posted in Dairy Free

Sweet Potato Fries {Vitamix Giveaway!}

Food is wonderful, it really is.  But food can also make people sick. I’ve heard some pretty amazing and awful stories from my food friends about allergies and reactions to things related to food. Shauna (Gluten Free Girl) shares her story here on the many years her health suffered before she found out that her body just couldn’t handle any gluten. And then there’s Carrie’s story: Deliciously Organic. Carrie’s family of four was able to overcome severe asthma, eczema, IBS and migraines… all by switching to a diet of organic, unprocessed food. Amie’s story is compelling too (The Healthy Apple). Amie’s body is unable to digest gluten, sugar and oils. She is also allergic to sulfates and cannot digest packaged foods, yet somehow she has managed to figure out how to keep her body healthy.  And then there’s Jessica’s story (Sodium Girl): Faced with kidney failure and a host of other problems, it took years to determine that a well controlled, salt-free, low-sodium diet was key to her staying healthy and active. We’re going to celebrate Jessica and her new cookbook today with a recipe made delicious, even though there is no salt added: Sweet Potato Fries {Giveaway details are at the bottom of this post}

Jessica gave me the challenge of preparing a recipe with zero sodium.

A little background on sodium:  The USDA recommends that Americans consume less than 2,300mg of sodium a day (that is equal to a teaspoon of salt). And that 50% of Americans, due to age and health needs, should consume less than 1,500mg of sodium a day (which is equal to a little over 1/2 teaspoon of salt).  So the funny thing is that there are a ton of foods you eat every day that have sodium in them already (without even adding the salt yourself!)

Eggs? over 70mg of sodium per egg.
Chicken leg? over 90mg of sodium per 1/4 pound.
Crab? 250mg per 3 ounces.
Artichoke? 120mg per artichoke.
Kale? 30mg per cup, chopped.

And the real culprit of over salting is processed foods, which contribute over 75% of people’s daily sodium intake. So the secret to making low-sodium food still taste wonderful: find the right combination of no or low-sodium spice and condiment additions to make it work.

For my challenge, I chose to make typically-salty fries.  I adore sweet potatoes, so I went with sweet potato fries.  And yes, I really fried them… instead of baked them.  That’s SOOO not me, but it was SuperBowl Sunday when I made these, and that pretty much gives you an excuse to eat whatever you want… so deep-frying it was! I used a recipe by Jeff Mauro on the Food Network site and played around with it a little bit.  I think the toughest part in all of this is trying to cut the sweet potatoes so that they were fairly uniform in size (figured they’d cook more evenly that way). Mauro suggests cutting them 1/2 to 1/4-inch.  Mine were probably closer to 1/2-inch.

The interesting thing about this recipe is that you dunk the sweet potatoes into a mixture of cold club soda + cornstarch (a batter) before frying.

I believe that the light “batter” coating is supposed to add an extra crunchy texture to the outside of the fries.  So you just dunk ’em and then shake the batter off to drain a bit.

It’s helpful to have some kind of metal strainer spoon like this one to safely lower in the potatoes, and then lift them out when done.

Another important piece to this recipe is that the oil must be the right temperature (375 degrees F).  If it’s too cool, the fries won’t crisp.  If it’s too hot, they’ll burn!

Here’s the seasoning mix I opted for.  Jessica wanted me to point out that there could indeed be sodium hiding in some brands of garlic powder, so if you’re watching sodium then it’s worth checking out the brand you’re using.

As the fries come out of the oil and onto a paper towel to drain, the seasoning mix is sprinkled on top.

I served them up couch-side for my boys with a little bowl of simple (sodium-free) avocado dipping sauce.  They ate, they dipped, and they inquired about the seasoning that I used.  They enjoyed.  Then my husband got nosier and asked more questions about the seasoning mix.  I let the cat out of the bag and  told him that this was a zero-sodium recipe.  And then, you know what he did?  After enjoying about half of the fries just as they were… and exclaiming about how wonderful they were… he went into the kitchen and grabbed the salt shaker!  Ugh… I guess it’s hard to break old habits.  But you can certainly learn to break them if you mess around and discover flavorings to use in place of using sodium.  I thought these were perfectly delicious without any salt… at all. Scroll to the end of this post for the recipe.

