French fries are among the most popular iterations of the versatile potato, beloved for their crispy exterior and rich, pillowy interior. Of course, deep frying them also helps. But if you're looking for a healthy alternative that'll save you the mess of deep frying while still providing that delicious crispy yet tender duality, try making carrot fries instead.
As root vegetables, potatoes and carrots are hearty, long-lasting, starchy ingredients that hold their shape well during preparation and cooking. Carrots offer a savory and earthy flavor profile similar to potatoes but with a distinct caramelized sweetness when cooked. Furthermore, they assume a similar starchy, creamy texture to potatoes when baked with a fraction of the starch, and carbohydrates. Carrot fries are thus a healthy substitute for potato fries that cater to keto and other carb-conscious diets.
Making carrot fries requires minimal preparation as carrots are already thinner and smaller than potatoes. You can halve or quarter them to achieve the desired french fry shape before tossing them in a light drizzle of oil and seasonings. Baking them between 400 and 425 degrees Fahrenheit or air frying carrot sticks will accomplish the desired crispy exterior. To ensure you get nicely crispy, slightly charred edges, be sure to arrange your carrot fries evenly on the baking tray, with a bit of space between each fry.
Read more: 23 Types Of Potatoes And When To Use Them
Tips And Seasoning Suggestions For Carrot Fries
While carrots have a fluffy pulp like potatoes when you cook them, the starch in potatoes is what gives french fries their crispy exteriors. Since carrots don't have the starch content potatoes do, they need a little extra help to crisp up. Air fryers are ideal for crisping carrot fries, but baking them will still achieve a nice crispy char. Remember to flip them halfway through the baking process, and eat them fresh out of the oven.
For even crispier exteriors, you can roll carrot sticks in corn starch or arrowroot powder after tossing them in oil and seasoning them. You can also batter your fries in flour and seasonings or a mixture of flour and baking powder. Another option is to coat carrots in parmesan and herbs to create a cheesy crunch. The salty parmesan and savory herbs will temper the sweet caramelization the carrots undergo in the oven, providing a more potato-like flavor profile. If you're looking for a dairy-free option for parmesan, a blend of nutritional yeast and corn or tapioca starch will make carrots equally crispy and cheesy.
Olive oil, garlic salt, and smoked paprika will infuse the carrots with earthy, spicy, and smoky notes. As a tasty swap for potato fries, carrot fries will taste delicious with all the typical dipping sauces, from ketchup to honey mustard. For a decadent and sophisticated pairing, tahini sauce and lemon garlic aioli would complement carrot fries best.
Read the original article on Tasting Table.