A Healthier Take on a Popular Appetizer or Side Dish
Looking for a tasty and healthy appetizer or side dish? Look no further than loaded sweet potato fries! These fries are loaded with flavor and nutrition, making them the perfect addition to any meal. In this recipe, we’ll show you how to make loaded sweet potato fries that are crispy on the outside, tender on the inside, and loaded with all sorts of delicious toppings.
Benefits of Loaded Sweet Potato Fries
Sweet potatoes are packed with vitamins and minerals, making them a great choice for anyone looking to improve their diet. They’re high in fiber, which helps keep you feeling full and satisfied, and they’re also a great source of antioxidants, which can help reduce inflammation and protect against chronic disease. When you add toppings like avocado, black beans, and cheese, you’re also adding healthy fats, protein, and calcium to the mix.
Interesting Facts About Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes (scientific name lpomoea batatas) are often called “yams” in the United States. However, true yams (Dioscorea sp.) are starchy edible roots that are white in color and have tough skin, which makes them difficult to peel. Sweet potatoes grow under the soil while their leaves grow above the ground. Sweet potatoes are actually a root vegetable, not a type of potato. They come in a variety of colors, including orange, purple, and white. Sweet potatoes were first domesticated in Central America more than 5,000 years ago.
How Healthy Are Loaded Sweet Potato Fries?
Compared to traditional French fries, sweet potato fries are a much healthier option. Sweet potatoes have a lower glycemic index than white potatoes, which means they won’t cause a rapid spike in blood sugar. They’re also lower in calories and fat, making them a great choice for anyone looking to maintain a healthy weight. And when you load them up with healthy toppings, you’re adding even more nutrition to your meal.
If you don’t have all of the ingredients for this recipe on hand, don’t worry! There are plenty of substitutions you can make to customize the recipe to your liking. Here are a few ideas: Instead of black beans, try kidney beans or chickpeas. If you don’t have fresh cilantro, you can use dried cilantro or parsley. For a vegan option, omit the cheese or use a vegan cheese alternative.
A Great Compliment
Sweet potato fries are a versatile and delicious side dish that can complement a variety of meals. Here are some great meal ideas that pair well with loaded sweet potato fries:
1. Gourmet Burgers: Serve loaded sweet potato fries alongside gourmet burgers with toppings like caramelized onions, avocado, bacon, and melted cheese. The sweet and savory combination is fantastic.
2. BBQ Ribs: Sweet potato fries make a fantastic accompaniment to smoky and tender BBQ ribs. They provide a contrasting flavor and texture that balances the richness of the ribs.
3. Grilled Chicken: Pair grilled chicken breasts or thighs with loaded sweet potato fries. The sweetness of the fries complements the smoky flavors of the grilled chicken, creating a delicious balance.
4. Fish Tacos: Prepare crispy fish tacos with fresh slaw, tangy sauce, and a side of loaded sweet potato fries. The sweet potato fries add a unique twist to this classic dish.
5. Veggie Bowl: Create a nutritious and satisfying veggie bowl by combining roasted vegetables, quinoa, avocado, and a dollop of Greek yogurt. Serve it with loaded sweet potato fries for a complete and flavorful meal.
6. Steak Dinner: Serve loaded sweet potato fries alongside a perfectly cooked steak. The natural sweetness of the fries pairs well with the savory flavors of a juicy steak, creating a delicious combination.
7. Southwest Salad: Create a vibrant southwest salad with mixed greens, black beans, corn, cherry tomatoes, and grilled chicken or tofu. Top it off with loaded sweet potato fries for added crunch and flavor.
8. Pulled Pork Sandwich: Serve loaded sweet potato fries as a side to a hearty pulled pork sandwich. The sweetness of the fries complements the richness of the pork, creating a delicious contrast of flavors.
Remember, you can also get creative and come up with your own unique combinations based on your preferences and dietary requirements. Enjoy experimenting with different meal ideas and discovering new flavors!
The Truth About Potatoes in an Ice Bath
Rinsing sweet potatoes in ice water is not a necessary step before cooking them in the oven, but it can be done if you prefer. The purpose of rinsing vegetables in ice water is typically to crisp them or enhance their texture. However, sweet potatoes are typically cooked at high temperatures in the oven, which softens their texture, so rinsing them in ice water might not have a significant effect.
That being said, if you enjoy the result of rinsing sweet potatoes in ice water, you can certainly give it a try. Here’s how you can do it:
1. After scrubbing the sweet potatoes to remove dirt, place them in a bowl or sink filled with cold water and ice cubes.
2. Allow the sweet potatoes to soak in the ice water for about 15 to 30 minutes. This can help firm up the texture slightly.
3. After soaking, remove the sweet potatoes from the ice water and pat them dry with a clean kitchen towel or paper towels.
4. Proceed with your preferred method of cooking the sweet potatoes, such as baking them in the oven.
Keep in mind that rinsing sweet potatoes in ice water is an optional step, and the texture and flavor of the cooked sweet potatoes may not be dramatically different from those that were not rinsed. However, if you enjoy the process or find it makes a noticeable difference to you, feel free to incorporate it into your preparation routine.Print
Loaded Sweet Potato Fries Recipe
- Total Time: 45 minutes
- Yield: 4 servings 1x
Crispy on the outside, tender on the inside – this loaded sweet potato fries recipe is packed with flavor and nutrition. Topped with avocado, black beans, red onion, cilantro, and cheese, this healthy appetizer or side dish is perfect for any meal.
2 large sweet potatoes, washed and cut into thin fries
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 avocado, diced
1/2 cup black beans, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup red onion, diced
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1/4 cup shredded cheese (cheddar or Mexican blend)
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, toss the sweet potato fries with olive oil, chili powder, smoked paprika, garlic powder, and sea salt until evenly coated.
- Arrange the sweet potato fries in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes, flipping the fries halfway through, until they’re crispy and tender.
- Remove the sweet potato fries from the oven and top with diced avocado, black beans, red onion, cilantro, and shredded cheese.
- Return the fries to the oven and bake for an additional 5-10 minutes, until the cheese is melted and bubbly.
- Serve immediately and enjoy!
- Make sure to cut the sweet potato fries into thin, evenly sized pieces so that they cook evenly. You can also use a mandoline slicer to make this process easier.
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 35 minutes