This recipe is provided by Maureen George, a graduate nutrition student intern in our on-campus Natural Care Center. She can be reached at or 773-510-6626. Learn more about our academic programs in Nutrition and Integrative Health.
Baked sweet potato fries are probably one of the greatest foods: sweet, savory, gooey, crunchy, and good for you! The difference between “ok” fries and “oh my God” fries comes down to wedge shape, amount of oil and flipping the fries. The wedge is the perfect shape because the thick center allows for gooey sweet potato-goodness while the tapered edge gives it a crunchy bite worthy of calling it a fry. Another trick is the amount of olive oil: 1 teaspoon per pound of potatoes is just enough for the spices to adhere to and crisp the potato. The last trick is flipping the fries half way through cooking, giving both sides an equal chance to crisp up.
Sweet potatoes are packed with valuable nutrients, including carotene, manganese, copper, biotin, and vitamins C, B6, B5, and B2. And don’t forget about the fiber! One cup of sweet potatoes has 7 grams of fiber. Sweet potatoes also help boost antioxidants in the body to gobble up free radicals. To top it off, these yummy veggies can help stabilize blood sugar levels.
Can it be called a fry if it’s not fried? Fried foods require oils that can withstand very high temperatures, like refined vegetable oils that have had nutrients stripped off. Baking fries allows the use of heart healthy extra virgin olive oil.
This way to sweet potato fry heaven:
- 1 pound (2 medium) unpeeled sweet potatoes cut into wedges (slice lengthwise, lay cut side down, and cut into wedge shapes; the backbone of each fry should be the skin side)
- 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp of chili powder
- 1 tsp of cumin
- ½ tsp of sea salt
- Dash or two of cayenne
- Parchment paper to place onto cookie sheet
Preheat oven to 375. Put sweet potato wedges into a large bowl and drizzle with olive oil. Grab the bowl with both hands and slowly stir and shake the bowl, coating the wedges with olive oil. Sprinkle the wedges with chili powder, cumin, and sea salt, followed by a dash of cayenne. You want the wedges to have a good amount of spices but not be completely caked. Shake and stir.
Lay parchment paper on a cookie sheet then place wedges on parchment paper, giving each a little room. Do not overcrowd the wedges or you’ll end up with steamed sweet potatoes instead of sweet potato fries! The timing depends on how hot your oven truly gets. Check on fries after 15-25 minutes, if they are crisp and lightly browned on one side, it’s time to flip. Bake for another 15-25 minutes. The fries will be piping hot but that won’t stop you from eating them right off the cookie sheet.