cover photo for recipe and article for Shoestring Sweet Potato Fries, 13 easy ways to eat

13 Easy Ways to Eat Shoestring Sweet Potato Fries

When it comes to my 13 easy ways to eat shoestring sweet potato fries, you have good eating covered for almost 2 weeks!   These 13 ways include the following…

2 cutting tools so no matter your budget you can enjoy this recipe!

4 spice options to satisfy your cravings!

7 meal ideas to keep your eating fun, fresh and nutritious!   

And if 13 easy ways wasn’t enough, the nutritional and health benefits will get you cooking these shoestring sweet potato fries over ordering restaurant fries.  Lastly, you’ll learn how to store the sweet potatoes so take advantage of peak growing season.  

Sweet Potato or Yam?  Does it Matter?

Before we get to the 13 deliciously easy ways to enjoy shoestring sweet potato fries, let’s get aquatinted with these vegetables.  First, you may think sweet potatoes and yams are the same, but this is false.   

Sweet potatoes are not yams, nor potatoes.  They are a root vegetable, which makes them more like carrots and beets.  

The terms yam and sweet potato may interchange names on a regular basis, but yams are much different from sweet potatoes.  Yams are botanically more like potatoes, and they are both considered tuber vegetables.  

Difference between Yams and Sweet Potatoes

Yams are found in tropical regions.  They are farmed with pride and are woven into the traditional diet.  There are multiple variations of the yam, but they are most noted to have a dark brown, rough skin and contain creamy flesh.

Sweet potatoes, on the other hand, are most known for their orange colored flesh and light brown, smooth skin.  There are many varieties of sweet potatoes and can be found with white, purple, red, and off-white flesh.  

Sweet potatoes first gained popularity when Christopher Columbus brought them back from the ‘new world.’  Later sweet potatoes became a staple food in the southern region of the United States where the climate and soil create ideal growing conditions. 

To understand the difference between sweet potatoes and yams may seem trivial.  However, food is important.  Food is more than fuel.  Food a large part of our heritage, our identity and legacy. 

When we take time to understand the origins of food, we honor our uniqueness.  Moreover, it gives us opportunity to celebrate our wonderful differences!  Respecting food and valuing food has the power to connect us in a way that brings oneness.

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Nutritional Benefits of Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes taste ‘sweet’ but not in a not sugary way.  Their ‘sweetness’ comes from the carbohydrate content of the flesh.  And when baked, the sweetness of sweet potatoes can leak out so to make the fiber-rich skin taste very ‘sweet!’  

The orange flesh of the traditional southern sweet potato indicates the presence of vitamin A.  This vitamin is involved in the growth of new cells which keeps your immune system, bones and skin healthy

Other nutrients of the sweet potato include…

Vitamin B6 : important to brain health and keeping the immune system powerful!

Potassium : a mineral than keeps the nervous system stay in tip-top shape!

Vitamin C : helps keep skin looking and feeling good! 

Fiber : great for digestive health!  Fiber is especially found in the sweet potato skin.  

Sweet potatoes have also been found helpful in the blood sugar control of diabetics.  A small study found big improvements in Hemoglobin A1c (ie. a blood test that gives a 90 day average of blood sugar levels) when a small amount of sweet potatoes were eaten everyday!  

More study is needed before researchers can validate that sweet potatoes are helpful for blood sugar control.  However, the initial results are promising!

picture of sweet potato fresh from the farmers market with dirt still all over the skin
This sweet potato is fresh from the Farmers’ Market. Store sweet potato with the dirt on the skin until ready to use. The dirt will help preserve the quality of the sweet potato until it is ready to be eaten!

 Tips on Purchasing & Storing Sweet Potatoes

If you’ve ever wondered why foods taste better when bought locally, consider the fresh factor.  That’s right, foods sold at the Farmers’ Market are usually harvested a day or two before they are sold.  

For instance researchers found that sweet potatoes that were harvested closer to the time of selling had high amounts of nutrients.  Plus these sweet potatoes were able to keep longer in long term storage with mold and ro

The peak digging time for sweet potatoes in my region is the fall season.  Because the harvest is plentiful the prices are cheaper.  I take advantage of the abundance and choose to store my sweet potatoes in a cool, dry, well ventilated and dark area of my pantry.