Today we’re celebrating the release of Jessica Goldman Foung’s new cookbook: Sodium Girl’s Limitless Low-Sodium Cookbook- How to Lose the Salt and Eat the Foods You Love.


First of all Jessica has terrific background information in the beginning of her book on how to prepare and adjust for a life of living a low-sodium diet… tips on dining out, stocking a low-sodium pantry, how to read labels and lots of suggestions for spice blends, etc. to use in your recipes.  The recipes themselves look scrumptious- colorful, spiced, creative and family-friendly.  Each recipe gives a sodium-count.  Recipes I’m excited to try:  Balsamic- Blueberry Steak Sauce, Roasted Butternut- Ricotta Dip, Cast Iron Herb Pizza Crust and Baked Macaroni and Peas.  Her book looks great, and it’s definitely one to add to the shelf for those who are (or need to be) watching their sodium intake.  This book can be purchased HERE.
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And now for the Giveaway!


To enter for a several chances to win a Vitamix + accessories shown above, use the Rafflecopter widget below (give it a few seconds to load- good luck!)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: This giveaway is open to USA residents only. Giveaway ends on 2/18/13. Complete terms and conditions can be found within Rafflecopter Giveaway Widge above. Giveaway provided by Vitamix. Amazon affiliate links are provided within this post.

Yield: 4 servings

Prep Time: 15 min

Cook Time: 15 min

Sweet Potato Fries

Ingredients:

FRIES:
6 cups peanut oil, for frying
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/4 teaspoon granulated white sugar
1 cup cornstarch
3/4 cup cold club soda
2 pounds sweet potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch or 1/4-inch fries

AVOCADO DIPPING SAUCE (optional):
1 medium avocado, pitted and mashed
2 to 3 tablespoons plain greek yogurt or sour cream
2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lime juice
season to taste with cayenne pepper and smoked paprika

Directions:

1. Heat the oil to 375 degrees F in a large pot or deep fryer. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees F.

2. In a small bowl, mix garlic powder, cumin, smoked paprika and sugar. Set aside.

3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the cornstarch and club soda. In batches, dip the potatoes in the batter, allow any excess to drip off and then place them on a wire rack with paper towels underneath to catch the dripping batter. Repeat with rest of the potatoes.

4. Fry half of the potatoes, stirring occasionally until golden brown and crispy, 6 to 8 minutes. Remove to a paper-towel-lined baking sheet and sprinkle with half of the seasoning. Keep them in the oven to stay warm and crisp while you repeat with the remaining potatoes. Serve immediately.

5. Prepare the avocado sauce:

Source:  RecipeGirl.com (Adapted from Food Network)

124 Responses to “Sweet Potato Fries {Vitamix Giveaway!}”

  1. postedFeb 12, 2013 9:11 AM

    Awe; thank you so much for your kind words in this post, Lori! So honored to have you as a great friend. You are amazing and I’m so excited to see you today!! xoxo Thank you again.

  2. postedFeb 12, 2013 10:24 AM
    Christine

    I recently discovered smoked paprika and I LOVE it! It gives a great smoky flavor to whatever I put it on. I’ve been using it in my homemade taco seasoning, on chicken, roasted veggies, etc.

  3. postedFeb 12, 2013 10:37 AM
    Laura

    I love searching for GF recipes for my best friend. A vitamix blender would help SO MUCH with preparing foods that are Gluten Free

  4. postedFeb 12, 2013 10:38 AM
    Kim N.

    I’d want to make over French Onion Soup!

  5. postedFeb 12, 2013 11:04 AM
    Michelle Brannan

    I would make over a lot of pasta dishes that they serve in restaurants :)

  6. postedFeb 12, 2013 11:06 AM
    Melissa Graham

    I am addicted to Green monster shakes, a vitamix would be nice!

  7. postedFeb 12, 2013 11:10 AM
    Barbara

    The fries look delish!

  8. postedFeb 12, 2013 11:46 AM

    Yum! I’ve been trying to duplicate a dipping sauce for sweet potato fries that I had at a restaurant in Austin, Texas. This one may come close. Thanks for sharing!

  9. postedFeb 12, 2013 12:11 PM
    Sarah

    I don’t even have a blender! Pick me!

