Apparently sweet potato and coconut were meant to be together.
When I plan each week’s schedule I create a new recipe and then find an archived recipe with a similar theme. This week the new recipe is Coconut White Chocolate Macadamia Cookies. As I searched my files for recipes with any of the three main ingredients, I either didn’t find great matches or the recipes had been published too recently. So, when I found this recipe, I decided that the use of coconut was enough to tie the two together. Therefore, this week is dedicated to those who love sweetened coconut. I count myself among the numbers; I’m sure there are many others. To learn more about this recipe, originally posted in August 2017, keep reading.
I have this love-hate relationship with sweet potato fries. I think that their sweetness and flavor make them a much tastier treat than regular french fries. However, if I make them at home, I bake them and struggle to get the crispiness that I so enjoy. I’ve tried lower temps for longer times and higher temps for shorter times. I’ve tried coating the fries in olive oil and egg whites. The results have been mixed, but typically they’re full of flavor but lacking crunch.
Since I like playing/working in the kitchen, I figured it was time to try for a different version of sweet potato fries. What if I added a coating beyond seasoning and eggs or oil? Could coconut add an exterior that delivered on my penchant for crunch? The answer is kind of.
You may read “kind of” and think that this recipe wasn’t a success, but you’d be wrong. First of all, I’m sharing the recipe. All of my recipe fails are deleted. Second, although these fries weren’t the crunchiest I’ve had, they were absolutely addictive. The coconut did a provide a bit of bite to the fries, and it also added a delightful amount of sweetness and saltiness. I honestly ate a plate of these as my entrée during my testing. I’m calling it a vegetarian dinner instead of a snack dinner.
A few notes on these fries:
- Although they aren’t as unhealthy as the deep fried version, they’re probably not all that healthy once they’re covered in sweetened coconut.
- I served them with a sweet and spicy dip. However, I think they would also pair nicely with honey mustard, barbecue sauce, or buffalo sauce.
- I opted for a lower temp and longer baking time to deliver the crunch. If your oven runs hot, be sure to keep an eye. The coconut will start to burn if left in the oven too long, and who wants burnt fries?
For a weekend snack, these are a perfect, homemade option.
- 1 cup sweetened coconut
- 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
- 2 egg whites
- 1 tsp. chili powder
- 1 sweet potato, peeled
- Preheat oven to 400.
- Line baking sheet with foil and spray with nonstick cooking spray.
- Place coconut in blender, and puree until fine.
- Add salt, mix well. Spread on small plate.
- Whisk egg whites and chili powder in small bowl.
- Cut sweet potato into thin fries.
- Dip sweet potato in egg whites; roll in coconut.
- Place on prepared tray.
- Bake for 15 minutes; flip.
- Bake another 15 minutes or until golden brown.