Homemade Sweet Potato Fries

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It really pays to listen to your friends.  (Not all of them though, because if they’re encouraging you to do things that aren’t good for you, maybe you should consider getting new friends.)

Well where did that piece of parenting advice come from?

Anyway, I happen to have good friends, so I feel that it is okay to listen to them.  It just so happens that I had two friends in one week tell me that I was missing out by not adding sweet potatoes to my menus more often.  When the first friend said it, I kind of nodded and smiled.  But when a second friend mentioned it a few days later, I sort of wondered if God was trying to tell me something.

Okay, I’m pretty sure He is working in bigger ways in my life than sweet potato consumption encouragement.  But still.  I figured there might be something to this sweet potato thing since it came up twice in one week with two different people at two separate times.  (Am I making too much of this?  I mean, should I just get around to sharing the recipe already?)

Why have I not been eating or feeding my family sweet potatoes very often, as in, pretty much never?  It’s very simple really.  As a child, the only way I had been served sweet potatoes was in a casserole with brown sugar and marshmallows at Thanksgiving and I didn’t like it one bit.  If I’m going to eat something sweet, I want it to be a dessert – not as a side dish with my turkey.  But that’s just me.  I’m the one who needs chocolate with my sugar.  What can I say?

But, per my friends’ suggestions, I decided to try making sweet potato fries.  They looked and smelled great.  I ate one.  Hmmm, it was okay, I guess.  But I kept thinking about marshmallows, and couldn’t get past it.

By the way, I don’t like marshmallows.

But I’m a big girl, and all grown up, so I made myself eat a second sweet potato fry.  And then a third.  Oh wait.  They suddenly began to taste good to me.  Then, before I knew it, I had to tell myself to stop eating the sweet potato fries and save some for my family.  (I didn’t feel bad though, because usually it’s the other way around and I’m the one asking my family to save me some food before they inhale all of it.)

So it turns out that while I think my friends may have helped me become an addict in this regard, it does pay to give in to sweet potato peer pressure.

How to Make Sweet Potato Fries:

Scrub and cut sweet potatoes into wedges or fries – as thin as you like.  Toss them in olive oil or coconut oil (about 1 Tablespoon per sweet potato).  Place them in a single layer on a baking pan.  Sprinkle on sea salt and bake in a 400° oven for 30-40 minutes.

or

Deep fry the cut sweet potatoes in a fryer (we have this one, which works great) for 3-4 minutes, remove, salt, and eat.

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What is your relationship with sweet potatoes?  How do you like them cooked?  And while it’s completely irrelevant, I am curious.  Do you like marshmallows?

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Comments

  1. Jackie says

    Oh I love sweet potatoes! I don’t eat regular potatoes…so instead, I eat roasted and baked sweet potatoes. I love them in breakfast hash…with taco meat/toppings or carnitas/slaw on top of a baked SP…or just roasted, tossed first with olive oil, garlic powder, paprika and sea salt. I’ve even heard of them sliced thin and roasted, then used as a bun for burgers. I don’t eat grains so it may seem weird to some people, but I think it would be great :)

    [Reply]

    jen Reply:

    Suggestions for you all that are calorie/weight conscious.
    1. Spray the potato strips with a cooking spray (Pam) instead of rolling them in olive oil.
    2. Sweet potatoes are 114 calories per cup and white potatoes are 104 calories per cup. You can make fries using butternut squash (similar taste to sweet potatoes) and turnip using this same method for much fewer calories. Butternut squash is 63 calories per cup and turnip is 36 calories per cup.
    It might even be fun to cut up one of each and mix em up : )
    Enjoy!

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  2. Jackie says

    I forgot one more…chili topped sweet potato! Very yummy! Plus they are FILLING…perfect for al those boys you have to feed!

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  3. Carolyn says

    Oh, I agree! Why, oh why, did I ever think french fries (white potatoes) were good? Sweet potato fries are to die for!

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  4. Mary says

    I agree with you about the sweet potato casserole with marshmallows on it: Yuck! But I love baked sweet potatoes, with (lots of) butter, sugar and cinnamon. Mmmm.

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  5. Shannon says

    Yum! I totally agree about the sweet potato casserole! But I love baked sweet potatoes with butter, salt and pepper. Perfect! I have also made a sweet potato salad by roasting slices of sweet potatoes and mixing them with feta, cilantro, and a dressing made with lime juice, olive oil, and cumin. Yum!

