As an adult, I have really grown to love sweet potatoes. I would not even eat them as a kid, but now it seems like I can’t get enough. Plus, they’re a superfood – they’re full of fiber, complex carbohydrates, protein,vitamins A and C, iron, and calcium. Between the delicious sweet and savory taste and the health benefits, what’s not to love?
I first got turned on to sweet potatoes at Chapin’s restaurant in Morris, Ilinnois, with their sweet potato chunks. I can’t even describe these adequately. They are sweet, cinnamonny, melt-in-your mouth good. It’s like eating dessert alongside your steak! I love them so much that whenever I visit there, the owner gives me a to-go container of sweet potatoes to take with me. But, I digress… I have tried many different methods for baking sweet potato fries (because I refuse to fry them and take the healthy factor away from them). Every attempt I have made has resulted in tasty baked sweet potato sticks. I can’t really call them fries if they’re not crispy, right? I didn’t think so either. Well, I found this recipe one day on the internet, and it is the closest I have come to making sweet potato fries that are actually crisp. There’s not a lot of prep work, and you can flavor them with whatever you want. Two times ago, I used some fresh thyme. Last time, I used smoked paprika and a tiny bit of cayenne pepper. Spice them up however you want and give them a try!
2 large sweet potatoes
1-2 T corn starch
about 2 T olive oil
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Peel and cut your sweet potatoes into thin sticks. I do not wash my sweet potatoes because I have read that you can’t dry them enough and any amount of water keeps them from getting crispy. Any germs will not survive in a 425 degree oven anyway. The original recipe says to soak them for an hour up to half a day (half a day!). I have not tried that yet, but maybe next time I will. Let me know which method you use, and how they turn out!
Put cut up potatoes in a gallon size bag or a large bowl and sprinkle with cornstarch. Mix around to lightly coat the potatoes with cornstarch. Lay the potatoes out on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil for easy cleanup. Drizzle with olive oil and mix with your hands until they are just coated. You do not want too much oil here. This is a good time to add any seasoning you may want. Make sure the fries are in a single layer, and put in the oven.
Cook for about 15 minutes and then flip and cook for 5-15 minutes more. Sometimes, I use the broiler to get them crispy. If you do this, turn the broiler on after you flip the fries, but keep a close eye on them because they can burn fast. You may need to flip them back over to the first side and put them back under the broiler.