It wasn’t until I started to explore more fruits and vegetables a few years ago that I discovered the versatility of sweet potatoes. Growing up I only knew the refined sugar covered yam casserole served at Thanksgiving. Come to think of it, I usually passed it up. After playing around with them a bit, we love them! Now we eat sweet potatoes roasted whole with salt & butter as a side dish or even as dessert. They are also great cut into chunks and mixed with a spice mixture containing cumin, cayenne and cinnamon. Our favorite way, however, is as roasted sweet potato fries.

One of our favorite restaurants serves sweet potato fries with a spicy mayo sauce that my husband just loves. I wanted to recreate it and make it a little more nourishing for our family. One way to do that is to avoid using a soy or canola based oil for your mayonnaise. Another step I took was to decrease the amount of hot sauce I used and add more raw garlic. The spice of the garlic and hot sauce along with the acidity of the lemon juice makes for a wonderful counter point to the caramelized sweet potato fries.

My husband raves about these. He told me to tell you that he “really, really means it.” I hope your family enjoys them as much as ours.

Sweet Potato Fries

Recipe note: Be generous with the olive/coconut oil here. You want your fries well coated in order for them to get nice and crunchy on the outside. Using parchment paper to line the pan helps to avoid the sweet potatoes from sticking to the pan. It isn’t entirely necessary, though.

2 large sweet potatoes, washed and cut into thin french fry shapes
olive or coconut oil to coat
sea salt

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Toss the sweet potato fries with the cooking oil of your choice. Place the fries in one layer on a sheet pan. You do not want them to be too close together otherwise they will steam, not “fry”. Bake for 20-40 minutes depending on the thickness of the fries. You want them to get a bit dark around the edges – that means they’re sweeter. Once out of the oven sprinkle with sea salt.

Spicy Garlic Mayo

1/4 cup good quality mayonnaise
1 Tablespoon ketchup
1 large clove of garlic, minced
8 dashes Tabasco sauce
1/4 teaspoon lemon juice

Mix all ingredients together and refrigerate for at least 20 minutes to allow flavors to meld.