For the love of French fries: How to make them healthier

Do you remember the How I Met Your Mother episode where Marshall eats a calzone off the sidewalk? I’ve done that before.

Except instead of a calzone, it was an order of French fries. And instead of dropping it on the streets of NYC, I spilled them on the backseat of a D.C. taxi. And instead of Barney catching me, my friend Rachel watched the whole thing pan out.

Her summary of this experience: “Nothing—I mean nothing—gets between drunk Kara and her fries.”

Clearly, not one of my finer moments.

Potatoes are my favorite food. To me, potatoes form their own food group and fries lay at the center of that food group. Unfortunately, I don’t have the metabolism to consume heaps of fries as I did when I was 21 (or the complete disregard for sanitation, apparently).

Here’s the thing about me: I am not the best cook in the world. I can make mad food for sure, and my coworkers are always baffled by my lunch spread. I am also 100% aware there are more talented cooks out there (Primal Palate, A Clean Bake, Jessi’s Kitchen, and Simple Roots Wellness are a few of my favs).

One thing I am very good at, is finding random-ass ways to make healthy food taste really damn good. I take this approach when I need my fry fix.

Truffle Parsnip Fries

There are a few things you can do to make your fries healthier:

  1. If you’re going to fry them (baked fries kind of suck and are an oxymoron anyway), fry them in fat, not oil.

There’s a difference here!! Fats (p.s., coconut oil is a fat, not an oil) has a higher smoke point than oils, making them harder to break down at high temps. If you want the whole nutrition profile on this, I refer you to Simple Roots Wellness.

  1. Substitute a different starch for potatoes.

There are many starchy vegetables that make excellent substitutes for potatoes. Turnips, sweet potatoes, parsnips, and plantains all work great. I am a starch freak, so I’d like to play up my expertise in this department and assure you they will still taste like the “real” thing.

  1. Rethink your condiments.

Sometimes, the healthiest thing in the world is made unhealthy by the crap you smear over it. Salad dressings are an excellent example of this. I’ve lived in Pittsburgh, so I’m sorry to put down the king of ketchup—but whatever you’re dipping your fries in is probably terrible for you.

One of the most delicious French fry concoctions I’ve ever had are truffle fries. If you’ve never had them, they’re crispy strips of heaven melted in truffle oil and Parmesan cheese. To make them healthier, I followed all three steps outlined above:

  1. I fried them in tallow (coconut oil, lard, or even butter would work well too) instead of oil.
  2. I used turnips instead of potatoes.
  3. I tossed them in truffle oil and seasonings, and left out the ketchup.

Although Parmesan cheese is almost always an ingredient for truffle fries, I left it out and they were still awesome. If lactose is not a friend to you, you can still enjoy these without clearing a room.

Enjoy! Kara

Truffle Parsnip Fries
Parsnip Truffle Fries
Print Recipe
Truffle Parsnip Fries
Parsnip Truffle Fries
Print Recipe
  1. Place a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the tallow, and allow to melt completely.
  2. When the tallow is piping hot, add your parsnip fries. They should sizzle when you drop them into the pan! Rotate the fries as you cook them so they do not burn (about 3-5 minutes per side).
  3. Once the fries are golden brown, remove them from the skillet to a paper-towel lined plate.
  4. Mix the truffle oil, salt and pepper, parsley, and parmesan cheese together. Toss the truffle oil mixture with the fries in a large bowl.
  5. Enjoy!
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For All the F Words
You have flaws. You f-up on a daily basis. And that should be ok.