  10. postedFeb 12, 2013 12:15 PM

    I saw a Vitamix on the Jazzy Vegetarian on PBS this past weekend. She made a mango sorbet that looked delicious!

  11. postedFeb 12, 2013 12:28 PM
    Laura

    I would love to make over some salty restaurant dishes.

  12. postedFeb 12, 2013 12:29 PM

    These look amazing!

  13. postedFeb 12, 2013 12:44 PM

    I have a sweet potato recipe tomorrow – love them! And I don’t cook with much sodium at all. Rarely add salt to food b/c of family history of heart issues in my hubs’ family so have been very mindful of cooking with salt for the last 10 yrs. Great post, book, and giveaway!

  14. postedFeb 12, 2013 12:56 PM
    Jenn @ Icing on the Cake

    I would makeover some salty pizzas!

  15. postedFeb 12, 2013 1:36 PM
    Emily

    I rarely cook with salt, I prefer other spices.

  16. postedFeb 12, 2013 2:47 PM
    Michele

    Great giveaway! Thanks for the chance.
    (PS – I like to use marinades)

  17. postedFeb 12, 2013 2:47 PM
    Michele

    Great giveaway! Thanks for the chance.
    (PS – I like to use marinades)

  18. postedFeb 12, 2013 3:02 PM
    lavi

    These look great even without salt!

  19. postedFeb 12, 2013 3:03 PM
    lavi

    I want to makeover mac and cheese!

  20. postedFeb 12, 2013 3:18 PM
    Rose

    I usually add a sprinkle of an all-purpose no-salt seasoning blend and a spoon-full of roasted garlic puree to my dishes instead of salt. I sometimes roast a whole 2 lb bag of garlic heads in one batch, put some puree in a jar to keep in the fridge and the extra I just freeze for later.

  21. postedFeb 12, 2013 3:36 PM
    Stephanie-Oh

    I have wanted a V itamix forever. My husband thinks I’m crazy to want a”$500. Blender” and I absolutely adore sweet potato fries.

  22. postedFeb 12, 2013 4:03 PM
    Sadie

    This is a book we all need to review. Even when you try to keep sodium away, it finds its way in.

  23. postedFeb 12, 2013 5:49 PM
    Katie

    Those fries look delicious! I like to add other spices but definitely am guilty of adding salt when I probably don’t need to – working on slowly cutting back. Great giveaway!!

  24. postedFeb 12, 2013 5:51 PM
    Amy

    I would love to makeover Tuna Casserole– I just love the one I grew up with:)

  25. postedFeb 12, 2013 6:02 PM
    Suzanne H

    I would love a Vitamix- I hear they are AMAZING!!!

  26. postedFeb 12, 2013 6:03 PM
    Suzanne H

    I want to remake all of my sauces without salt!

  27. postedFeb 12, 2013 6:51 PM
    GuRLiee

    Sometimes spaghetti sauces are too salty I would like to cut the sodium in this so I don’t feel like I need to drink gallons of water to just quench my thirst

  28. postedFeb 12, 2013 7:27 PM

    Garlic is my absolute favorite flavor enhancer :)

  29. postedFeb 12, 2013 8:01 PM

    I absolutely LOVE sweet potato fries! Lately cayenne pepper has been my go-to seasoner.

  30. postedFeb 12, 2013 8:15 PM
    Susie

    I’ve never made my own sweet potato fries, but I love them!

  31. postedFeb 12, 2013 8:33 PM
    Renee G

    I actually love adding black pepper for seasoning.
    rsgrandinetti@yahoo(dot)com

  32. postedFeb 12, 2013 10:12 PM
    ellen

    i add freshly cracked black pepper to everything!

  33. postedFeb 12, 2013 11:11 PM

    I want to make over Buffalo Chicken!!! Absolutely love a healthier version of it. This is such a great post with lots of useful information and raise awareness for healthy heart. Thanks for hosting the giveaway too. :)

    amy [at] utry [dot] it

  34. postedFeb 13, 2013 1:07 AM
    Kathy R

    I like to add flavor without salt by adding fresh herbs.

  35. postedFeb 13, 2013 2:46 AM
    Poopsey Marie

    I would makeover sauces and gravies. Holidays aren’t the same w/o these two but it seems they’re always salty and on the flip side, they’re less flavorful w/o the salt. Maybe the “Sodium Girl” has the solution for this in her book!

