cook for additional 10 minutes. This process should only take nothing less than 25 minutes.
10. Carefully remove from oven and let sit on the cookie sheet for 3 minutes before serving. It is much more enjoyable when served immediately.
It is important to note that you may require at least two different cookie sheets or even cook in two different batches. This is simply because it is very important that sweet potato fries do not touch each other when cooking as this will completely ruin it.
Health benefits of carbs in sweet potato fries
Sweet potato fries make for a delicious treat. They are also a great source of some essential nutrients. Sweet potato fries can also be prepared at home with healthy preparation method in order to obtain the nutritional value it offers. It is important to note that oven baked sweet potato fries contains lesser amount of fat compared to deep fried sweet potato fries which have their nutritional setbacks as they tend to contain huge amount of fat and is likely to contain some trans fats that are harmful to the body.
One important health benefit of carbs in sweet potato fries is that it is rich in fiber. According to research, fiber is said to improve your cardiovascular health that is it helps to prevent high cholesterol which might increase your risk of developing a heart disease. Not only that, it also helps in stabilizing blood sugar after a meal. It helps in preventing a blood sugar spike which leaves you hungry again even after eating a meal. The amount of fiber an individual consumes should depend on the size of the individuals’ diet. Study shows that for each one thousand calories you take in, you consume 14 grams of fiber. However, fries that are prepared from 5 inch sweet potato without peeling off the skin contains roughly about 4 grams of dietary fiber which is approximately 19 percent of the recommended daily intake.
And yet another important health benefit of carbs in sweet potato fries is that it is richly endowed with vitamins such as vitamin A.
Sweet potato fries is a great source of vitamin A. Aside that, it also helps to boost your intake of beta carotene. The presence of beta carotene in sweet potato helps to give the flesh its distinctive orange colored hue which inturn breaks down and give rise to two vitamin A molecules in your body. With these two vitamins now present in your body, it therefore aids the proper development of cells as well as the proper maintenance of your immune system and vision. Not only that, it helps to facilitate the production of new red blood cells.
And yet another important health benefit of carbs in sweet potato fries is that it is a great source of potassium.
One of the most delicious way of improving your potassium intake is by consuming sweet potato fries. The function of potassium in the body is to help regulate the activities of various enzymes in your cells. Once these enzymes are activated, your cell tends to mobilize carbohydrates. However, along with sodium, it also aids the proper regulation of blood pressure. Study shows that a diet rich in potassium corrolares with a low risk of developing hypertension. A serving of sweet potato fries however contains 438 milligrams of potassium.
Another important health benefit of carbs in sweet potato fries is that it helps to support digestive health.
Due to the fact that sweet potatoes are rich in fiber most especially when eaten together with the skin. Fiber helps to prevent constipation and other disease. It is therefore very important for your digestive health.
Another important health benefit of carbs in sweet potato fries is that it helps to keep your heart healthy
Sweet potatoes are rich in copper. Copper is an essential mineral that helps to form red blood cells and keep your heart healthy. When there’s low level of copper, it could lead to bad cholesterol levels and blood pressure.
Another important health benefit of carbs in sweet potato fries is it helps to maintain proper vision.
There are several nutrients found in sweet potato fries that aids good vision.
Another important health benefit of carbs in sweet potato fries is that it contains some essential compounds that helps your brain to function properly. These compounds includes choline and manganese. The presence of choline and manganese helps to move electrical impulses through your body faster.
Where to purchase sweet potatoes
Sweet potatoes can be gotten from any grocery store around you. It is very affordable depending on the amount you need!
Nutritional values per serving:
Protein: 3 grams
Carbohydrate: 40 grams
Sugar: 8 grams
Total Fat: 0.2 grams
Fiber: 6 grams
Sodium: 370 mg