Healthy Snacking: Butternut Squash Fries

March 29, 2012

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Raise your hand if you like french fries. If you kept your hand down, stop lying; I have yet to meet someone who does not enjoy  crispy (or soggy) potato fritter. Now raise your hand if you avoid french fries for nutrition reasons. Yeah, my hand is up.

It is always a struggle to walk into someplace like Uburger or McDonald’s and walk out without fries; but I still do it. I cannot take the guilt that comes along with an order of the fatty snack. But to my surprise, I found a guiltless and nutritious alternative: butternut squash fries.

Butternut Squash Fries

They taste great with dijon mustard | Photo by Estefania Souza.

The first time I made these, they came out soggy. I was somewhat disappointed—I am a crispy-fry lover—but in the end flavor trumped texture. So I decided to give them a second chance. Turns out with a few tips, crispy butternut squash fries are possible. Plus, they are ready in less than an hour. There’s not much more to ask for: home-made, cheap, guilt-free and easy.

Butternut Squash Fries (adapted from Hungry Girl)

Active time: 10 minutes. Total time: 1 hour.

Makes about 2 servings.

  1. Preheat oven to 425 F. Peel and de-seed the butternut squash. The easiest way to peel is with a regular vegetable peeler; de-seed using a spoon to scrape.
Cutting fries

Slice fries into desired thickness (1/4 inch works best) | Photo by Estefania Souza.

2.   Using a sharp knife, cut squash into quarters and then into french fry shapes, about 1/4-inch thick. Place fries over a paper towel and sprinkle with salt. Let sit for about 5 minutes and pat away excess moisture. Transfer fries to two sprayed baking sheets and arrange into one layer. Sprinkle with more salt and freshly ground pepper.

Fries

Arrange fries in one single layer on a sprayed baking sheet | Photo by Estefania Souza.

3.   Cook fries for 30-40 minutes, or until crispy, turning halfway. Fries are ready when they are slightly browned. Let cool and serve.

Cone Fries

Fries are best consumed right after cooling | Photo by Estefania Souza.