  36. postedFeb 13, 2013 3:12 AM

    I have been making lots of homemade pretzels (like you get at the Mall), except instead of using all that salt on them I have been using Herbs. They taste even better than all that salt on them. I will have to Blog these! Thanks for the giveaway, I need one and hope I win!

  37. postedFeb 13, 2013 4:04 AM
    Christine

    Fresh herbs are a great addition to anything. I also use minced or roasted garlic in a lot of my recipes – we love our garlic!!

  38. postedFeb 13, 2013 4:15 AM
    Kira

    These sound delicious! I’ve used a similar spice mixture on roasted carrot sticks and they came out really well.. I’ll have to give these a try

  39. postedFeb 13, 2013 4:17 AM
    Marsha

    I use chili powder, cumin and turmeric, and lots of garlic and basil. Never miss the salt!

  40. postedFeb 13, 2013 4:20 AM
    Kathryn

    I think BUTTER makes everything better!!

  41. postedFeb 13, 2013 4:30 AM

    I seriously love sweet potato fries.

    I roast veggies all the time to get lots of flavor in them, and lots of grilling in the summer:-)

  42. postedFeb 13, 2013 5:09 AM

    A great recipe and giveaway!

  43. postedFeb 13, 2013 5:34 AM
    Leesa Gentry

    Love sweet potato fries but I always roast mine.

  44. postedFeb 13, 2013 5:36 AM
    Melissa

    I love roasting to add a nice touch of sweetness and enhancing the savory quality of dishes!

  45. postedFeb 13, 2013 5:44 AM

    Those sweet potato fries look fantastic! I love that there is no salt in them. I really love roasting potatoes and vegetables :)

  46. postedFeb 13, 2013 6:21 AM
    Jaan L of Tx

    I would love a way to re-do any rice dish. Adding salt is a big NO NO for us, as both my hubby and I have Hypertension. We love rice but are avoiding it for now. I used to make Biryani and Pulao weekly.

  47. postedFeb 13, 2013 6:45 AM
    Kat

    Garlic is one my favorite spices to use. Thanks for the giveaway.

  48. postedFeb 13, 2013 6:59 AM
    elizabeth

    I have been growing herbs to use in my cooking because I can control the flavor of food so much better if I use fresh herbs. I definately use less salt now because of the herbs!

  49. postedFeb 13, 2013 7:03 AM
    Andrea W.

    Garlic and spices.

  50. postedFeb 13, 2013 7:22 AM
    Kimi

    Mac and cheese

  51. postedFeb 13, 2013 7:26 AM
    Babs

    I would like to figure out how to reduce salt/sodium in any dishes that are all ready salty to begin with like soups with ham or cured meats.

  52. postedFeb 13, 2013 7:38 AM
    Hilary Rawlings

    I have never tried sweet potato fries but these look delicious! I’ll have to try this recipe out this weekend!

  53. postedFeb 13, 2013 7:42 AM
    Karen

    I would love to re-do a few sauces, like pasta sauce.

  54. postedFeb 13, 2013 7:44 AM
    Marisha

    As a woman with a heart condition, low sodium and heart healthy cooking is SO important to me. Thanks for sharing these stories AND the recipe!

  55. postedFeb 13, 2013 7:44 AM
    Michelle

    LOVE sweet potato fries and it is one way my kids will eat sweet potatoes! : )

  56. postedFeb 13, 2013 7:48 AM

    I love sweet potato fries! Next time I make them I will try a combination of no-sodium spices instead. Thank you! <3

  57. postedFeb 13, 2013 7:53 AM
    Luz

    I would love the Vitamix, thanks for the giveaway!

  58. postedFeb 13, 2013 7:54 AM
    Sheila Stringfield

    I love sweet potato but have yet to meet a SP Fry that I like. Cannot wait to try your recipe!

  59. postedFeb 13, 2013 8:04 AM
    Wynn Zetterberg

    I love homemade sweet potato fries. I make mine savory with balsamic ketchup.

  60. postedFeb 13, 2013 8:09 AM
    Lori Andor

    I have been looking into buying a vitamix.. I’ll wait a bit to buy incase I win. :)

  61. postedFeb 13, 2013 8:09 AM

    Great recipe!

