Did you know that the average American eats far too much fat? While the fat in nuts, olives, avocados, and similar foods are beneficial for health, oil – the source of most of our fat consumption – increases the risk of breast, colon, and prostate cancer, obesity, heart disease, and digestive issues.
One of the best ways to cut down on fat consumption is to replace fried foods with healthier options – like these No-Oil Baked French Fries!
These Healthy, No-Oil Baked French Fries are one of my family’s all-time favorites.
Are Baked Fries Really Healthy?
It’s unfortunate that potatoes have a bad reputation, because they are very nutritious – and even slimming – food. It’s what we do to potatoes that makes them unhealthy.
For example, if we take that wonderfully healthful potato and allow McDonalds to get a hold of it, the 0 grams of fat in a potato increases to 22 grams of fat, and the 100 calories to 450 calories. Quite a change.
But you can have your fries and eat them too if you bake them instead of deep-frying them in oil. Oil is a refined food that is high in empty calories. But baked fries are a whole food that is very good for you.
What kind of potatoes works best for French fries?
Waxy potatoes such Yukon Gold potatoes taste delicious in other recipes, but they don’t work so well for French fries.
Due to their low-moisture content, Russet potatoes – also called baking potatoes – work best for making delicious French fries. Russets – with their oblong in shape, their thick, rough, brown skin, and their white flesh – are also the most common variety of potatoes found in grocery stores.
To Peel or Not to Peel
Leaving the skin on your fries gives you extra slimming fiber and nutrients, but you can peel your potatoes if you prefer.
How to Cut Potatoes into Fries
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To make quick work of cutting potatoes into fries (if you don’t have a French fry cutter), be sure to have a good chef’s knife. This is the one I use.
I try to cut my fries about 1/4 inch thick. Thicker fries take longer to bake and, in my opinion, don’t taste as good. On the other hand, if your fries are too thin, they’ll burn on the edges.
What to Serve With Baked Fries
We love fries with just about everything, but they are especially good with:
Vegan Herb Gravy
5-Minute Cheese Sauce
Ranch Dressing (Recipe coming)
How to Reheat French Fries
These baked French fries taste best fresh, but in the unlikely event that you have leftovers, you can reheat the baked fries by preheating your oven to 400°F. Place fries in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake at 400°F for 5 to 8 minutes.
Healthy, No-Oil, Baked Fries
A healthy version of everyone’s favorite.
Wash potatoes and peel if desired.
Cut potatoes lengthwise into strips about 1/4-inch thick.
Place cut potatoes into a large bowl of cold water. For the best results, soak for at least 30 minutes or up to 1 hour. (This step is not essential, but it produces a crispier French fry.)
Preheat oven to 425°.
Drain water off of potatoes. Blot dry with a clean kitchen towel.
Sprinkle seasonings onto potatoes and mix well.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and lightly spray with non-stick spray.
Arrange potatoes single layer on parchment paper. For crispier fries, leave plenty of space between them. Don’t crowd the fries.
Bake at 425° for 20 to 30 minutes or until brown on the outside and soft on the inside. (Baking time will vary depending on the sizes of the cut potatoes.)
Best served fresh and hot.
1. Don’t salt the water that potatoes are soaked in. Salting the water causes the fries to be mushy.
2. Ensure that the fries are not exposed to too much steam. Baking them with other foods/dishes in the oven or placing them too close together on the baking sheet causes them to be exposed to too much steam and will result in mushy fries.
3. Flipping the fries after 13 to 15 minutes of baking time can help the fries turn out crispier.
4. If your oven tends to hold steam, you may want to open your oven door briefly (2 to 3 seconds) to release some steam after about 10 minutes of baking.
To reheat fries, preheat oven to 400°F. Place fries in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake at 400°F for 5 to 8 minutes.
Make-ahead tips: Potatoes may be cut ahead of time and stored for several hours in the cold water in the refrigerator until ready to use.
* * * This recipe for Healthy Baked French Fries is . . . gluten-free, plant based, oil-free, sugar-free, a good source of fiber, dairy free, egg-free, vegetarian, vegan, and made from real, whole foods.
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