Monday, October 10, 2011

Kid-Friendly Week: Sweet Potato Fries w/Lemon, Rosemary, & Thyme

I love sweet potatoes.

I am hoping you have yet to notice that most of my blog posts begin with the statement "I love (insert vegetable here)." While the writer in me feels the need to change this and create more innovative, attention-grabbing opening lines, I am also inclined to embrace the repetition and call it my "signature phrase." It's completely intentional and endearing. Right?

Anyway, I DO love sweet potatoes. I have been known, on occasion, to make an entire dinner out of a baked sweet potato with whole lot of Earth Balance, and a little salt. Completely satisfying.

While continuing to think about kid-friendly foods this weekend, my mind immediately went to "fries." You can make fries out of all sorts of vegetables by lightly breading them either with a little oil and bread crumbs or with the classic flour, egg, breadcrumbs method. Root vegetables, such as potatoes, sweet potatoes, turnips, yucca, and winter squash, however, don't need breading in order to get crispy and delicious.

Sweet potatoes are something that kids may have been introduced to at a young age through yummy dishes like sweet potato casserole at the Thanksgiving table. Because of their sweet taste and starchy texture, they are usually one of the items on the "vegetables my kid will actually eat" list.

Some people actually shy away from sweet potatoes for health reasons, lumping them in with regular potatoes, which don't offer a whole lot when it comes to nutrition - but sweet potatoes are a super food! Just 1 cup of baked sweet potato has 7 grams of fiber, 4 grams of protein, 769% of your vitamin A for the day, 65% of your vitamin C, and tons of beta-carotene, which makes them cancer-fighting, chronic disease-preventing badasses. It is hard to beleieve that something this delicious is good for you. But then again, don't I say that about every vegetable...?

This recipe uses fresh herbs and bright lemon to bring together the flavors of the holidays, and the result is a delicious, healthy snack or side dish for adults and kids alike. If your child is against anything green being on his plate (been there), just omit the herbs and keep it simple.

A couple notes on the cooking method: First, I like to keep my the skin on my potatoes. The skin holds a ton of healthy goodness, but if you don't like the taste or texture, feel free to remove the skins before cooking. Second, the reason I took the time to first boil and then broil the potatoes is to try to accomplish the crispiest oven fry possible. Sweet potatoes are notoriously hard to get crispy, so the a little extra work goes a long way. If you want to skip all that and just throw them in the oven, do it on 425 and cross your fingers!

Sweet Potato Fries with Lemon, Rosemary, and Thyme
Serves 2-4

4 medium sweet potatoes
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, finely chopped
1 tablespoon fresh thyme (or 1 teaspoon dried thyme), finely chopped
1 tablespoon lemon zest (optional)

1. Fill a stockpot half full with water. Bring to boil. Meanwhile, cover 2 large baking sheets with aluminum foil.

2. With a sharp knife, cut sweet potatoes into 1/4" planks.

Then, slice into 1/4" inch sticks.

3. Blanch the sweet potatoes in the boiling water for 2 minutes, drain thoroughly. Immediately toss with remaining ingredients in large mixing bowl.

4. Spread onto baking sheets, making sure that the sweet potato pieces are spaced evenly.

5. Broil until golden brown, turning pieces over occasionally to brown on all sides.

6. Enjoy!


  1. I made this recipe last night and it was delish! I can't get enough sweet potatoes during this time of year and the combination of rosemary/thyme was a great way to mix up my typical baked sweet potato with butter spray. Thanks!

  2. Jamie that's awesome! Glad you liked them. If you want to make them super delicious, grate just a little fresh parmesan on them. Wow. It's like having cheese fries but a lot healthier. Also, you can toss the fries with chili powder and lime zest for a completely different take. Thanks for the comment. :)

  3. I love sweet potato too,,I used to boil sweet potato and then I serve it to my beloved kids and i have learned from you how to make sweet potato fries..thanks for sharing such a great easy recipe here..