I never liked sweet potatoes growing up. My family ate them solely at Thanksgiving, baked and covered in cinnamon and marshmallows, courtesy of my aunt. In my mind, a potato is a potato, sweet or not. I don't know about you, but I don't normally cover my baked potatoes in marshmallows. Sweet potatoes are funny shaped, have pointy ends, and try too hard to be real potatoes. But mostly I don't like them because they are orange.
I don't eat orange vegetables for fun. I eat them to punish myself after a bad (horrible, awful, delicious, mostly sugar-filled) day of eating. When I get the munchies late at night, I break out the carrot sticks instead of the salty potato chips (or the chocolate). I eat orange foods with a scrunched up, unhappy face. I bite them with bitterness and disdain. I curse in the name of beta-carotene.
But all of this was before I discovered sweet potato fries.
I love french fries. You love french fries. I haven't met a single person who doesn't enjoy eating them (and I bet you haven't either). I think my dilemma with sweet potatoes was that I was eating them sweet when I should have been eating them savory. Ohh, sweet potatoes were meant to be eaten this way, salty and spiced. It makes them everything nice.
These sweet potato fries are about 10 times healthier than the normal french fry. Sweet potatoes are naturally stuffed with antioxidants and are nutrient-rich, including vitamin A, vitamin C, and beta-carotene. By baking the fries (instead of frying), you can retain a lot of those nutrients and eliminate a lot of the fat. These sweet potato fries are lightly salted and have a little kick from the cayenne pepper. You might just find yourself making these a regular companion to your hamburgers.
Sweet Potato Fries
Yields about 4 servings
4 large sweet potatoes
1/4 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
dash of oregano
pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Peel and cut the sweet potatoes into thin chips or small wedges. Try to keep them equal length and width so they will bake evenly.
In a large bowl, combine the olive oil, salt, pepper, oregano, and cayenne pepper. Toss the sweet potato fries in the bowl with the olive oil mixture until the potatoes are evenly covered.
Place the fries on a baking sheet and spread them out so they do not overlap. Bake them for 20-30 minutes, or until lightly charred on the outside and soft on the inside. Your baking time could vary on the size of your sweet potatoes so remember to watch closely! Every 10 minutes, stir and turn over the fries to ensure even baking.
Serve hot! These are great with a side of ketchup or sour cream.