Fall is officially upon us, which means we can finally celebrate all things pumpkin! For what it’s worth, I believe in waiting it out, slowing down and fully holding onto summer as long as we can. Each season flies by far too quickly, so I truly try to savor each moment and live in the present. The next season always comes.
But the time has come, where we can go hog wild on pumpkin everything. While there is a plethora of pumpkin recipes here on Tasty Yummies, these Spicy Pumpkin Fries may be one of my all time favorite pumpkin recipes. I shared these last year as an exclusive email list-only recipe and the response was so huge, I just couldn’t let these get lost in the abyss of email inboxes gone by, so here we are!
Savory, spicy and just a little crisp – this is what fries are all about, no matter what they are made from. Traditionally we know that fries out in the wild, are submerged in a vat of adulterated vegetable and seed oils, these oils are truly some of the worst things we can put it our body. (read more here) But, when made at home, baked with high quality oils, you can enjoy without the worry of toxic fats.
Squash (including pumpkin) are one of my favorite ways to include quality carbohydrates in my diet. Unlike traditional while potatoes, which are a nightshade and can be inflammatory to some, squash offer quality complex carbs while being loaded with various vitamins and minerals. Pumpkin are great source of fiber and they also provide lots of vitamin C, riboflavin, potassium, copper, and manganese. Smaller but significant amounts of vitamin E (alpha tocopherol), thiamin, niacin, vitamin B6, folate, iron, magnesium, and phosphorus also are present.
What does that mean for us? The bright orange hints at the presence of a particularly beneficial phytonutrient: carotene. This converts to vitamin A in the body for a tremendous punch of antioxidants with the capacity to help prevent heart disease, cancer, and many of the degenerating signs of aging. Vitamin A is also a must for good vision and helping to prevent lung and mouth cancers. Flavonoids such as cryptoxanthin, lutein, and zeaxanthin destroy harmful free radicals, and the latter, especially, helps protect the retina of the eye from macular degeneration.1http://foodfacts.mercola.com/pumpkins.html
If you don’t have pumpkin on hand, butternut squash makes an excellent substitute here. And don’t forget, pumpkin or squash, save those seeds for roasting/toasting. They are a great snack and pumpkin seeds especially are powerhouses loaded a wide variety of nutrients ranging from magnesium and manganese to copper, protein and zinc. Pumpkin seeds also contain a wide array of beneficial plant compounds known as phytosterols and free-radical scavenging antioxidants, which can give your health an added boost. 2https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2013/09/30/pumpkin-seed-benefits.aspx
- 1 small pie pumpkin
- 3 teaspoons arrowroot starch (corn or potato starch will also work)
- 2 teaspoons Terra Delyssa Extra Virgin Olive Oil (melted ghee, avocado oil, coconut oil, duck fat, etc)
- 1 teaspoon chile powder
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon ground chipotle powder (optional)
- flaked sea salt, to taste
- 1 cup homemade olive oil and/or avocado oil mayonnaise (or store-bought avocodo oil mayo)
- 1 chipotle pepper (use just adobo sauce if you want it less spicy)
- 1 teaspoon of adobo sauce from the chipotle pepper can
- 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
- fresh cilantro or parsley, roughly chopped
- Using a very sharp knife, cut the pumpkin in half and scoop out the flesh and seeds (definitely reserve the seeds for roasting).
- Cut the halves in half again. Using a sharp vegetable peeler, peel the pumpkin pieces. Carefully slice the peeled pieces into ¼"- thick fries.They won't be perfect. Do your best.
- Place the pumpkin fries in a large bowl and cover with cold water. Let the fries soak for at least 30 minutes, but they can soak for up to 8 hours (or overnight), if you'd like. This removes some of the starch and makes for less soggy fries.
- When done soaking, preheat the oven to 400°. Line one or two baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.
- Drain the fries, rinse and with paper towels or a clean kitchen towel, pat the fries very dry.
- In a large zip-top bag or large mixing bowl, add the fries, and top with arrowroot starch. Close the bag and shake to cover the fries or toss very well in the bowl with your hands. Make sure the fries are evenly coated.
- Drizzle the coated fries with the olive oil or melted ghee and toss well to coat. Sprinkle on the chile powder and garlic powder and toss again until evenly distributed. Spread fries in a single layer on the prepared baking sheets, leaving lots of extra room between the fries. Do not crowd the pan, that's how you get soggy fries, loves.
- Bake in preheated oven for 15-20 minutes, flipping once halfway through, until the fries are golden brown and crisp. You can also give them a minute or two under the broiler at the end to get extra browned and crispy.
- Top the fries with fresh herbs and flaked sea salt. Enjoy immediately. We like ours dipped in some homemade Chipotle Lime Mayo. Just mix the above ingredients together in a blender or food processor or by hand, aggressively with a whisk (just mince the chipotle very fine ahead of time).
For AIP diets leave off the chili powder and chipotle powder
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