Greetings readers! I am blogging today from home since work was cancelled because of the hurricane. I hope you are all dry and safe and have power. We’ve been quite lucky so far (fingers crossed). As much as it’s nice to have a day off, I’m feeling a little stir crazy already.
It’s no secret that I am OBSESSED with squash. It is one of my favorite things about fall. Tasty squash is healthy, local and so simple to prepare. Stuck inside on this rainy, hurricane soaked afternoon I had a brainwave: Could I make fries out of squash?
I am a fry-oholic. I love fries of all varieties. I especially love sweet potato fries. I like to delude myself into believing that sweet potato fries are a healthier option. If they are oven baked, then they probably are, however most served in restaurants are deep fried. I had to find a way to make a healthier version. Because sometimes you just NEED fries, amiright?
Turns out you can make awesome fries with squash. Like sweet potatoes, squash makes for some really tasty oven fries. A 4oz serving of delicata squash has only 30 calories and a serving of acorn squash has only 44 calories. Compare this to a 4oz serving of sweet potato which has 96 calories So, in theory – squash fries are a slam dunk, right?
Well. I am happy to report that squash fries are super delicious. However, this took a bit of work and some trial and error to figure out how to do it right. Thrown right in the oven, they were a soggy mess, so I tried a few different methods and found a way to maximize crispness. I seasoned these fries with a dash of curry powder, which was a great way to add flavor without overpowering the tasty, creamy squash. Then I made some kicked up ketchup with cayenne, tumeric and coriander.
Ever tried to make some sweet potato fries in the oven and been disappointed with how soggy they came out? This is the same conundrum with squash. I did some internet research to get to the bottom of this. Turns out potatoes have a lower water content and higher starch content than sweet potatoes. And, in turn, sweet potatoes have a lower water content and higher starch content than squash.
Tips for crispy fries:
1. Soak the cut fries in salted water for at least an hour. I have no scientific reason as to why this works, but it does. The soaked batches crisped much better than the unsoaked batches.
2. Space fries at least 1″ apart on all sides. Overcrowding leads to sogginess
3. Flip fries halfway through the cooking time. Unfortunately, this has to be done by hand. Be careful cause they’re hot.
4. Cook fries on a cooling rack. That way air circulates around them as they cook.
5. If you don’t have a cooling rack or (like me) only own a small one, cook the fries on parchment paper. Again, I have no explanation for this except it works. The batch I baked on tin foil did not come out well.
6. Pat fries completely dry before tossing with olive oil. Get rid of all excess water or else they will steam rather than bake in the oven.
You MUST give these fries a try. They are a low calorie fix for when you are really craving some salty fried goodness. Simple to make, they require a little TLC for crispiness but it is soo worth the effort. Serve with anything, but especially turkey burgers and sandwiches. You can dip them in anything you like and each serving of fries has ONLY 75 calories! Yum yum!
NOTE: You could use any other type of squash for these fries, butternut and acorn are more widely available and would work nicely. I chose delicata because it’s my favorite and you can eat the skin, which made for really nice fries. If using another type of squash, peel before chopping.
- 1 large delicata squash (approx 1lb), washed, seeded and sliced into matchsticks
- 1.5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp curry powder
- 1/3 cup of ketchup
- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 1/2 tsp coriander
- parchment paper
- 1 gallon sized ziplock bag
- Preheat oven to 350
- Soak fries in water for at least an hour
- Pat fries completely dry
- Place fries in a gallon sized Ziplock container
- Add olive oil and curry powder to the bag
- Shake until the fries are evenly coated with oil and curry powder
- Arrange fries on a parchment lined cookie sheet approx 1″ apart
- Bake for 15 minutes
- Flip all the fries over and then bake another 15 minutes
- To make the ketchup, whisk together ketchup, cayenne, turmeric and coriander.
- Serve fries hot with ketchup