French fries are usually associated with greasy fast food, but that doesn’t have to be the case. You can make healthy French fries at home and chances are, you’ll enjoy them much more than fast food fries because they’ll taste like fresh potatoes. And you can season them in a variety of creative ways.
The best way to make healthy fries is to bake instead of fry. Baked French fries are easy to make and are much healthier than deep-fried. Whenever you make something at home, you get to control the fat, salt and seasonings, and you’ll know exactly what you’re eating.
Russet or Idaho potatoes are probably the best type of potato to use for French fries. Emeril Lagasse, in a recipe on Food Network, suggests Kennebec potatoes, but for most people, russet potatoes are just fine.
Either way, keep in mind that a potato with less moisture is going to make a better French fry. According to James P. DeWan in a Chicago Tribune article about making French fries, an older potato will have less moisture and is your best bet for a good batch of fries.
Preheat your oven to 450 degrees. A hot oven is key in making crispy fries.
A general rule for portions is about one and a half to two potatoes for each person. Of course, this can vary, and a good idea is to make one extra portion, just in case someone is really hungry.
The potatoes can be cut in quite a few ways and you can leave the skins on or peel them. You don’t really need any special knives or slicers for French fries. If you have a mandolin or special French fry cutter, great, but it’s not necessary. A regular sharp kitchen knife will do. Cut them into chips, wedges or shoestring shapes. Whatever shape you choose, try to make them as uniform as you can so they all cook evenly.
Once the potatoes are cut, lay them out on a baking sheet and brush them with olive oil. Then, sprinkle them with your favorite seasonings. Choose garlic powder or even fresh garlic, chili powder, onion powder or paprika.
Bake them in the oven for about 20 minutes. Take the baking sheet out and turn over the fries and brush again with more olive oil and your spices and/or seasonings.
You might be surprised at how crispy and flavorful homemade French fries are in comparison to fast food fries. And you might be surprised that your family likes them better, too.