Craving sweet potato fries—but don’t want to want to turn on the oven? Say hello to an air fryer, the kitchen gadget worth the counter space! Truth be told, I didn’t initially get the hype. But almost a year later, I can’t imagine cooking without it. This countertop wonder is as versatile as it gets. It can crisp up frozen broccoli, reheat pizza perfectly, hard-boil eggs with ease, cook fish until tender, and so much more. My love for this appliance knows no bounds. It’s also the secret to making these air fryer sweet potato fries—no oil edition! With just a handful of simple ingredients (and a trusty air fryer), you can whip up a batch of these addictive sweet potato fries in no time. Get ready to delight your taste buds with this irresistible, family-friendly recipe.
are sweet potatoes healthy?
Yes! Sweet potatoes—like many starchy vegetables—offer a variety of benefits. Packed with energy and essential nutrients, they’re a convenient source of dietary fiber, which aids in digestion and a healthy gut. Sweet potatoes are also rich in vitamins A and C, providing immune-boosting properties and antioxidants to support overall well-being (including eye health). Additionally, sweet potatoes contain potassium to regulate blood pressure. Lastly, they have a lower glycemic index compared to regular potatoes, making them a favorable choice for managing blood sugar levels.
do sweet potatoes raise blood sugar?
Speaking of blood sugar, sweet potatoes do have an impact on blood glucose—as all starchy carbs do! However, as mentioned, they are slightly lower on the glycemic index compared to other refined carbohydrates (like rice, for example). Thanks to their fiber count, they’re digested and absorbed more slowly in the body, resulting in a gradual rise—instead of a spike—in blood sugar levels. When possible, pair sweet potatoes with low-sugar ketchup, 4-6oz of protein (chicken, fish, tofu, eggs, etc.), and 1-2 sources of healthy fats (avocado, full-fat dairy, nuts, tahini, olive oil, etc.) for a better blood sugar response.
Keep in mind that individual responses to sweet potatoes will vary. If you have diabetes or concerns about blood sugar levels, consult with a healthcare professional for personalized guidance.
what to eat with sweet potato fries
As part of a well-rounded meal, sweet potato fries can be paired with a variety of complementary dishes. Here are a few ideas to consider:
Burgers: Serve sweet potato fries alongside a bun-less burger (turkey or grass-fed beef) for a satisfying meal. The sweetness of the fries pairs well with the savory flavors of a burger.
Salads: Add a nutritious, filling element to your salad by topping it with crispy sweet potato fries. The combination of textures and flavors creates a unique and satisfying salad experience.
Dips and sauces: Pair sweet potato fries with your favorite dips or sauces. Consider options like ketchup, aioli, barbecue sauce, honey mustard, or even a spicy chipotle dip for added flavor.
Veggie bowls: Incorporate sweet potato fries into a nourishing veggie bowl. Combine the fries with roasted vegetables, cauliflower rice, protein (such as grilled tofu or chicken), and a flavorful dressing.
Tacos or wraps: Add sweet potato fries to your tacos or wraps for an extra burst of flavor and texture. They can be a tasty addition to vegetarian or meat-based options. To keep blood sugar more stable, use a wrap made from alternative flour, like almond flour.
Ultimately, the versatility of sweet potato fries bodes well with many dishes! Get creative and explore different combinations to suit your taste preferences.
Are sweet potatoes the same as yams?
They’re actually more different than they are the same! While their names often get tangled, these vegetables have distinct roots. Unless you live in a tropical climate, you probably won’t find yams at your local grocer. Authentic yams are native to Asia and Africa and have a starchier, more earthy taste. They’re best for boiling! Sweet potatoes, on the other hand—with their vibrant orange flesh and slightly sweet flavor—steal the show in pies and fries.
Do You Need Oil for air fryer sweet potato fries?
Not necessarily. When using an air fryer, you can achieve crispy and delicious results without the need for excessive oil! The design of an air fryer utilizes hot circulating air to cook the food, creating a similar effect to deep-frying—but with significantly less oil (or even no oil at all). The hot air circulating around the food helps to create a crispy exterior while retaining moisture inside. The result? A cooking method that reduces calories and fat content without sacrificing taste or texture.
