Truth: I never met a batch of fries I didn’t like. I also (mostly) only stuck to traditional potato-based fries. At the very top of my fry totem pole were seasoned curly fries: best enjoyed with sea salt, paprika and cracked pepper. OMG…. I lived for that twist and THAT, ahem, crunch. Hash browns came in at a close second and were often a brunch or breakfast craving. AKA: a necessity.
Growing up; I loved thick fries that were borderline potato wedges. Crispy on the outside, soft on the inside fries made from scratch by my mom every single Saturday. She used to barbecue for us regularly, and fries were always one her side dishes among roasted corn, fried cassava and green salads. Hers were old-school fries, likely fried in canola oil- but extremely satisfying and always fresh.
The neat thing about this little recipe: these fries aren’t fried. They’re oven-baked and drizzled with your choice of extra virgin olive oil or avocado oil, but they taste just as good as fried.
Back to my mama’s fries…. What I would not do to see them on Saturdays and share a long, breezy lunch again. (They live a 5.5 hour plane ride away, btw) But yep, those were the days. I try to recreate a lot of that same food under healthier parameters for my family- especially because my daughter is a serious fry aficionado, too. Ethan, my oldest munchkin, likes- but doesn’t quite love fries.
As you guys already know, am all about recreating your favorite comfort dishes using better for you, clean + wholesome ingredients. Insert butternut squash into the equation. This unassuming seasonal veg has the capacity to kill it in the fry department. It has the veg-powered ability to create crispy wedges that can be seasoned any way you like and give you that hearty/home-style feel you crave.
Once you get past the initial objection that butternut squash may be tricky to cut; it’s all smooth sailing. And to be totally honest; am incredibly clumsy myself- and even I can get away with my knife skills (or lack thereoff) ha! So, give this little recipe a try now, would you? It’s a seasonal game-changer, and probably the single BEST use of any butternut squash you may have lying around your house.
Spicy Butternut Squash Fries
- 1 large butternut squash (works better than any other squash for this purpose)
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil or avocado oil
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1/2 tsp chili powder
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder (not garlic salt)
- 1 tsp sumac (highly recommend!)
- 1/2 tsp masala (optional)
- sea salt & pepper to taste
- Preheat your oven to 425F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper
- With a chef knife, cut both ends of the butternut squash. Then slice vertically through the center and you’ll end up with two halves. Use an ice cream scooper to scoop out all the seeds. (I set them aside and later toast them as a snack!)
- You can either peel the squash, or leave the peel on. Over a cutting board, slice and dice horizontally for it to resemble fresh cut fries or potato wedges.
- Throw them into a bowl, add the olive oil and all the spices. Toss around with clean hands to coat all pieces evenly.
- Place over the baking tray and bake for about 25-30 minutes, flipping them halfway for even roasting on both sides.
- For extra crispy fries, finish them off on Broil (High) for 2-4 mins.
- Enjoy with mashed avocado mixed in with lemon, sea salt and red pepper flakes. Also, equally delicious with chipotle avocado mayo for dippin’!
By: Aleyda | The Dish On Healthy