I actually built bins for sweet potato storage!  These bins that can easy roll to the back of my pantry.  I fashioned 4 castor wheels to the bottom of a wooden crate.  This storage bin allows for a perfect environment for long term storage, and allows easy access for cooking.  

For more details on how to keep your food from the Farmers’ Market fresher longer, check out my refrigerator tour with the Organic Assoication of Kentucky for Find Your Fall CSA Initiative.

picture of DIY potato storage bins

Shoestring Sweet Potatoes Fries : 2 Cutting Tools

Now that you’ve gotten full appreciation of the amazing sweet potato, let’s talk shoestring sweet potato fries!  No matter your budget for kitchen gadgety, I’ve figured out 2 ways to help you indulge in these delicious shoestring sweet potatoes fries! 

1.If you have a bigger budget for kitchen tools consider a handle cranking spiralizer.  This kitchen tool makes shoestring cuts a breeze!  However they are not cheap.  On the other hand,   you can find hand cranking spiralizers that will make a similar cut but require more elbow grease. 

2.The other cutting choice for shoestring sweet potato fries is to hand cut with a sharp chef’s knife.  Most homes have sharp chef’s knife and a cutting board that go together.  

Again, please use caution when slicing, dicing, and cutting.  Also know that the sharper knife the easier the cut and less likely to experience an accident.  

Another thing to say about using a knife to cut shoestring sweet potato fries, these fries will come out less curly like shoestrings and look more like skinny fries.  Either way, when cooked thin sweet potatoes fries make a crispy, tasty treat! 

picture of 2 ways to cut shoestring sweet potato fries
No matter your budget, you can enjoy these shoestring sweet potato fries! On the left, the curly sweet potatoes were cut with a spiralizer. On the right, the skinny straight sweet potatoes were hand cut with a knife.

Shoestring Sweet Potato Fries Spice Blends

Now that you’ve got the cutting down, let’s talk spices   Whether you’re in the mood for sweet, spicy, savory or good old-fashion plain, I’ve got a homemade seasoning blend that will fit. Plus these seasoning blends are made with the spices you keep on hand in your pantry. 

1.When your sweet tooth is calling at dinner, go with the sweet

Sweet : 1 Tablespoon Sugar & 1/8 teaspoon or a ‘dash’ of each : cinnamon, nutmeg, clove 

2.For taste buds that like it hot, try the spicy!

Spicy : 1/8 teaspoon or a ‘dash’ of each : garlic powder, onion powder, cumin, paprika, salt

3.Or if you’re in the need for some comfort food, give the savory blend a go!  

Savory : 1/8 teaspoon or a ‘dash’ of each : garlic powder, onion powder, ground oregano, ground basil, ground sage, salt

picture of spices for shoestring sweet potato fries

Why to Enjoy Shoestring Sweet Potato Fries

My last tip is to move from thinking about making these shoestring sweet potato fries to actually   doing it!  So here it is, I have a confession.  

Over the pandemic I fell into a pattern of ordering french fries many times a week.  And it didn’t matter if the fries where fast food or steak house fries, eating fries became habitual.     

Now, this is a confession not because fries are an inherently bad food.  Moreover, the guilt actually comes from the knowledge about the oils that are used by restaurants to cook the fries.  

Most restaurants use refined oils for frying.  These oils have potential to cause inflammation, lead to long-term illness, and promote early aging!  Yikes!  

So here it is, I know that these cooking oils aren’t good for me, so why do I feel the draw to eat the fries?!?!!!  Well who knows!?!  Perhaps it’s the endorphin rush I get from eating comfort foods or maybe it’s the irresistible crunchy shell.  Okay, well, now I’m regressing.  

