Trying to be at least reasonably responsible, a healthy snack was the right decision. Healthy sweet potato fries needed to happen!
This lonely sweet potato has been sitting on my kitchen shelf, staring at me for several days. There was no plan for what to do with him. The last time I went out for groceries, sweet potatoes were on sale. They last for a long time and they’re healthy and delicious, full of vitamin A, vitamin C, potassium, most of the Bs, antioxidants, anti-inflammatories, and so on. Plus, they’re incredibly tasty! It was bound to come in handy for something, so I went ahead and grabbed one.
Normally I tend to do mashed sweet potatoes with miso brown butter, but since there was only one potato in the house and I didn’t want something heavy, simple and healthy sweet potato fries were the way to go!
Fortunately, this is a house with enough space to garden, which is such a fun and rewarding hobby to cultivate when you cook a ton and don’t want to spend a fortune on ingredients. There are still herbs aplenty out back, plus the kale is coming up through the dirt in these adorable little clumps that need to be thinned out. Micro greens (baby greens) are gorgeous, fun to use, and also extremely healthy, so they wind up in a ton of dishes around here. If they have to be pulled out to make space for the others to grow, they are definitely getting used! There’s also this cool opal basil growing in the living room that decided that to have some serious fun and bolt, so a few basil leaves and flowers needed using as well. Suddenly, I had a plan for fries, a dipping sauce, and even a nice garnish!
These healthy sweet potato fries are so simple to prepare. If you want to go crazy and have perfectly rectangular fries, cut the sweet potato into a rectangle first, peel whatever isn’t already cut off, and then measure the size you want to go with. Rustic fries are way more fun though, and (besides the peel, which you could leave on if you wanted), there’s almost no waste.
It’s always easier to cut round vegetables when you put them on a flat side, so it’s a good idea to cut your potato in half before trimming it into fries, or you could just cut one side down so that you have a flat base when you’re making the fries. Safer and easier!
For best results, just put the sweet potato fries directly on your sheet tray spread out in a single layer. You can see that I used aluminum foil, but if you do that, it’s a lot more likely that the fries won’t color evenly. However, sometimes that’s still preferable to annoying clean up…
If you want a crispier fry, cut them into thinner pieces and spread them out on a wire rack while they cook, making sure that none of them are touching. More space around them will allow them to get crispier on the outside. Regardless, they’ll get soft as they sit, so make sure you enjoy them right away!
Simple and healthy sweet potato fries with cilantro-scallion dipping sauce!
- 1 large or 2 small sweet potatoes or yams
- 1 Tbs olive oil
- 2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1/2 tsp chili flake (I used Aleppo)
- 1 large clove of garlic, minced
- 1 bunch cilantro, chopped
- 2-3 scallions, chopped
- Juice of 1/2 lime
- 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 pinch of red pepper flakes
- 1/4-1/2 cup of olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- Preheat the oven to 450
- Peel the sweet potato
- Cut it in half
- Cut each half into approx. 1/2" thick slices.
- Cut into the size fries you want
- Toss with olive oil, salt, pepper, and chili flakes
- Spread evenly in a single layer on a baking sheet
- Bake for 15 minutes
- Turn over all of the fries
- Bake for 10 more minutes, until the outside looks a little puffy and the fries are done through the middle.
- Taste, and sprinkle a little more salt over if they need it.
- Put the garlic in a bowl with a pinch of salt and, using the back of a spoon, crush the garlic and salt together to form a paste.
- Squeeze the lime juice over the garlic.
- Add the vinegar and let stand for 10 minutes.
- Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well.
- Taste, and adjust seasoning.
- Plate the fries on their own, or try drizzling the sauce over them or sprinkling them with scallions or cilantro!