Superbowl Sunday’s Spicy Sweet Potato Fries With Smoked Paprika & Cilantro

In my house, the Superbowl is really just one grand excuse for epic food!

HEALTHY epic food, of course, and although I’m by no means a football fan, I’ll take any occasion for a gathering with friends. Whether this post serves your Superbowl needs or is coming in preparation for future events, these are your perfect feast-friendly fries.

Warning: sweet potatoes will spoil the joys of classic fries for you once and for all.

  • In this recipe, the otherwise deep-fried, greasy, starchy, russet potatoes (of which Americans are estimated to consume 11.2 million pounds of them as potato chips this day alone) have made way for flavourful wedges of sweet potatoes, oven baked to golden perfection.
  • The white,  inflammatory vinegar I once soaked (or rather drenched) my fries in as a child, has long since been replaced by its health boosting counterpart: apple cider vinegar and sugary ketchup is swapped for stone ground mustard or my personal favourite: guacamole! Americans are estimated to consume around 80 million  avocados today, enough to fill a 12-foot deep football field according to Men’s Health.

Football fans: I may not share your love of the game but I do share in your devotion to guacamole!

superbowl sweet potato fries

I have experimented with a multitude of flavour combinations but this recipe has me hooked.

With smoked paprika, the bite of garlic, the kick of cayenne pepper, and the crunch of course sea salt, I admit that I’ve failed to try any other combination since. I can’t. And believe me, I have tried..

My hand will waiver momentarily over the dried thyme but misses and grasps the fragrant basil and oregano instead. I’ll aim for the rosemary in the cupboard but slip and land on the tin of smoked paprika. As I get bored easily and thoroughly enjoy the adventurous combinations cooked up in the kitchen, this remains the testament to how truly delicious this recipe is!

 

4 SWEET FACTS OF SWEET POTATOES

  • The stunning orange of this root vegetable comes from the carotenoid: beta-carotene known to boost the immune system, enhance vision (when converted to Vitamin A) and provides anti-cancer effects. A particularly handy defense for those of us who live in the cancer belt.
  • The anti-inflammatory effects of vitamin A contribute to glowing skin and help ward off acne promoting bacteria.
  • Both steaming and baking (as we do in this recipe) increases the bioavailability of beta-carotene so that your body can obtain more of this nutrient!
    • Tip: once peeled, oxidization causes the sweet potato to lose some of it’s nutrients, so you’ll want to pop the fries into the oven right away.
  • Adding coconut oil to this dish enhances the absorption of beta-carotene. Being a fat-soluable nutrient, it needs to be in the presence of fat to be properly absorbed.

Spicy Sweet Potato Fries

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 Medium sweet potatoes (Peeled if non-organic, washed with skins if organic)
  • 2 TBSPs melted coconut oil or avocado oil
  • 1/2 Himalayan sea salt (I use a mixture of course and fine)
  • 2 Tsp Smoked paprika
  • 1 Tsp Garlic powder
  • 1 1/2 Tsp Dried oregano
  • 1 1/2 Tsp Dried basil
  • Sprinkling (approx. 1/4 tsp) cayenne pepper *optional”
  • Dash of cracked black pepper
  • Cilantro to garnish *optional”

DIRECTIONS:

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  • Mix seasonings in a large bowl. (I leave the course sea salt for when they come fresh out of the oven)
  • Chop sweet potatoes evenly. For crisper fries, slice thinly, for more rustic wedges, cut into chunkier sections. What matters most is that they are all about the same size so that they will bake evenly.
  • Transfer into a glass pan (large enough so that they all lie flat), drizzle with oil and toss with the seasonings.
  • Bake 15 mins, remove from oven and flip them over with a spatula.
  • Pop them back into the oven for another 10-15 mins or until golden brown around the edges. For thick wedges; pierce one with a fork to ensure that the middle is soft and well cooked through. They may require more or less time depending on the size of your fries so keep an eye on them.
  • Remove, sprinkle with the sea salt, transfer into a bowl with cilantro to offset the spiciness of your fries and serve!

NOTES:

  • You will taste the difference between organic and non-organic sweet potatoes, try this yourself and see! But for your guests today, opt for organic as they offer the richest depths of flavour for these fries.

While my Superbowl party will find me with fellow alumni cast members for play rehearsals and meetings at my yoga studio, there will be no shortage of food in the kitchen (and packed as snacks for the evening).

Give these a try and share with me your favourite combinations so that maybe, just maybe, I will have a fighting chance of reaching for a new and enticing flavourful recipe.

Until then, enjoy every sweet bite of this sweet potato super-bowl! 🙂

Suzanne Eden

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