Anyway, the point I wanted to make this shoestring sweet potato fries recipe is my solution to break my habit of eating restaurant fries several times a week.   And not has it worked, but here’s how I thoroughly enjoy these shoestring sweet potato fries! 

picture of sweet potatoes grown on the farm

7 Ways to Enjoy Shoestring Sweet Potato Fries

  1. A crunchy, sweet side dish
  1. Top your favorite soup with these fries for sweet crunch
  1. Add to a fresh salad for a naturally gluten-free crouton
  1. Instead of eating these fries along side your burger, just build a tastier burger more nutritious burger with these shoestring sweet potato fries along with traditional lettuce, tomato and onion
  1. Trade the steak sauce for your next upscale steak off the grill for these irresistible shoestring sweet potato fries topping
  1. Wanting eat more vegetables in the morning?  Then try swapping out granola for these shoestring sweet potatoes in your next fruit and yogurt parfait
  1. Also consider that every casserole calls out for more crunch, so what better way to silence the noise and get more vegetables when adding these shoestring sweet potato fries as a topping.

No matter how you decide to eat these shoestring sweet potato fries, I know that they will become a family favorite for every occasion! 

Shoestring Sweet Potatoes on top of a Farmers' Market Cobb Salad

Shoestring Sweet Potato Fries

These Shoestring Sweet Potato Fries are easy to make and easy to eat! They can be enjoyed as a side dish, but can also add a punch of nutrition to any meal like salads, soups, burgers and more!
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Course Appetizer, Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 4 people
Calories 200 kcal

Equipment

  • Cutting Board
  • Spiralizer, optional
  • Sharp Chef's Knife
  • Sheet Pan
  • Spatula

Ingredients
  

  • 1 Extra Large Sweet Potato Or, 6 cups of spiralized sweet potatoes
  • 1 tbsp Avocado Oil

Spice Blend Optional : A) Sweet Blend Recipe : 1 Tablespoon Sugar & 1/8 teaspoon or a ‘dash’ of each : cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, B) Spicy Blend Recipe : 1/8 teaspoon or a ‘dash’ of each : garlic powder, onion powder, cumin, paprika, salt, C) Savory Blend Recipe : 1/8 teaspoon or a ‘dash’ of each : garlic powder, onion powder, ground oregano, ground basil, ground sage, salt

    Instructions
     

    • Set oven to 400 degrees. Pro Tip : Convection oven cooks quickest!
    • Use spiralizer or knife to cut sweet potatoes into shoestrings or ‘thin noodles.’ Add avocado oil and spice blend.  Mix up ingredients with your hands until the sweet potatoes are completely covered in oil and spices.
    • Transfer sweet potatoes to a large bowl. Add avocado oil (and optional spice blend of perference).  Mix up ingredients with your hands until the sweet potatoes are completely covered in oil and spices.
    • Next, transfer seasoned sweet potatoes onto a large sheet pan and spread out evenly. 
    • Place sheet pan in oven.  Set timer for 10 minutes.  Every 10 minutes mix shoestring sweet potatoes until cooked. 
    • When shoestring sweet potatoes are crispy, remove from the oven. Serve and enjoy!

    Notes

    7 Ways to Enjoy Shoestring Sweet Potato Fries
    1. A crunchy, sweet side dish
    1. Top your favorite soup with these fries for sweet crunch
    1. Add to a fresh salad for a naturally gluten-free crouton
    1. Instead of eating these fries along side your burger, just build a tastier burger more nutritious burger with these shoestring sweet potato fries along with traditional lettuce, tomato and onion
    1. Trade the steak sauce for your next upscale steak off the grill for these irresistible shoestring sweet potato fries topping
    1. Wanting eat more vegetables in the morning?  Then try swapping out granola for these shoestring sweet potatoes in your next fruit and yogurt parfait. 
    1. Also consider that every casserole calls out for more crunch, so what better way to silence the noise and get more vegetables when adding these shoestring sweet potato fries as a topping.
    No matter how you decide to eat these shoestring sweet potato fries, I know that they will become a family favorite for every occasion! 
    Keyword Dairy Free, Gluten Free, No Sugar, vegan, Whole30

    About the Author

    Elizabeth Ray is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist who is on a mission to help you feel good about food!  She believes food from the farm is best.  And she is developing nutrition resources to help you discover the possibilities of real food that is grown/raised by the local farmer.  

    For more delicious, nutritious and adventurous recipes that are sourced from the farm, click here.

    “May food from the local farm help you flourish!” – Elizabeth Ray Farmers Market Nutritionist

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