Oil-Free Sweet Potato Fries With Cashew Sour Cream Dip

by Alena
Jun 13, 2020

One of the worst foods you can eat for health or weight loss is fries, right? If you think that, you probably haven’t met our fragrantly spiced and crispy oil-free sweet potato fries baked in the oven.

No oil, no problem. This delicious side dish is full of flavor and almost fat-free — no deep frying required to obtain the perfect texture!

We’ve experimented with many different spices for our sweet potato fries over the years because they are a weekly staple in our home. This combination is probably our current favorite.

Thanks to the recent popularity of making your own oven-baked fries, the internet is full of delicious recipes, but we still want to share our take on making healthy oil-free fries.

Why? Simply because it’s one of our all-time favorite side dishes, especially when enjoyed with a delicious dipping sauce! Speaking of which, we’ll include a simple recipe for homemade cashew sour cream at the end of this article — it’s another combination you absolutely must try. 

Potato fries are one of the classic comfort foods that kids and grown-ups alike enjoy. We’re happy to say that we’ve created a family- and artery-friendly whole food plant-based version that tastes fantastic and loves you back!

Our oil-free sweet potato fries are baked to perfection, crispy on the outside and tender on the inside — basically everything you want a potato to be.

Are Fries Usually Vegan?

One of the classic go-to options for vegans at any restaurant or fast food place are French fries — alongside a garden salad without the dairy-based dressing.

Most of them, luckily, are vegan. But in some cases, they can contain beef fat or are fried using the same oil as chicken wings or other animal products!

When eating out at any non-vegan place, you need to accept that there is very likely some food contamination going on and traces of meat or dairy products can be found on or in your food.

If you buy frozen fries at the store, you can check the label for non-vegan ingredients; most of them will at least accidentally be vegan.

Better yet, make your own healthy sweet potato fries at home without any oil but a ton of flavor in just half an hour! 

Benefits of Sweet Potato Fries (No Oil!)

Okay, let’s get one thing straight — sweet potatoes don’t automatically make for healthy fries. They may have gotten an excellent rep in the health food niche, but as always, we need to see what’s eaten with the sweet potatoes.

The key to creating healthy fries is to skip the oil because once heated (especially when deep-fried), it can create dangerous trans fats. This is why fries or chips have been shown to be harmful to one’s health!

While sweet potatoes contain more fiber, vitamin A and vitamin C compared to white potatoes, their nutritional profiles are very similar, and both are healthy, filling and cheap food choices.

Plus, they are great for weight loss or healthy weight maintenance! 

So, how much healthier are sweet potato fries compared to regular fries? About the same — the main difference is the taste and look of the two varieties.

We generally advocate for a mostly oil-free diet (without obsessing over it) due to the added “empty calories” in oil which can make it hard to stay at a healthy weight. But that’s not the only reason we’re anti-oil; there are a few issues with oil-heavy cooking that give us pause.

Top 6 Reasons To Rethink Oil

Why We Love Baked Oil-Free French Fries

Making oil-free fries means you won’t be able to 100% replicate that deep-fried texture and crispiness, but they can get pretty close — and with all these additional health benefits, making oven-baked fries becomes a no-brainer.

How to Make Crispy Sweet Potato Fries Without Oil

Baking perfectly crispy sweet potatoes without any oil is certainly possible! First, preheat your oven and get some parchment paper.

Now, gather the seasonings you want to toss your fries in — there are many delicious options, some of which we listed below.

Depending on your taste preference, you can just scrub the sweet potatoes and leave the skin on — it offers additional health benefits, can help with the crispiness and frankly, is just less work.

But if you or your family are fussy about the texture, just take a couple of minutes to peel them.

Larger fries take longer to bake and come out softer while thinner ones will be very crispy. Your choice! We usually go for somewhere in the middle.

Now, either sprinkle your wedges with your spices of choice or put everything into a bag and shake it — just make sure the sweet potatoes are somewhat evenly coated.

Finally, spread them in an even layer on your baking sheet without crowding them too much to help them bake well and crisp up nicely.

Easy Cashew Sour Cream Dip for the Fries

Although we sometimes enjoy these baked sweet potato fries alongside a colorful salad without any dipping sauce, nothing can beat the combination of salty, crispy fries and a creamy dip.

And one of the best choices here, alongside vegan ketchup, herby ranch or homemade vegan mayonnaise, is a cashew sour cream dip. It’s a really simple 4-ingredient recipe that takes around 5 minutes or less to make! 

