Happy New Year!
Just because the Holidays are almost over, and we have to go back to work tomorrow doesn’t mean that we have to give up on eating tasty foods. Lets celebrate the first day of the year with a delicious and healthy alternative to one of this country’s most notorious foods: fries and ketchup!
There are a million things to love about fries. They are hot, salty, and crunchy. These addictive little suckers are bad; and one is never enough. But because they are so tasty, why would anybody want to eliminate them from their diet. I propose a solution that will have you indulging in healthy fries, by making just a couple of changes.
This recipe calls for sweet potatoes, baking, and homemade ketchup. Sweet potatoes have more vitamins and minerals than white potatoes. They are, in my opinion, tastier, and abundant this time of year. By baking the potatoes, you can control the amount of fat, just a drizzle is enough to make them crispy. The third change might be a bit of a stretch, especially if homemade ketchup screams Brooklyn hipster to you.
Because I have never made ketchup at home I saw it as a challenge. This ketchup is a delicious, tasty variation using beets, ginger, and spices. Unlike tomatoes, beets are in season, and match beautifully with sweet potatoes. Ginger seemed an obvious pair: spicy, sweet, and tangy.
To be honest, I was surprised at how easy it is to make. Vegetables and spices are cooked in vinegar for less than and hour. The aromas of cloves, cinnamon, onions and garlic will make your house smell delicious. A few pulses on the blender and, voila! Homemade ketchup.
Oven Baked sweet potato fries
- 3 sweet potatoes
- Pinch of sea salt
- Fresh ground black pepper
- 1 tbsp. olive oil
Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Slice potatoes in half. Place flat side down and cut into ¼ inch slices. Cut each slice in half, or thirds depending on thickness. Place slices in large baking sheet. Sprinkle with sea salt, pepper and drizzle with olive oil. Toss potatoes until evenly coated. Spread evenly throughout pan so that the potatoes do not touch. Bake for 30-35 minutes. Stirring ever so often. Potatoes should be crisp with a soft center when ready. Remove from oven and transfer to a paper towel, patting dry any excess oil. Sprinkle with sea salt and serve immediate.
Ginger Beet Ketchup
Makes about a cup
- 4 small beets (or two large ones)
- ½ an onion (diced)
- 2 celery stalks
- 1 clove of garlic
- ¼ tsp. cloves
- ¼ tsp. cinnamon
- Dash chile powder
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 cup rice vinegar
Peel beets and cut into small cubes. Transfer to small pot and cook beets in ½ cup of water for 15 minutes over medium-low heat. Drain, and set aside. In the same pot, add onions, celery, garlic, beets and spices with rice vinegar. Cook over low heat for at least 30 minutes. Vegetables should be cooked thoroughly, and half of the liquid should have evaporated. Let cool. Transfer to blender and puree on high speed until smooth. Store in a jar with a tight lid for up to three weeks in refrigerator.