Whenever I have friends visiting or when I want to fix a quick healthy snack to indulge with while watching a movie, I always go back to my trusted friend, the sweet potato. Loaded with fantastic nutrients, this tuber is the best replacement for the humble russet potato, whether you decide to go for potato skins, mashed potatoes or potato fries.
The sweet potato fries are probably my favorite snack in the world. Crunchy and crispy on the outside, soft and sweet on the inside, and, most important, totally healthy for my body. Pairing them with avocado sauce is just perfect, because the beta-carotene in sweet potato is better metabolized when paired with healthy fats, and avocado is definitely one of these.
I don’t love sweet potato for its gorgeous orange color and its sweet taste only. The health benefits are simply surprising, with some much more happening in this powerhouse tuber than the high amounts of beta-carotene:
− it has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects;
− its potassium load helps the natural detox function of our bodies;
− despite its sweet taste, it actually regulates the blood sugar levels giving the high amounts of fiber it contains;
− it contains special starch-related molecules with antibacterial and antifungal properties;
− its unique storage proteins, sporamins, prevent oxidative damage to our cells.
Steaming, boiling, stir-frying or roasting are the best way to prepare sweet potatoes in order to get the maximum from their nutrients. I sometimes add them raw in juices to enrich these with anti-inflammatory properties, and they turn our sweet and delicious. When it comes about cooking them, I always prefer the roasting method, as sweet potatoes develop a delicious flavor when cooked like that. I don’t recommend boiling them, unless you prepare a soup, because their valuable minerals (manganese, phosphorus, and especially potassium, which is a key ingredient for sustaining our body natural detox function) will drain in the boiling water so you won’t benefit from their intake.
Of course, organic is always the best choice (in which case you can consume them entirely), but if you buy sweet potatoes from normal agriculture, make sure you remove their skin before consuming, as it migtht be treated with wax or pesticides.
There are three secrets for preparing the best baked sweet potato fries:
− cut them in ¼ – ½ inch slices;
− rinse them well to remove the excess starch;
− dry them before placing on the baking sheet;
− cook them in batches to give them space while baking.
- 3 medium sweet potatoes, peeled
- 1 tbsp coconut oil, melted
- 1 tbsp cornmeal
- ½ tsp sea salt
- 1 bunch fresh parsley, finely chopped
- 1 ripe avocado
- 2 limes, juice only
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- Preheat the oven 350°F/180°C.
- Cut the sweet potatoes in ¼ – ½ inch slices and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
- Add the cornmeal, coconut oil and sea salt, and toss well to combine.
- Roast for 10 minutes, then remove, toss an roast 10 more minutes, to bake them uniformely.
- While the potatoes are cooking, prepare the avocado dip – place avocado, lime juice and garlic clove in a food processor and pulse to obtain a smooth sauce.
- Remove the sweet potatoes from the oven, sprinkle with fresh parsley and serve them hot with avocado dip sauce.
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