These easy to make Sweet Potato Fries are perfectly seasoned, and they happen to be sodium-free.
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. My friend Jessica was 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. She started a blog called Sodium Girl, and has since published a couple of books.
How Much Sodium Should You Consume Each Day?
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.
How to Make Sweet Potato Fries:
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 are fairly uniform in size (they’ll cook more evenly that way.)
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. Please note that there may 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 serve them with a little bowl of simple (sodium-free) avocado dipping sauce. I guess it’s hard to break old habits and not use salt in this recipe. 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. You can certainly add salt if that’s not an issue for you.
If you are looking to have a low-sodium diet, you might enjoy Jessica Goldman Foung’s 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.
Sweet Potato Fries
- 6 cups peanut oil, for frying
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon ground 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 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
- Heat the oil to 375 degrees F in a large pot or deep fryer. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees F.
- In a small bowl, mix garlic powder, cumin, smoked paprika and sugar. Set aside.
- 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.
- 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.
- Prepare the avocado sauce: Mix all ingredients in a small bowl.
Disclosure: There are Amazon affiliate links included within this post. I was given a copy of the Sodium Girl’s Limitless Low Sodium Cookbook for review. All opinions shared are my own.