It’s sweet potato time!

Did you know that North Carolina is the largest sweet potato-producing state in the U.S.?  It’s true.  NC supplies up to 50% of the nations sweet potatoes.  And, sweet potato consumption has been steadily on the rise, due to the growing popularity of… the sweet potato fry!  This became evident recently during an afterschool program at The Edible Schoolyard.  A group of kids were brainstorming recipe ideas, and among the usual requests for pizza, pasta, cupcakes, and pie, a student yelled, “sweet potato fries!”  Since fall is the time to harvest the roots, before the first frost, we decided it was time to harvest and prepare sweet potato fries.  Our recipe is listed below, and be sure to experiment with different seasonings or dipping sauces.  Chili powder is good, smoked paprika, curry, cinnamon- or even chipotle spiced ketchup for dipping.

Baked Sweet Potato Fries

3 large sweet potatoes (peeled or unpeeled- your choice), cut into wedges of about the same size

¼ cup olive oil or vegetable oil

1 Tablespoon sea salt

1-2 Tablespoons spice of your choice

  1.  Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Put the sweet potato wedges in a large bowl.  Add the oil, salt, and spices of your choice.  Use your hands to mix well.
  3. Spread the sweet potatoes on a baking sheet in a single layer.  Be sure that they are not crowded or the fries will steam, which creates soggy fries.
  4. Place baking sheet in the oven and bake for about 15 minutes.  Remove sheet from oven and flip all of the sweet potato wedges.  Return to the oven and bake for another 15-20 minutes, until well browned.  Baking time will depend on the size of the fries.

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