in the habit: baked garlic sweet potato fries

I've never particularly liked sweet potatoes all that much, mostly because I'm an advocate of sweet and savory staying separate, and also the association with yams rendered sweet potatoes rather unappetizing. But then I tried the sweet potato fries at The Habit and I realized what I'd been missing my entire life. And I've deeply regretted it ever since. Hot, crunchy, slightly sweet, and garlicky, sweet potato fries are pretty much flawless, and have that little something that not-so-stellar regular fries often lack. Not to mention they're relatively healthy (which is probably why I avoided them for so long); they're a good source of iron, potassium, and Vitamin C, and they're baked, so they're better than the fried version.

So at the request of my friend and longtime supporter of my blog, Donald (you can check out his awesome YouTube channel here!), I decided to give it a shot.

Crispy and delicious

Crispy and delicious

I did my homework—I probably researched about ten different recipes for baked sweet potato fries, and eventually I settled on a recipe from Damn Delicious. But regardless of what you do or which recipe you use, they are still french fries, and it's pretty difficult to mess them up, so feel free to take liberties with the spices.

BAKED GARLIC SWEET POTATO FRIES

Yields: 4 servings (AKA a trayful)
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 30 minutes

fries

2-4 large sweet potatoes
3 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp garlic
½ tbsp salt
½ tbsp black pepper
½ tbsp paprika
½ tbsp garlic powder

Preheat oven to 400°F. Lightly coat a baking sheet with olive oil or nonstick spray and set aside.

These were comically large and made a lot more french fries than I thought they would.

These were comically large and made a lot more french fries than I thought they would.

Peel and cut potatoes into fries (I like skinnier ones).

Despite my meticulous research and preparation, I'd never actually cooked with sweet potatoes and didn't anticipate their texture. They're kind of a thick, dense, starchy consistency, unlike regular potatoes, which you can cut as easily as apples. Shaping the sweet potatoes into fries was a struggle, and they oozed this white, sticky stuff that I assume is some kind of sugary compound that helps sweet potatoes caramelize so nicely.

Toss the uncooked fries in a mixing bowl or plastic bag, coat evenly with olive oil, and season with salt, pepper, and other spices. I used a little minced garlic for an extra kick.

Lay out the fries on the baking sheet in a single layer (no foil or parchment paper), for even baking. Bake for 15 minutes, flip over with a spatula, and bake for an additional 15 minutes on the other side. The surface should change from shiny orange to a more matte texture. Let the edges caramelize a little, to really bring out the sweetness!

Remove fries from the tray, serve with ketchup, and enjoy! Nice, simple, and amazingly delicious.

Any other recipes I should try? Let me know :).