Hot, crunchy, salty and oh do delicious. Most of us really do have a thing for French fries. However, even if they are baked instead of fried, a continual diet of them is not good for anyone (and fried does taste so much better.)

While there is no harm in occasionally indulging in a plate full of golden, crispy French fries, there are some alternatives that you can serve in their place that are just as tasty but pack more of a nutritional punch, while also adding some new flavors to your plate at the same time. Here are a few of our personal favorites.

Parsnip Fries

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When trying these fries for the first time we promise you will be surprised by just how great they taste. What is even better is that a side of these crunchy treats provides you with essential nutrients like folic acid, vitamin K, and fiber, as well as a fraction of the calories found in potato fries.

To make parsnip fries you will need:

2 pounds medium parsnips

2 tablespoons canola oil

1 teaspoon each ground cumin and coriander

Sea salt and black pepper to taste.

Preheat your oven to 425 – 450°F. Peel parsnips, trimming off both the tops and the bottoms. Slice each peeled parsnip in half so that you can separate the narrow and thick parts.

Cut the thicker parts in half until all the ‘fries’ you are left with are about the same size. In a shallow bowl toss the parsnip pieces with the oil and then the spices and then arrange them in a single layer on a lined baking sheet. Roast until they are tender, about twenty five minutes, turning them one, halfway through the cooking time.

Parmesan Kale Chips

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Not only are these green beauties a healthier alternative to French fries but they are also a great way for those who are really not big vegetable fans to get their daily recommended allowance of greens!

To make kale chips you will need:

Kale leaves (curly ones are best)

Virgin olive oil

Sea salt and ground black pepper

Grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat your oven to 375 °F. Wash each kale leave thoroughly and then rip into bite sizes pieces. Place all the pieces on a greased baking sheet and lightly drizzle oil over them.

Next, sprinkle over Parmesan cheese and add salt and pepper to taste. Bake for ten minutes or until all the cheese has melted and is beginning to go a little golden brown. Remove the chips from the oven and allow them to cool and harden before serving.

Rutabaga Fries

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Rutabaga is a vegetable that is a sort of cross between a cabbage and a turnip and is an amazing source of Vitamins A and C as well as of potassium. Even better these fries taste so close to the ‘real thing’ that Moms may be able to fool their kids into eating this healthier version of their favorite side dish.

To make rutabaga fries you will need:

I large rutabaga

Virgin olive oil

Sea salt and black pepper

Rosemary

Preheat your oven to 375 °F. Dice the rutabaga into fry sized pieces. Combine the oil and spices in a shallow dish and then toss each rutabaga fry in the mixture before setting onto a greased baking sheet. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.

Sweet Potato Fries

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If you really need your potato fix, sweet potato fries are a healthier version that have a naturally sweet and savory taste. These tasty treats can be prepared in the same way as you would usually prepare a ‘regular’ potato, but you should bake the fries, not fry them.

  
     © 2016 The Fitness Center of Lilburn.

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