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  6. Ann Marie says

    I love sweet potato casserole with gooey marshmallows on top! But only on Thanksgiving. Any other time it just doesn’t sound very good. My kiddos would eat marshmallow by the bag full if I let them but the only other thing I use than for is Christmas fudge.

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  7. Kristen says

    Love sweet potatoes. They are yummy even just baked with some butter. But no, marshmallows are not good and should never be put on sweet potato casserole. My friend makes sweet potato casserole every thanksgiving and there are no marshmallows, rather a yummy crunchy pecan topping, it is so good, it’s may be the best thing we have at the meal.

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  8. Gina says

    Sweet potatoes with butter and cinnamon (and maybe sometimes sucanat)is one of my favorite side dishes ever! When my son was a baby sweet potatoes mashed up was his absolute favorite food! We even have a picture of him with his face covered in it. Sweet potatoes fries are pretty great too. Marshmallows I only eat if they are at the end of a stick being roasted like maybe twice a year?

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  9. says

    I think my favorite way to eat sweet potatoes is baked, with some butter, salt and pumpkin pie spice sprinkled on top!

    Another family favorite way to eat sweet potatoes is to do them like this recipe, but add rosemary and garlic … and I can’t remember if there were any other spices!

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  10. Tracy says

    I cut my sweet potatoes and rub them in a coconut oil mixture with a bit of sea salt and cinnamOn and a little pinch of chili powder. Then I bake them in the oven — delicious!

    [Reply]

    Jen Reply:

    Oh I LOVE sweet potatoes and coconut oil! Such a good combo! I haven’t ever tried witht he pinch of tried the chili powder though. Sounds like something I will have to try!

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  11. Lyndsay says

    I love sweet potatoes- sprinkle them with cinnamon before baking and they are amazing! There is a restaurant in Omaha you should try next time you are there called Blue Planet…their sweet potato fries are amazing! .

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  12. Joy says

    I have a question that has been bothering me for some time, and maybe you can answer. When you coat veggies in olive oil and then roast in a hot oven (like the above recipe states 400 degrees), I am wondering if it is safe to cook food this way since the temp. ends up being way above the smoke point of the olive oil (especially if it is unrefined, EVOO, which is the only kind I use). I have heard that in baked goods, it is okay to include the olive oil as an ingredient and bake at a temp. higher than it could normally handle because it is somewhat protected(the internal temp. of the baked product does not actually reach the oven temp). I’m just not sure about using it alone at this temp. Have you heard anything about this? I am afraid of the healthy properties of the EVOO becoming altered if heated beyond what is a safe temp. for this oil. Thanks! Oh yeah, I’m also wondering what kind of oil you use in your fryer.

    [Reply]

    Malisa Reply:

    The EVOO is fine to coat things and then roast them. I do it all the time. Never had a problem before. As for frying I use Palm Oil. I know you weren’t asking me but I thought just in case Laura doesn’t get a chance to answer you someone should.

    [Reply]

    Amy H Reply:

    Joy, you are correct…..EVOO should never be used in cooking with high temps. I only use EVOO for making salad dressings. I use coconut oil to make my baked sweet potato fries.

    [Reply]

    Joy Reply:

    Amy, so what temp. do you bake your fries with coconut oil? Would 400 or even 450 be okay for this oil? Thanks!

    [Reply]

    Amy H Reply:

    Coconut oil is fine for all high temps. I bake my sweet potato fries at 425 for 20 minutes.

  13. Tami says

    This sounds weird, but you’ll never do plain sweet potato fries again! My recipe uses paprika and cinnamon, plus salt and pepper. You could probably google those ingredients and find the right recipe. I’m nursing a baby right now, or I’d jump up to look at it! I think it’s 1 to 1 1/2 lb sweet potatoes, 1/4 c oil, 1 tsp paprika (?), 1/2 tsp cinnamon (?), salt and pepper. Delicious!!

    [Reply]

    Kim Reply:

    I was going to comment with a similar recipe for sweet potato fries. I love them with paprika and a bit of cinnamon. SOOOO GOOOOOD.

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  14. Jenny says

    We love sweet potatoes around here. It took me a long time to try them again as an adult. As a child, I only saw them candied at thanksgiving. Yuck!

