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french fries

Celebrate National French Fries Day—the Healthier Way!

Written on July 13, 2011 at 12:58 pm , by

Bake up some "fries!"

Bake up some "fries!"

July 13 may just seem like another day on the calendar, maybe just a regular Wednesday in the middle of summer. But did you know that it’s also National French Fries Day?

Lately, the potato has been vilified after being singled out as one of the most common dietary component of folks who gained weight during a recent study by Harvard researchers. Here at FITNESS, we appreciate moderation and think that there are plenty of ways to incorporate the starchy root vegetable into a healthy, balanced diet.

In honor of the holiday, here are a couple of our favorite fry makeovers. OK, we admit they’re not “fried” but they sure look and taste like your favorite drive-thru side dish!

Crunchy Baked French Fries

  • 4 teaspoons olive oil
  • 4 medium baking potatoes (1 1/2 pounds total), scrubbed
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan
  1. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil; brush with 2 teaspoons of olive oil.
  2. Cut potatoes into 1/2-inch thick wedges. Transfer to a large bowl. Add remaining olive oil; toss to coat. Sprinkle potato wedges with salt and pepper, tossing to coat. Arrange potatoes in a single layer on prepared baking sheet.
  3. Bake in a 450 degree oven for 12 minutes. Turn potatoes; sprinkle with Parmesan. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes more or until tender and golden.

Nutrition facts per serving (serves 4, 8 wedges each): 155 calories, 6 g. fat (1.5 g. saturated)

My personal favorite? Fat-Free Fries. Who says that sweet potatoes don’t count?

  • 2 medium sweet potatoes, scrubbed
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon chile powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • Nonstick cooking spray
  1. Cut sweet potatoes into quarters; cut each quarter lengthwise into 4 wedges. Arrange on a baking pan misted with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. Combine spices; sprinkle over potatoes.
  3. Bake for 20 minutes at 425 degrees, or until potatoes are brown and tender, turning once.

Nutrition facts per serving (serves 4): 76 calories, o g. fat

Before you dip, check out which condiments are the healthiest!

Now tell us: Which food do you think should have its own holiday and why?