  62. postedFeb 13, 2013 8:10 AM
    Kim P

    I love sweet potatoe fries – a favorite for sure.

  63. postedFeb 13, 2013 8:25 AM
    MarthaC107

    love sweet potatoes. Those fries look delish!

  64. postedFeb 13, 2013 8:34 AM

    I use garlic, fresh herbs, and more pepper.

  65. postedFeb 13, 2013 8:35 AM
    Linda R.

    I don’t use much salt, but I’m addicted to fresh ground black pepper and anything with garlic.

  66. postedFeb 13, 2013 8:37 AM
    Lori R.

    Baked sweet potato fries are super yummy, too!

  67. postedFeb 13, 2013 8:39 AM

    Yum! I love having these out, I really should try them at home.

  68. postedFeb 13, 2013 8:40 AM

    Hi Lori,

    Beautiful photos… everything looks so tasty!

    I’d love to know how you get your cute little Print Recipe button and the page where it formats the recipe so nicely. I’m newly a food niche blogger and would like to make my recipes nice and available to my readers. I’m also in the process of switching to WordPress. I tried to submit this via your contact me option, but it wouldn’t work for some reason. Thanks!!

    • February 14th, 2013 @ 11:50 AM

      Thanks :) My designer designed the button and page printing functionality for me, so I’m not sure!

  69. postedFeb 13, 2013 8:52 AM
    Barbara

    I was on a complete salt free diet when pregnant with my last child so I became very adept at finding ways to flavor foods without the sodium. I do not ordinarily salt anything when I cook for my family, they can add it if they want, AFTER TASTING1

  70. postedFeb 13, 2013 9:21 AM
    Kathie M.

    I would like to find a way to season popcorn and still have my husband’s salt craving satisfied.

  71. postedFeb 13, 2013 9:29 AM
    Tamarae

    I ant to make over french fries- I love them but I don’t love the salt. . .rosemary and a dash of Parmesan (DELICIOUS).

  72. postedFeb 13, 2013 9:51 AM
    Marin D

    Soups. I love a variety of soups and they always require lots of salt. Plus if you add cheese and other toppings, you start increasing the counts. I love potato soup, tomato soup, chicken noodle soup, but I feel like it always needs more salt!

  73. postedFeb 13, 2013 10:18 AM
    Anna Prewitt

    I think a Vita Mix would come in handy when milling my wheat. I like making my own flour from wheat to rice.

  74. postedFeb 13, 2013 10:21 AM
    Debby G.

    I like to use pepper and other spices to season my food.

  75. postedFeb 13, 2013 10:29 AM

    I like to replace simple salted butter with herby butter without salt, where the flavour comes from oregano, parsley, thyme, chives etc!

  76. postedFeb 13, 2013 10:29 AM
    Kim L.

    I have been trying so hard to not buy processed foods for my family. When I think back, we ate very simply as kids, meat, potatoes, veggies from our garden – nothing fancy. Even the tomatoes in recipes were canned by my mom from our own tomatoes. There were no glowing boxes of Mac n’ Cheese in sight! I know we are all busy but we had 4 kids in my family and we all played sports, did scouts, etc, etc, etc

  77. postedFeb 13, 2013 10:56 AM
    Patricia Ray

    Sweet potato fries are my favorite! Would love to have the mixer – it would make cooking so much easier.

  78. postedFeb 13, 2013 11:25 AM
    Angy Hahn

    I am trying to get back to the land and get away from processed foods ! I want the Vitamix!

  79. postedFeb 13, 2013 12:03 PM
    C Pierce

    The widget never shows when I come to this page. What am I doing wrong?
    Thank you for your help.
    Cathleen

  80. postedFeb 13, 2013 12:11 PM
    Christina

    I LOVE salty foods but am not a fan of prepackaged stuff. I do try to make most of my food from scratch. I don’t have any problem but my husband is constantly battling high blood pressure, despite being on meds. And his job depends on him having a lower BP! He never uses salt and I try not to add too much when I’m cooking. So in answer to the question, I’m not sure there is one since we don’t actually eat much in the way of salty goodness (badness?).