To make a healthy and oil-free vegan sour cream at home, simply add some soaked cashews, lemon juice, vinegar and nutritional yeast together with a pinch of salt in a blender and create a smooth and tangy dip within a couple of seconds!

It’s naturally soy-free, dairy-free, sugar-free and oil-free! We love this versatile whole food plant-based dip or sauce, it goes with so many dishes and keeps in the fridge for 5-6 days.

Tips for the Perfect Fat-Free Fries

It’s honestly hard to mess up sweet potato fries because these orange tubers already taste delicious on their own — nevertheless, here are some additional insights we’ve collected from making them regularly over the years.

What to Serve With Sweet Potato Fries

While you can just enjoy the baked sweet potato fries on their own or with your favorite vegan dip, some classic combinations include serving them alongside a veggie burger or any colorful vegan salad.

They also go well with baked cauliflower bites, collard wraps, some slices of lentil loaf, a vegan sandwich or falafel tacos.

More ideas include putting them in burritos or wraps, loading them up with beans and vegan nacho cheese and having these oil-free fries with some soup or bean chili.

Best Beet & Bean Burgers

More Oil-Free Vegan Recipes

We have plenty of easy and delicious plant-based recipes that don’t require a drop of oil! Try this goodness next.

We hope you’re excited to get into the kitchen and grab some sweet potatoes! Feel free to spice them to your liking and bake them nice and crispy.

Did you make our recipe and like it? Please share with us in the comments below and leave a rating. Make sure to Pin the baked fries here and tag us on Instagram so we can see your creations!

Oil-Free Baked Sweet Potato Fries

Yield: 4
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

These crispy oil-free sweet potato fries are tossed with fragrant spices and baked to perfection! Serve alongside a fresh salad with some homemade vegan sour cream or cashew mayo, or create a delicious plant-based bowl with them. Our oil-free fries are easy to make, customizable and weight loss-friendly!

Ingredients

Sweet Potato Fries

  • 4 medium sweet potatoes (1.15 lbs / 520 g)
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 2 tsp cumin powder

Sour Cream Dip

  • ½ cup raw cashews, soaked & drained (65 g)
  • ¼ cup water (40 ml)
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp nutritional yeast
  • Pinch of salt

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 °F (200 °C) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Peel the sweet potatoes (or leave the skin on if you like) and, using a sharp knife, cut them lengthwise into thick slices, then place them next to each other on your baking sheet.
  3. Add the spices and salt, then toss to coat the fries evenly. Alternatively, you can place the sweet potato fries in a bag or large bowl and shake until the fries are well-coated.
  4. Now, arrange the slices into a single layer and bake for 30 minutes, until they are lightly brown and crispy. To ensure they bake evenly, you can flip the sweet potato fries after 20 minutes in the oven.
  5. In the meantime, gather the ingredients for the quick vegan sour cream and place them in a blender or food processor. Pulse or blend to obtain a creamy dip and transfer it to a small bowl or jar.
  6. Once the sweet potato fries are done, remove them from the oven and serve warm with the homemade sour cream dip.

Notes

  • Instead of orange sweet potatoes, you can use any kind — even good old white potatoes taste wonderful when spiced and baked into crispy fries in the oven.
  • Soaking the cashews is key to creating a really smooth dip, especially if you don’t have a high-speed blender.
  • Use your favorite spices, such as smoked paprika, curry powder or even nutritional yeast sprinkled on your sweet potato fries! You can also create a sweet version using cinnamon which makes for a really healthy breakfast or snack.
  • Find more tips around this recipe in the article above.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 111Total Fat: 1gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 1225mgCarbohydrates: 25gFiber: 4gSugar: 7gProtein: 3g

Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated automatically, their accuracy is not guaranteed. Just focus on whole plant-based foods and eat until satiety!

Did you make this recipe?

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Alena Schowalter is a Certified Vegan Nutritionist who has been a vegetarian since childhood and vegan since 2012. Together with her husband, she founded nutriciously in 2015 and has been guiding thousands of people through different transition stages towards a healthy plant-based diet. She’s received training in the fields of nutrition, music therapy and social work. Alena enjoys discussions around vegan ethics, walks through nature and creating new recipes.

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4 thoughts on “Oil-Free Sweet Potato Fries With Cashew Sour Cream Dip”

  1. Question about the sour cream dip: What can I substitute for cashews? I’m allergic to tree nuts and peanuts, so cashews are definitely off limits. I appreciate you posting the recipe though. Store bought vegan sour cream is impossible to find in the area I live in. Our choices are basically Walmart, Winn-Dixie, Save-a-Lot, Publix, and Bravo and none of them sell it.

    Reply

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