    Now, I’m take it or leave it for marshmallows. Unless they are homemade…then watch out. The Alton Brown marshmallow recipe online is phenomenal. They are soft, very vanilla-y, and not as sweet as the store bought. Delicious.

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  15. Kristin says

    I didn’t think I like sweet potatoes either, until someone suggested I try them baked with sour cream on top, like a regular potato. I thought it sounded gross, but it’s sooo good! It’s my favorite way to eat sweet potatoes, though fries are tasty too.

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  16. Melanie Lewis says

    I saw a Martha Stewart recipe one time for Baked Sweet Potato
    Fires. It’s just Sweet Potatoes cut into wedges and then sprinkle a little brown sugar and pepper on them and bake 350 for about 20 minutes. They are FANTASTIC, EASY, and QUICK! whonu sweet potatoes, brown sugar and pepper could taste so good!!!!

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  17. Malisa says

    Okay!!! So we are two peas in a pod!! I can’t stand what I call “Thanksgiving Sweet Potatoes” The brown sugar marshmallow things. However as an adult I have discovered I LOVE sweet potatoes… baked, fried, mashed, grilled, and smoked!! I would love to give you some tips on them. When I fry them we like to sprinkle them with Cajun Seasoning (Tony Chachere {sp?} is my favorite) it is just a little spicy with the sweet of the potato. On the same note I LOVE to mash the sweet potatoes with a little chicken broth and butter then a sprinkle of brown sugar and a chipotle pepper chopped up. For the grilled, baked, and smoked I like to make a honey, cinnamon, butter spread to put on them. Welcome to the wonderful world of sweet potatoes!! You’ll never go back to white potatoes again (well not really but you get my point)! ;-)

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  18. Daphne says

    I could have written this post! The ones my relatives would make at Thanskgiving made me want to throw up because they were SO sweet (and I have a sweet tooth). Gross! Finally a few years ago a friend made a sweet potatoe casserole for our annual 4th of July party and I tried it. It was delicious! My husband and boys loved it too. I started making it but its loaded with butter (seriously loaded) so I looked for something healthier. Now I peel them, boil them with some salt, drain and cool for a few minutes. Then I purée them with some butter (about 1 Tbsp per big potatoe) vanilla extract, a little brown sugar and cinnamon. They are wonderful!! My mom never made them growing up and now I wonder why!

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  19. Tracey says

    I was wondering if you wanted to make a big batch and have some in the freezer to pull out for those nights when you need something quick, would you bake them in part ahead of time before you freeze and then just bake them a big longer after you pull them out of the freezer. I’m all about making lots to freeze/put away as I’m a busy mom (aren’t we all??!!)

    Also, I use Grapeseed oil instead of olive oil on everything. It has a higher flash point and is even BETTER for you. Especially expeller pressed which uses NO chemicals for the extraction process. :)

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  20. cara says

    In the summer time we make sweet potatoes on the grill using a veggie pan. Saves us from heating up thge kitchen!

    [Reply]

  21. Kathy says

    Reading all these posts made me laugh! I HATE that gooey sweet potato/marshmallow stuff! To top it off, my mom made it with canned yams. Canned any kind of potatoes is just wrong, in my opinion. My husband, however, grew up loving sweet potatoes, and he has converted me (as long as I don’t have to eat the marshmallowy ones at Thanksgiving). He introduced me to mashed sweet potatoes with brown butter gravy, and I was hooked. Now I get excited when I find new recipes for sweet potatoes. And fries? YES!!!!! We use olive oil, coconut oil, or a combination of both, seasoned salt, and bake them in the oven.

    [Reply]

    Kristina Reply:

    Brown butter gravy?! I MUST have the recipe… Please share!! :)

    [Reply]

    Kathy Reply:

    Just brown some butter in a pan on the stove. Watch it, because once it starts browning it can burn pretty quickly. Once it is a browned whisk in flour–about equal to the amount of butter you used. Add milk and stir, using a whisk, until thickened and bubbly. Add salt to suit your taste. I don’t measure, but I’m going to guess about 1/4 cup butter, 1/4 flour, and 2 cups of milk.