Why we need healthy fats
All of that said, we need healthy fats! This recipe is simply an alternative to deep-fried potato wedges. Healthy fats are an essential part of a balanced diet, and they play a crucial role in maintaining overall health and well-being. First and foremost, they’re a concentrated source of energy, aiding in the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E, and K). Secondly, they contribute to the production of hormones—including those involved in regulating the menstrual cycle. Healthy fats are crucial for brain health, as the brain is composed primarily of fat. Furthermore, fats promote satiety, helping keep you full and satisfied.
INGREDIENTS IN air fryer sweet potato fries
Made with only five ingredients (most of which are pantry staples!), this recipe is as easy as it is delicious. Although there’s no oil necessary, you can add a spray of avocado oil for more crispiness.
The star of the show. Feel free to use any type of sweet potato.
A little bit goes a long way. Garlic powder adds flavor and a variety of health benefits (supports the immune system, healthy cholesterol levels, and more).
If you haven’t had nutritional yeast, it’s a delicious, vitamin-packed seasoning! It has a slightly nutty and cheesy flavor, making it a great vegan substitute for cheese.
SEA SALT AND BLACK PEPPER
No fry is complete without a generous pinch of both sea salt and black pepper.
HOW TO MAKE air fryer sweet potato fries
Preheat your air fryer to 400°F. Meanwhile, wash the sweet potatoes thoroughly and pat them dry. Leave the skin on for added nutrition and flavor. Cut the sweet potatoes evenly, about 1/4-inch thick. The thinner you slice them, the crispier they will be! In a mixing bowl, add the sweet potato fries and seasonings. Toss them gently to ensure the spices are evenly distributed. Place the seasoned sweet potato fries into the air fryer basket, making sure they are in a single layer without overcrowding. Cook the sweet potato fries in the air fryer for approximately 15-20 minutes, shaking the basket halfway through to ensure even cooking. Keep an eye on them towards the end to prevent burning.
Air Fryer Sweet Potato Fries
- 2 medium sweet potatoes
- 1-2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 1-2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 1/2-1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 teasooon black pepper
- Preheat your air fryer to 400°F (200°C) for a few minutes while you prepare the sweet potatoes.
- Wash the sweet potatoes thoroughly and pat them dry with a kitchen towel. Leave the skin on.
- Cut the sweet potatoes into evenly-sized fry shapes, about 1/4-inch thick.
- In a mixing bowl, add the sweet potato fries, garlic powder, sea salt, black pepper, and nutritional yeast. Toss them gently to ensure the spices are evenly distributed and coat the fries well.
- Place the seasoned sweet potato fries into the air fryer basket, making sure they are in a single layer without overcrowding.
- Cook the sweet potato fries in the air fryer for approximately 15-20 minutes, shaking the basket halfway through to ensure even cooking. Keep an eye on them towards the end to prevent burning.
- Once the fries are golden brown and crispy, remove them from the air fryer and let them cool for a minute or two before serving.
How to store sweet potato fries
Store them in an air-tight container in the fridge. They’ll last for 3-5 days. To reheat, pop them in your air fryer at 400°F for 3-4 minutes!
The best air fryers
Whether it’s time to upgrade your old air fryer—or you don’t have one yet—these are my favorite air fryers. Some of these are smaller than others, so choose based on how much counter space you have.
This is the air fryer we have. I love it. It fits 2-3 large chicken breasts at a time, a tray of fries, chicken nuggets, two filets of fish, etc. The various food settings make cooking a breeze. It also air-fries frozen vegetables, like broccoli!
A very popular option, this 4-quart air fryer can also dehydrate food (to make chips, for example!). It’s dishwasher-safe and super easy to use.
This 2-quart, 4-quart, or 6-quart air fryer has eight presets, an auto shut-off feature, and a non-stick fry basket. AirCrisp technology (instead of oil) helps reduce added fat by 70-80%, without sacrificing the flavor of your fried food.
Perfect for 2-4 people, this air fryer is as functional as it is aesthetic! With a tempered glass display and customizable smart cooking program, this meets many of your appliance needs.
Images courtesy of Unsplash. This article is for informational purposes only. It is not, nor is it intended to be, a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment and we recommend that you always consult with your healthcare provider.