Foodie Friday - Butternut Squash Fries
Today’s Foodie Friday is from our lovely yoga instructor and pretty face behind The Urban Poser, Jenni Hulet. Check out her blog for more awesome stuff!
I confess…I am a HUGE french fries fanatic, but then again ‘fanatic’ is kinda of my M.O. Ahhhh, but ‘french fries’ with their wonderfully crisp, salty outside and soft delicate inside! Problem is, when your diet calls for low starch vegetables only, a good ‘fry’ can be hard to find. Here is a great alternative, and fast becoming my favorite snack…
BUTTERNUT SQUASH FRIES! Tasting a bit like sweet potato fries, they are full of flavor and if made with care, you can avoid a limp soggy, wet, ‘squashy’ fry.
There are many ways to make butternut squash fries. The easiest is to just cut up the squash (to look like fries of course) and then roast them at 350-400 degrees for about 15-25 min(depending on the size of your fries) turn a few times during cooking and they’ll taste great!
I however, like my fries a certain way…being a fanatic and all. So I set out to make my butternut sqaush fries taste more like ‘fries’ and less like ‘roasted squash’. Butternut squash holds an amazing amount of water. As it bakes the water releases, making it much harder to get a ‘fry’ like result. This is how I like do it…
Butternut Squash Fries
Butternut Squash: Size doesn’t matter…and I meant that, even though I live in Texas! The longer the trunk of it the better for getting more fries. I generally cut the bulb shaped part off and use it for butternut squash hash
Salt: Coarse sea salt is best
Olive Oil: Coconut works great too. The key is not using to0 much or not using it at all.
Place the oven rack in the middle of the oven, lower if you don’t have ‘low broil’ as an option.
Pre-heat the oven to (low)broil
Using a a strong vegetable peeler or knife. Peel the outside of the squash.
Cut off the bulb shaped part of the squash. Cut the long part of the squash into even, fry like strips, thin or thick.
Lay the fries out on a paper or flour sack towel. Sprinkle evenly with salt and let sit for 30 minutes. This helps the squash to ‘sweat’ and pull some of the water out.
When they are finished sweating pat dry any remaining moisture. Coat the fries VERY lightly with olive oil. I usually wet my hands with oil and rub it on the fries. You can even skip the oil if you put the fries on a nonstick sheet (that can handle high temps).
Broil the fries for a few minutes on one side or until the outside looks a little dry and slightly crispy. Take the pan out of the oven and using a spatula flip the fries over. Do the same for this side. If your fries are thin, you can keep broiling and flipping till they reach the desired outcome. If your fries are thick you can turn the oven down to 425 degrees after broiling and continue to roast the fries till they are finished.
Broiling the fries first helps to make the fries crispy and not soggy. However, butternut squash can burn easily, so toward the end of cooking keep a close eye on them or you will end up with a heap of charred squash.
Cool the fries slightly on a paper/flour sack towel, spreading them out so they are not laying on top of each other. This will make them get soggy.
Hopefully you have a GREAT oven. If so, this will be a breeze. If you have an oven like mine however, you may need to remove some fries earlier than others and turn the pan a few times during cooking.