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  22. Melissa says

    I love sweet potatoes, but like you, never really ate them growing up. I hate the marshmallow kind, though my sister always makes them and always makes me try. “What’s not to like about them!?!” is what she always says. We like to eat them in vegetable pancakes. Shred up a bunch of veggies (carrots, onion, squash or zucchini, white potatoes, sweet potatoes, etc). Mix in an egg or two and some flour, salt, and seasonings (we like pepper and garlic). Put spoonfuls into a hot pan with a little olive oil in the bottom and spread out flat. When they’re crispy on one side, flip them over! Serve with sour cream or applesauce. Yum!

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  23. Sally says

    I am one who’s always like sweet potatoes too. However, about 7 years ago traveling in Florida we ate at this outdoor dive (the kind that always attracts my husband!) He always says they have the best food…anyway, they served sweet potatoes fries with our burgers and it was the first time I had tried them that way.

    What sold me was they sprinkled a cinnamon/sugar mixture on them and apple butter on the side to dip them in. May sound weird to some but it was incredible. Now, when we have them at home if I don’t have apple butter handy, we’ll use our homemade applesauce. Try it and see if you like it!

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  24. laura c. says

    Sweet potatoes must be baked or fried at our house. No boiling or canned (ewww). My husband has a terrible memory of being forced to eat his aunt’s “famous” sweet potato casserole at Thanksgiving…and then losing his lunch all over the floor. Needless to say, he didn’t eat them for a long time. Now his favorite is baked and then mashed with butter, salt, and chopped canned chipotles in adobo sauce. Sooo easy and delicious.

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  25. NancyO says

    The issue with heating olive oil is that begins to oxidize and degrade with heat, producing free radicals. So, yes, coconut oil is your best choice…plus, it makes for amazing sweet potato fries!

    [Reply]

    Joy Reply:

    Thanks for this info, Nancy. The thing I was thinking is that if the oil was getting too hot (and did create free radicals as you say), how would I know? There have been times that I accidentally got a frying pan with oil too hot and I have seen it smoking, so then I KNOW the oil is no longer good to use. I just don’t know if I would see this on my roasted veggies. So … I guess it is better to play it safe and not use olive oil for this purpose. I’ll give coconut oil a try next time!

    [Reply]

  26. Jennifer says

    I have recently discovered sweet potatoes. My favorite go-to breakfast for mornings when I just want something different is half of a baked sweet potato (peeled and cubed) with a fried egg and salsa on top. It may sound weird, but it is so yummy! Even my six year old requests it and he is picky, picky!

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  27. BUSY MOM IN AL says

    We buy them by the case. Bought a few boxes this year for $10 for a 40-lb box and they store well. We eat them cooked or even cold the next day!

    Butter and salt only for us! I plan to try this recipe for our summer barbeques. Thanks, Laura

    [Reply]

  28. Rebecca says

    I second all the suggestions for spices on the fries, cumin and cayenne are our faves.

    And I consider marshmellows to be one of “nature’s” perfect foods. I am gluten free and rarely make GF sweets just for me. O bake regular for the rest of the family, its cheaper, and have a bag of marshmellows in the pantry for me when I need a sweet snack.

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  29. Charlotte Moore says

    I love sweet potato souffle as we call it. My mother always put crushed pineapple and coconut in hers. Then a topping of brown sugar, flour, marg. YUCK, and pecans. It was delicious. So, I make mine using sucanat, uns. coconut, butter, uns. pineapple, etc. It s very good too and much healthier.

    However, I do LOVE marshmallows all by their self. I wish I didn’t.

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  30. Jenny C. says

    I love sweet potato fries and so do my kids! I’ve been making them for years by tossing the wedges in coconut oil and cinnamon and then baking until they start to brown. Delish and no added sugar is needed!

    [Reply]

  31. Carolyn Stutz says

    Love sweet potato fries!!! I went from eating candied sweet potatoes as a kid (more ‘candy’ w/ that sweet potato, please!) to only eating them savory. That’s not entirely true. the fries are savory. I also bake them, add a touch of butter, a sprinkle of salt and some cinnamon! yum-o!!
    And I love them topped w/ taco meat also. Wow, I thought we were just having a big salad for supper…. well, yes, salad tonight and a taco topped baked sweet potato tomorrow!
    Oh, and I agree with your sentiments regarding the casserole – gag me.

    [Reply]

  32. Lisa says

    I have always hated that yucky sweet casserole at Thanksgiving, and I have a serious sweet tooth. I love the fries with sea salt then dipped in home made Ranch! SO yummy!

