4 New Ways To Make Veggie Fries
by Victoria Le Maire, RD, LD
Last Updated: July 24, 2020
Fries are a famous side-item to any scrumptious burger, but often get a bad rep for their lack of nutrients and their high caloric value. We are here to tell you that fries can be made from a variety of vegetables and taste just as good as those that are deep-fried. We love potatoes and everything they have to offer, but variety is the spice of life and it’s time to give other veggies their well-deserved spotlight. Put on your quarantine chef hat and get ready for another opportunity to learn a few new kitchen hacks.
The method for success.
As you determine which vegetable to cook into an impeccable French fry, there are a couple of things to consider as you prepare. When making homemade fries, consistency in the size and cut is essential. The fry doesn’t have to be a perfect spear like we’re used to seeing in local restaurants, but they should all be approximately the same size. This guarantees that they will all cook evenly and provide you the crispiness anticipated in each bite. Cut the fries about half an inch thick to get the desired texture and allow for a swift cook time.
A great way to enjoy eggplant fries is baked and coated in breading, which helps increase their crunch and keep their shape. Eggplants come loaded with a host of minerals that help our body function at its best, such as magnesium, phosphorus, copper and potassium. Additionally, it provides about 3 grams of fiber per one cup serving. If you’ve had the wonderful experience of eating eggplant parmesan, try coating eggplant in italian breadcrumbs and baking until they’re crispy. Don’t forget the marinara for a tasty dipping sauce.
Turnip fries are a non-traditional, lower carb take on French fries that will send your taste buds soaring. Did you know that turnips are an excellent source of vitamin C? This vegetable will be sweetest in flavor if you pick ones that are small to medium in size. Turnip fries will have a softer texture, similar to sweet potatoes. They contain more moisture than potatoes, so they won’t crisp up as much. You can opt to bake these in the oven or use an air fryer (which is our favorite way to make them!).
Zucchini is another great vegetable to experiment with when looking for healthier alternatives to fries. Zucchini is a good source of health-protecting antioxidants and phytonutrients, including vitamin C, beta-carotene, manganese, zeaxanthin, and lutein. Like the eggplant fries, zucchini is higher in water content which can easily cause it to lose its shape. We recommend rolling them in breadcrumbs to keep their structure. Serve these up with an easy Greek yogurt chive dip using plain Greek yogurt, chopped chives and lemon juice.
Parsnips are an appealing and unique choice for fries as they are firm in texture and longer in length, making them easy to cut. This veggie may look like a carrot but is sweeter and has an overall milder taste. A half-cup serving provides a good source of folate and vitamin C, and about 3 grams of fiber, all for approximately 60 calories.
Don’t forget there are tons of options on the quest to finding a traditional fry alternative. Aim for a recipe that calls for baking veggies rather than frying for a healthier alternative. Use these recipes as a tasty side dish for your next meal, or simply serve as a mid-day snack to satisfy your crunchy cravings.
Disclaimer: This information is educational only and not providing healthcare recommendations. Please see a healthcare provider.