  81. postedFeb 13, 2013 12:14 PM
    RuthAnn

    There is a bare space on my kitchen counter top waiting to be filled with this Vitamix, the ultimate do-all! I have an avocado, ready to be eaten…..this dipping sauce may or may not make it to the plate of fries….where’s my spoon? Thank you Lori for another great give-a-way.

  82. postedFeb 13, 2013 12:15 PM
    susan

    I like to add some fresh horseradish, dijon mustard and sometimes red hot for flavoring!

  83. postedFeb 13, 2013 12:18 PM
    Rose

    I grow a big garden every year. Would love to win the Vitamix as my blender is about worn out. Thank you!

  84. postedFeb 13, 2013 12:20 PM
    Leah

    I would love to makeover a roasted chicken… is that even possible????

  85. postedFeb 13, 2013 1:04 PM
    Karen Wood

    I have been wanting a vitamix for sooo looong, and now i need it more than ever for my health.

  86. postedFeb 13, 2013 1:21 PM
    Jen L

    I am a saltaholic, but am trying to be better!

  87. postedFeb 13, 2013 1:41 PM
    Sandi Martino

    I would love a vitamix. I have burnt through three Cuisarts in the last year…yes 3!!!

  88. postedFeb 13, 2013 2:47 PM
    Mary Ellen Bowen

    I always add black pepper and I love Emeril’s spice mix

  89. postedFeb 13, 2013 3:21 PM
    Diane

    I love Penzeys spice….sandwich sprinkle!

  90. postedFeb 13, 2013 4:47 PM
    Holly T.

    I don’t usually add too much salt to things but mashed potatoes are my one thing that I love salty. I would love to find something I like with them to eliminate the salt

  91. postedFeb 14, 2013 7:54 AM
    Sherry

    My blender is so wimpy, would love to have a Vitamix powerhouse!

  92. postedFeb 14, 2013 11:08 AM
    Jan R

    Not sure…I use a lot of salt.

  93. postedFeb 14, 2013 1:05 PM

    Can’t wait to try the sauce recipe! We love sweet potato fries!

  94. postedFeb 14, 2013 1:49 PM
    jamie

    yum, love this recipe!

  95. postedFeb 14, 2013 3:57 PM
    krista c

    I have been wanting a vitamix!

  96. postedFeb 14, 2013 11:40 PM
    jjmcgaffey

    Unfortunately I _don’t_ love sweet potato – but I may try this seasoning on plain potatoes. I do an incredibly easy oven home fries recipe – with no salt.
    2-3 new potatoes per person
    spices to taste (Italian seasoning is good. Rosemary and sage is good. Curry might be good (don’t know about salt, though). Whatever appeals)

    Cut the potatoes up into chunks (don’t peel); a golf-ball-sized potato should be cut into quarters, if your potatoes are larger cut them into more pieces. Immediately put the potatoes into a bag with the spices (I use a Ziploc) and shake vigorously. The spices will stick to the juice on the potatoes. Pour them out on a baking sheet – use a non-stick liner for ease of cleanup. Bake at 450 for about 20 minutes, flipping the potatoes once (as best you can – hard to convince all those little irregular-shaped lumps to turn over. Especially if you don’t use a liner). They come out warm brown, slightly crunchy skins and soft inside, and very tasty.

  97. postedFeb 15, 2013 2:45 AM
    Charlotte Clanton

    Sound great!

  98. postedFeb 15, 2013 5:40 AM
    Angela

    I like to water fry/saute. I tend to use herbs and spices to kick up the flavor and not really add salt, most of the time. Either that or I roast/broil. I’d like to makeover a recipe for chicken tenders/nuggets with veggies and mac n cheese. It’s one I grew up with, and it was made mostly from a box or prefrozen or canned. It was salty and blah.

    I cut my own chicken tenders/nuggets and I usually make a casserole for the mac and cheese, which I add the veg into and use whole foods, not powders, but it would be interesting to see it done. or maybe I will add a recipe for it on here for ya’ll to read.

  99. postedFeb 15, 2013 7:33 AM
    Tydeisha J

    HOT SAUCE!

  100. postedFeb 15, 2013 11:26 AM

    I would love to makeover my grandmother’s recipes. She was a great southern cook but was way to generous with her use of salt!

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