    [Reply]

  33. Karen S. says

    I don’t eat marshmallows, but I do have a wonderful sweet potato souffle recipe that is a staple at our Christmas dinner. My husband doesn’t like sweet potatoes, so I’m not sure I could sell him on the fries.

    [Reply]

  34. Margaret says

    I used to HATE sweet potatoes because of the Thanksgiving casserole thingy, but I loooove some sweet potato fries – either salted or with (homemade)”Emiril’s Essence”. And most recently, I love half a baked sweet potato, warm, with coconut milk and cinnamon in a bowl. Heaven.

    Going to try the apple butter one – thanks!

    [Reply]

  35. Joey says

    I make sweet potato chips! I have a very picky 2-year old who doesn’t eat vegetables (we’re in the process of adopting her…she came as a non-veggie eater :), unlike my 3-year old who LOVES his veggies). BUT, she likes anything crispy, so I can get her to eat different colored veggies by making them into chips – kale chips and sweet potato chips are the favorites! I bake them just like the fries recipe, but slice them really thin and bake them until they’re crispy. Yum!

    [Reply]

  36. Amber Rogers says

    All ten of us love sweet potatoes. Baked, fried, mashed with a hint of butter, etc. We NEVER pervert them with marshmallows. We prefer our mallows over the camp fire! Glad you are trying something new!!

    [Reply]

  37. BB says

    We love sweet potato fries too! If you are interested in adding a bit of fluffiness to your fries, you can try soaking them in hot water for 10-15 minutes just before frying/baking. The starch absorbs some of the water, making yummy fluffy insides!

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  38. Alicia says

    Hey ladies! Just to add a little make it easier-at-supper-time-with-little-hands-clawing-at-you-and-crying-for-food time of day…(or maybe that just happens here?). A friend shared this with me…if you are roasting the sweet potatoes, you can peel, slice, and season the puppies early in the day and stick them covered (in a ziploc bag or a bowl) and when you are ready to cook them, dump them on the pan and cook. She actually said they’d stay fine for a few days like this!! Great news to me as the last thing I need to be doing at That Time of Day is peeling 7 sweet potatoes and wielding a big sharp knife! It works. I’ve done it. Many times. (:

    [Reply]

    Erin Reply:

    I love that you said “That Time of Day”. I totally hear you on that and on the not wielding a sharp knife. Great tip!

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  39. Rhonda says

    Laura,
    Glad you tried this!! We love sweet potatoes cooked like this. I just put them in the pan and brush on butter and put them in the oven. Often they just get cut into chunks to be quicker. I also like that they cook so quickly. Glad that your family liked them!

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  40. pauline says

    I am finding it really hard to believe you like butter as much as you do and have never–can it be?–never eaten baked sweet potatoes with butter oozing all over and salted to taste?? I have always loved sweet potatoes in whatever form, but have never gotten into the habit to make that too sweet casserole you mentioned. But I loved them baked and with the butter…mmm!!! I would love to try the fried ones, too, although I make my own butter since we have a few cows of our own and I cannot get coconut oil in the country where we live.

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  41. Melissa says

    Our family likes them grilled with onions. I peel and slice up sweet potatoes, thin slices of onion and toss them in olive oil with thyme, salt and pepper, then make a foil packet of them (adding an ice cube) and throw them on the grill while we grill steak. I flip the packet over one or two times.

    Or this veggie tian is awesome:http://budgetbytes.blogspot.com/2011/08/summer-vegetable-tian-660-recipe-110.html–but I add sweet potatoes–basically zucchini, tomato, potato, summer squash, onion, garlic, olive oil, shredded cheese. 30 min. covered, 10 – 15 uncovered with cheese. 350. Perfect summer veggies!

    [Reply]

    Erin Reply:

    Yes! Sweet potatoes are great with onions!

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  42. Ashley says

    I always just cut them into wedges and then bake them until they are done! Very yummy I started eating them with my three year old! I never ate a sweet potato growing they were always the marshmallow monster concoction you all speak of :O
    However Finding Joy in My Kitchen has a WONDERFUL sweet potato casserole!

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  43. Natalie Coe says

    I have been using coconut oil for a few years now, but have never tried the Palm Shortening. Money tight right now so winning would be a Blessing:)

    [Reply]

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