Fries That Won’t Kill You
The Ranking of Fries
I read an article recently that ranked all of the fast food fries on a scale to see which ones were the “best.” It looked at things like texture, crispiness, and flavor. So, of course, I needed to read this article to see which fries I should be eating, and you know what I discovered? Fries are kind of disgusting. Don’t get me wrong, I love a nice hot, salty fry as much as the next girl. There was just something about looking at this graphic with photos of fries on the rating scale that made me realize in a very real way that fries are not good for me (yes, I know this is old news, I’m slow). So, what’s a girl to do when you want to have fries, but you really don’t want to ingest all of that oil and yuck? You try something new of course!
Jicama-the New Fry
Apparently, the rage with Jicama has been around for a while, and I’m just catching on. Jicama is sometimes called a Mexican yam bean or Mexican potato. It technically belongs to the pea family because it’s a climbing plant, and the part that we eat is just the root. Jicama looks like a large turnip with brown and wrinkly skin. It has a really neutral flavor that can go either savory or sweet, but it also packs a punch in the health department. Jicama is low calorie, high in soluble fiber (this means it will help you feel fuller, longer), and it’s full of prebiotic fiber. No, not probiotic. Prebiotic. This is the type of fiber that probiotic bacteria needs in order to survive and be healthy. So eating jicama actually helps your gut bacteria keep your intestines healthy. Neat, huh?
There are a lot of things you can do with jicama, but my favorite so far has been making fries. Because I was in serious need of a replacement comfort food, and this worked the best! You can purchase jicama at most grocery stores, and it’s really easy to prep. Simply peel, cut, and eat! Apparently, you can purchase them at Trader Joe’s already cut and prepped for a little more money. So if you’re in a rush, check that out. You can eat jicama raw, paired with a dip like hummus, or you can do the best thing and make them into fries!
You can definitely use the traditional fry method of a pan and oil, but that can leave you with more stomach problems than it solves. I’d suggest getting an air fryer (like this one) or baking the jicama fries in the oven. Both are going to give you a crispy, delicious result without all the added oil and fat.
Recipe 01: Basic Jicama Fries
- 8 c. jicama peeled, chopped into thin matchsticks
- 2 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
Begin by bringing a large pot of water to boil on your stove. When it’s nice and rolling, add in the fries. You want to boil the fries or about 12-15 minutes or until they are no longer crunchy. When you’ve reached the desired texture, remove the jicama from the water and pat them dry. Then set your air fryer to 400F and allow to get up to temperature. Next, grease the air fryer racks or basket that you’ll be using.
Next up, it’s time to prep your fries. Begin by putting the fries in a large bowl and tossing well with the olive oil, garlic powder, cumin, and sea salt. Make sure that all the fries are evenly coated. To bake the fries, put them in a single layer on the racks or in the basket and bake for 20-25 minutes. If you’re using racks, switch the racks places halfway through to ensure an even bake. Serve with your choice of dipping sauce!
Recipe 02: Baked Jicama Fries
If you don’t have an air fryer, no worries. Baking jicama also yields a great result!
- 1 medium jicama, peeled and sliced into thin matchsticks
- 1 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1/2 tsp. paprika
- 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp. onion powder
- pinch of cayenne pepper
- 1/2 tsp. salt
Begin by heating your oven to 425F. Jicama has a fairly firm texture, similar to a pear, so you can boil them for a softer texture. If you’re going to boil them, bring water to boil, add jicama and cook for about ten minutes. Then drain your water and pat your jicama dry. Next, toss your jicama in a bowl with olive oil, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne, and salt. Make sure to evenly coat your fries.
To bake, place you jicama in a single layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet, then bake for 30-45 minutes or until they are as crispy as you’d like. I’d suggest rotating them halfway through so that you get an even bake. Serve with your favorite dipping sauces, or turn them into loaded fries by adding chili, cheese, sour cream, and additional toppings!
Now throw out those cravings for greasy fries and take a dip with this jicama fries! You won’t be disappointed.