9 Crispy Fries Even Veggie Haters Will Love
Last Updated: Mar 22, 2017
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If you’re the type who struggles to meet your daily vegetable intake, here’s an end to your plight. There’s a tasty — and healthy — way to prepare your vegetables: sliced like fries and then crisped in the oven. Oven-roasting doesn’t only intensify a vegetable’s natural flavors, it also allows you to cook your veggies with no exposure to water, which minimizes nutrient loss. And if you’re a little bored with the standard potato-and-sea-salt oven fries, we’re here to help upgrade your fry game. From turnip to avocado and carrot to rutabaga, you’ll be surprised by the variety of delicious “fries” you can whip up.
SPICED BUTTERNUT SQUASH FRIES
Butternut squash is a fantastic source of vitamin A, a nutrient with immune-boosting benefits. And the squash’s naturally sweet flavor makes these a great stand-in for sweet potato fries at just a fraction of the calories. You’ll have a little extra room to indulge with a rich dipping sauce — and our spiced almond butter dip fits the bill. In addition to tasting satisfyingly creamy, almond butter provides vegan protein, fiber and essential minerals like magnesium. And healthy unsaturated fats in the almond butter help you absorb all that vitamin A!
Related: Spiced Butternut Squash Fries Recipe
RUSTIC RUTABAGA FRIES
Comforting, healthy and budget-friendly? These rutabaga fries have it all. Sure, rutabagas aren’t the flashiest of veggies (that waxy, brown skin isn’t exactly Instagram-friendly), but they do contain just a fraction of the calories and carbs of potatoes. Seasoning these fries with rubbed sage adds an earthy flavor, while a sprinkle of black salt adds visual interest. If you can’t find black salt, try another specialty salt, such as grey Celtic sea salt, smoked salt or rosemary-infused salt.
Related: Rustic Rutabaga Fries Recipe
SPICY SRIRACHA AVOCADO FRIES
While we’re often partial to avocado toast or guacamole, we love these addictively creamy fries as a change of pace. Baking softens the avocado even more and deepens its flavor, while the breading adds satisfying crispiness. We use whole-wheat breadcrumbs for healthy carbs and digestion-promoting fiber. If you prefer foods that are milder, hold back on the sriracha or try low-sugar ketchup instead. Love heat? Add a pinch of cayenne to the breading mixture to amp up the spice even more.
Related: Spicy Sriracha Avocado Fries Recipe
HARISSA SWEET POTATO FRIES
Back from the gym? Eat a sweet potato. Rich in complex carbs, sweet potatoes help replenish your body’s glycogen levels, which drop after a workout. They’re also among the best sources of vitamin A for immune support, healthy vision and glowing skin. We’re upgrading our sweet potato fries by adding harissa, a chili pepper paste that’s a little smoky, a little spicy and totally on trend. Need a dip idea? Pair this with a homemade high-protein “aioli,” made by mixing a spoonful of harissa into plain, nonfat Greek yogurt.
Related: Harissa Sweet Potato Fries Recipe
TURNIP AND ROSEMARY FRIES
While this hearty root veggie is often overlooked in the produce aisle, turnips are worth including in your diet. These purple and white veggies are high in heart-healthy potassium and immunity-boosting vitamin C. But the best part? They’re low in calories. Each medium turnip has about 34 calories. Our fries are tossed with fragrant, antioxidant-dense rosemary. A light coating of olive oil adds richness to this surprisingly slimming side.
Related: Turnip and Rosemary Fries Recipe
SPICY GINGERED CARROT FRIES
Sweet, crunchy and spicy, these carrot fries are topped with fresh ginger, cayenne and turmeric. All three spices offer a boost of antioxidants to promote healthy cell growth, while ginger aids with digestion. Of course, carrots are no nutritional slouch, providing you with immune-boosting vitamin A and vitamin K for healthy blood clotting. Oh, and that beta carotene that gives carrots their orange hue? It’s great for glowing skin. So go ahead and snack on these fries sans the guilt.
Related: Spicy Gingered Carrot Fries Recipe
GARLICKY ZUCCHINI FRIES
Craving Italian? These garlicky zucchini fries are a healthy way to satisfy that hankering, but without any carb hangovers. Zucchini is naturally low in calories, with about 35 per squash, so these crispy fries are diet-friendly enough to become a regular part of your meal plan. The garlic salt that helps give these fries their flavor also supplies organosulfur compounds, which have heart-healthy benefits. Mix parmesan into the whole-grain breading to add cheesy flavor and muscle-building protein.
Related: Garlicky Zucchini Fries Recipe
SESAME GARLIC GREEN BEAN FRIES
These green bean fries are satisfying and ultra-crispy, thanks to whole-grain panko breading mixed with sesame seeds. We use black sesame seeds for visual interest and for their nutritional value; they contain nearly three times the beneficial polyphenol antioxidants of white sesame seeds, according to a 2006 study published in Food Chemistry. And don’t forget about the green beans. They provide vitamin K, which helps prevent heart disease, and vitamin C, which can lower hypertension.
Related: Sesame Garlic Green Bean Fries Recipe
SWEET APPLE FRIES
Who says fries need to be savory? Making your fries from apples turns a typically savory side dish into a dessert. We sweeten these with coconut sugar instead of the refined stuff, so you’ll keep your added sugar intake low. And we spice these fries with plenty of cinnamon for heart-healthy antioxidants. And this dessert is seriously filling, thanks to the apple’s soluble fiber content. Serve these fresh from the oven, or allow the fries to cool and then take them with you for an on-the-go snack.
Related: Sweet Apple Fries Recipe
Joshua Resnick/Adobe Stock
WHAT DO YOU THINK?
Which of these oven fries are you going to try first? Have you made baked vegetable fries before? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!
Related: 10 Vegetables You've Probably Never Heard Of
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