These quick & easy, oven-baked carrot and zucchini fries will make a great, healthy addition to your next football gathering and even help your picky eaters to enjoy vegetables!
So I’ve been informed that it’s officially fall, but it may be a while longer ’til I bring out the blazers, cardigans…oh the cardigans. I own them in nearly every shade imaginable, I kid you not. Some ladies have problems with shoes… Some purses.. I have problems with both AND cardigans. Lord, help me! Well, it’s more like help the Hungryman who acquiesces to my addiction.
In terms of food, are you ready for pumpkin galore bc you’ll def be seeing tons of recipes on Pinterest. I just started my own Pumpkin board – a decade too late, I know. And I’ve already kickstarted the craze with these no bake, gluten free Pumpkin and Raisin Peanut Butter Cups sweetened only with California raisins.
But because I’m a firm supporter of the underdog, I thought I’d put the spotlight on another delicious and nutritious orange vegetable – carrots. And I just so happened to stumble upon the most gorgeous red-orange ones at the farmers market.
I knew I wanted to turn them into carrot fries because:
– It’s football season and I welcome the challenge of adding some color and nutritional value to the classic grub.
– The Hungryman does NOT do raw carrots while I, on the other hand, can eat them plucked straight from the garden. The best ones I ever tasted were when I was doing my dietetic internship rotation at the American Botanical Council – plucked straight from the soil.
– It’s a great excuse to enjoy grown-up ketchup – hello, sriracha!
I kept things very simple – carrots. coconut oil. salt.
But not just any salt. Season With Spice’s Sichuan Pepper Sea Salt to be exact! Mark and Reese have become good friends of ours, and through their hard work and passion for wanting to make high-quality Asian spices readily available to everyday cooks like you and me, they just launched their store in downtown Buffalo, Minnesota! We’re so proud of them and hope to pay a visit in the near future.
There hasn’t been a single blend from Season With Spice that we didn’t like. Spicy Korean Baked Chicken Wings and Vietnamese BBQ Shrimp Noodle Bowl are just two of the many ways we’ve enjoyed their products. Come busy weeknights, I like to sprinkle some of their spices on my vegetables before sautéing or roasting. They’re also great to add to marinades for beef, poultry, seafood, tofu…
In under 30 minutes we had sweet and savory carrot fries – crispy on the outside, soft on the inside with just a hint of coconut. I kept the peel on, and it def added to the crisp factor. If you like your fries really crisp, I suggest coating the carrots with a teaspoon of arrowroot (or cornstarch or potato starch) before tossing them in oil and seasoning.
And because I like variety (which is why I love sharing food), I invited zucchini fries to the party. I followed the directions from Pinch Of Yum, with the exception of adding Season with Spice’s salt rather than a plain one. Next time I’m going to add more Panko bread crumbs because for some reason, the sticks didn’t get coated as evenly as I had hoped. In any case, they were still very delicious!
So next time you want to grab for those fried, greasy (and sometimes soggy) potato fries, remember that you can make these healthy vegetable fries in no time in the comfort of your home. Watching football in my PJs is how I like to spend my weekend. How about you? 😉
- 1 pound of carrots, peeled or unpeeled
- 2 teaspoons of coconut oil
- ¼ teaspoon of seasoning of choice (I used Season with Spice's Sichuan Pepper Sea Salt)
- 1 teaspoon arrowroot (optional: for even crispier fries)
- Preheat oven to 425 F
- Slice carrots into even sized sticks (thin or thick as desired).
- Toss the carrot sticks with oil and seasoning. Spread evenly on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil (do not overlap the sticks).
- Bake for 20-25 minutes, until crisp-tender, flipping them halfway (time will depend on thickness).
- Serve immediately.