I’m a big fan of naturally sweet foods because they can satisfy my craving for sugar in a nutritious way. Sweet potatoes are a perfect example of this kind of food and are also very good for your health. They get their pigment from carotenoids, which among other things contain beta-carotene that is beneficial to the health of our eyes. They are also high in vitamin D which is very helpful in the winter months when sunlight may be minimal. As an added bonus their sugars are slow releasing and will not cause a spike in blood sugar.
There are a number of ways sweet potatoes can be prepared. I am particularly fond of the chips and baked goods my friends at Family Farm’s Harvest make. You can find them at the Six Nations Farmers Market when it is open. I am looking forward to indulging in a few of their doughnuts at the next market on March 28.
Sweet potatoes also make great fries that are an easy and healthy substitute to regular potatoes. At a small restaurant in Toronto’s annex neighbourhood where I ran the kitchen, I took great pride in our homemade sweet potato fries. Getting them just right took some trial and error. A few broken fry cutters and some very caramelized fries later I figured it out. Fortunately for home cooks, preparing sweet potatoes in an oven is not as tricky as deep frying them.
Here is how I like to prepare my sweet potato fries at home.[tweetable alt=””]Oven Baked Sweet Potato Fries[/tweetable]
- Sweet Potatoes
- Sunflower Oil
- You may keep the skin on or off. Cut the potatoes in fry shaped pieces that are relatively similar in size.
- Lightly coat with some sunflower oil, salt and cinnamon.
- Preheat oven to 450F. Cook’s choice to line or not to line your baking sheet with foil or parchment paper.
- Preheat your baking sheet for several minutes before putting the potatoes on it.
- Place potatoes evenly spaced on the baking sheet and cook for 15-20 minutes, flip the fries and cook for about 10 minutes more.
- Remove from the oven when they are golden brown, crispy and cooked all the way through.
- Cook longer if you prefer them darker, just be careful not to burn them.
- Preheating the baking sheet will ensure the side you put down is crispy.
- It will also speed up the cooking time and help the potatoes cook evenly.
- You can choose any seasoning you like or none at all.