Fries are easily one of my favorite guilty pleasures. If it weren’t for the vats of inflammatory oils, I’d definitely munch on fries every day of the week. Unfortunately, fries are not something I, as a Holistic Nutritionist, would recommend including in your diet more than on an occasion basis. Which is exactly why I have dedicated time to finding healthy alternatives to one of my favorite, savory, comfort foods – fries. I’ve experimented with sweet potato, zucchini, and many other healthier options and they’re all great! However, recently I made these delicious Polenta Fries and can’t get enough! Although I still recommend eating these in moderation as corn can be a difficult food for many, including myself, to digest, these are a delicious, and extremely satiating alternative to traditional fries.
Polenta is a dish that originated in Northern Italy and is made of coarsely ground yellow cornmeal. Unlike the sweet corn we shuck at every Summer BBQ, the corn used to make polenta is a starchier field corn that is high in complex carbs. This means it will leave you feeling full, satiated, and energized for much longer than a simple carb alternative. Plus, polenta is a naturally gluten free alternative that is rich in antioxidants called carotenoids. Carotenoids are most linked to a lower risk of eye diseases including age related macular degeneration, heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and dementia.
Polenta is super versatile and can be prepared in so many different ways! Personally, as somebody who doesn’t digest corn very well, this recipe is truly a treat and for me it must be in moderation to avoid an inflammatory response. I’ve also found that the quality of polenta makes a huge difference, so make sure it is Non- GMO and sourced from Italy. Some of my favorite brands are:
Honestly, I’m in love with this recipe! There is just something so comforting about these fries. They’re crispy and crunchy on the outside but somewhat soft and creamy inside and to me that’s true perfection. PLUS, they’re a crowd pleaser for all ages – kiddos won’t even know they are eating a much healthier option!
Ingredients (serves 5 people)
- 2 Cups Polenta
- 2 1/2 Cups any df milk (I found lactose free milk works best)
- 2 1/2 cups veg / bone broth
- 2 tablespoons vegan butter
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons of any herbs you choose (I like oregano, thyme, rosemary)
- 1/4 cup avocado oil for brushing
LEMON HERB AIOLI
- 1/2 Cup mayonnaise
- 1 clove garlic, minced (or 1/4 tsp powder)
- 1 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- salt, to taste
- Grease a baking sheet with nonstick spray
- In a medium pot over high heat, add the milk and broth. Bring to a boil
- Whisk in Polenta, reduce the heat to low, whisking continuously for about 5 mins or until all the liquid has been absorbed and the Polenta is creamy
- Add the butter, salt, herbs of choice, and stir until combined well
- Transfer the Polenta to the prepared baking sheet and spread out evenly with a spatula. Chill for at least 2 hours or up to 3 days to set
- When you are ready to make: Preheat oven to 425F
- Make the Aioli: Combine mayonnaise, garlic, parsley, lemon juice, and salt in a small bowl and mix until well combined. Chill until ready to use.
- Carefully flip the baking sheet onto a cutting board to release the polenta and slice into rectangular fries.
- Use a spatula to transfer the fries onto 2 baking sheets (leave space between all fries)
- Brush each fry generously with avocado oil
- Bake for 30-40 mins, flipping halfway through and brushing with more oil
- Remove when golden brown
I can’t wait for you to try these! If you are ready to learn more about how to integrate whole, healing foods into your diet and start pursuing your health goals, book your free 20 min discovery session here!