How To Make Super Easy Low Cal and Low Fat Home Fries

February 22, 2010


One of the most common dietary downfalls is French fries. They are dietary suicide for all of the fat and the salt. Another big problem is commercially prepared hash browns. I am here to tell you that you can prepare potatoes at home with a much lower fat and salt content and actually make them healthy. I must first explain the science of French Fries to you.

     
     
     

Commercially prepared French fries or hash browns are soaked in running water to remove the potato starch. What happens is that this process makes the potato a virtual sponge, sucking up the oil that they are fried in. Also salt will dissolve much more readily and also be sucked into the potato yielding additional flavor. This is why French fries or hash browns or hash brown patties are so greasy. They are literally oozing grease that they have absorbed. I have a magic trick that you can do at home to prevent this so that you can have your potatoes and eat them to without guilt.

In stead of making traditional fries, make home fries that are sliced potato rounds with the skins left on. You can make home fries that are fast, easy, non greasy that are crisp on the outside and yet tender on the inside. Here is how:

You use one large russet potato per person. You microwave it like you are making a baked potato. Instead of cooking it all the way through to a tender fluffy baked potato, you cook it part way or about three fourths of the way. It is tender enough to slice easily with a serrated knife but is not tender to crumbly like a baked potato. You have to experiment with your particular microwave. A rule of thumb is if it takes 5 minutes to make a baked potato, you set the micro for about 3 and half minutes. You then immediately slice the potato while it is hot into quarter inch rounds. These rounds will be steaming. Two things happen here to your benefit. The starch is retained in the potato and the potato is steaming still containing moisture inside the potato. As you probably know, oil and water don’t mix. Between retaining the starch which seals the surface of the potato, you also have residual moisture that will keep the potato from absorbing oil. I cook the home fries in olive oil which is a rich and flavorful oil filled with anti-oxidants which are heart healthy. You cook the potatoes until they are golden on one side about 4-5 minutes and then turn them once and fry on the back side until that surface is golden. You will find that the fries are sealed and don’t absorb any grease. You immediately salt them when you remove them but again, since the surface is sealed, they won’t absorb salt and much less salt will stick. You cover the bottom of the pan with enough olive oil to have the oil be about one half inch deep. You can keep and filter this oil and re-use it again and again, because once your family tastes these fries, they will ask for them over and over.

There are two additional upsides to this article. Putting frozen potatoes in oil inevitably involves spattering of hot oil. This is of course dangerous, especially for children. My technique does not cause the potatoes to spatter. My method is far cheaper than purchasing frozen potatoes from the freezer case. You can check prices for yourself from frozen potatoes to individual Russet potatoes purchased in bulk.

Finally, by leaving the skins on, you add additional flavor but also a lot of nutrients that are outlined from this direct quote from a website called: The Wise Geek:

The potato , as well as the potato skin, is a great source of vitamin C, vitamin B6, copper , potassium , manganese , and dietary fiber. Potatoes and potato skins contain 18% of the recommended daily allowance of iron and 7.5 grams of protein which is rarely found in vegetables in such high concentrations. Potato skins also contain a variety of phytonutrients which are a natural source of antioxidants that help to prevent cellular deterioration of the body. The phytonutrients found in the potato skins as well as the flesh include carotenoids, flavonoids , and caffeic acid.

Potatoes are classified as a tuber , meaning bulb or root, which contains a protein called patatin specific to these types of vegetables. Patatin also works as an effective antioxidant as well as lowering blood pressure. Overall, potato skins help to provide protection against heart disease and cancer .


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