Before I start the recipe for this post, I am going to put my two cents in about the influx of sweet potato fries to every fast food restaurant and burger joint in town. Personally, I think sweet potato fries are more tasty than regular potato fries. Regular fries don’t have a lot of flavor to me. They basically taste like grease. That doesn’t mean the sweet potato fry is healthier.
Many call the sweet potato a super vegetable. It is a little “healthier” than a white potato, but not much. A 100-gram baked portion of white potato has 92 calories, 21 grams of carb, 2.3 grams of fiber, 2.3 grams of protein and 17% of the RDA of vitamin C. A 100-gram baked sweet potato has 90 calories (not much less), 21 grams of carbs (the same), 3 grams of fiber (not really much more), 2 grams of protein (about the same) and 35% of the RDA of vitamin C and 380% of vitamin A. The vitamins are why it’s called a super food. However, if we look at the overall makeup of both of these potatoes, both should have the same effect on our waistlines. Both actually like they could make a healthy addition to a diet, right?
Then you fry them. I think baked and boiled any potatoes are great. However, that is not what is being advertised as healthy. I call these attempts by fast food companies health-washing their products. “OMG, they have sweet potato fries. I heard on Dr. Oz that sweet potatoes were good for me, so I can eat these with my burger and be healthy.” I was at a gourmet burger place the other day and I heard a woman at the next table say, “I really like regular fries better, but I want to go with the healthy choice, so I’ll have the sweet potato fries.”
Here’s a comparison of two different Burger King small fry products that have the same serving size. Sweet potato fries: calories: 290, fat: 16 g, sodium: 530 mg, carbs: 36 g, fiber: 3 g, protein: 2 g. Regular fries: calories: 349, fat: 15 g, sodium: 480 g, carbs: 49 g, fiber: 4 g, protein: 4 g. I bolded the greater value. Looking at this, I would be hard-pressed to say which one is the healthier choice. Neither is healthy. If you’re craving fries, you might as well go for real fries.
Anyway, enough with the rant. Here is my healthy kids recipe.
Elephants at the zoo get all kinds of fun treats from watermelons (which they squish with their feet and then eat), to apples and sweet potatoes. A lot of our animals, from primates to parrots, like sweet potatoes. Some of the parrots like them cooked, but most of the animals eat them raw!
- Olive Oil, for tossing
- 4 sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced ¼-wide inch strips
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
- Line a sheet tray with parchment paper or spray with non-stick spray.
- In a large bowl toss sweet potatoes with just enough oil to coat. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and paprika.
- Spread sweet potatoes in single layer on prepared baking sheet, being sure not to overcrowd.
- Bake until sweet potatoes are tender and golden brown, turning occasionally, about 20 minutes.
- You can also try parsnip fries or carrot fries. Some people prefer the taste of sweet potatoes, but if you don’t, try baking “real” potatoes this way too for a healthy “real” French fry.