Guilt Free Rutabaga Fries


Love French Fries but hate the thought of all the starch, carbs, various bad fats and total lack of nutritional benefit that go along with them? Get ready for rutabaga. Move over potato - this vegetable is part of the brassica family, which means it rubs shoulders with brocolli, brussel sprouts, cauliflower, and other nutritional heavyweights. Plus, rutabagas have just under half the calories of an equal amount of potato, less than a third of the carbs, and pack a whole lot of nutritional punch.
Rutabagas are full of Vitamin C (keep that scurvy at bay), potassium (hello lower blood pressure and lowered stroke risk), and have also been linked to the reduction of easy bruising (who knew!) and cataract formation.

Here's how to make rutabaga a part of your life without resorting to mashing it or realizing you're eating an almost turnip:

The first cut is the deepest: How to peel a rutabaga

Ok so to be fair..I wasn't sure either. First of all, this is what they look like pre-preparation:
I know what you're thinking: "that is not a food". But it is! And a damned good one. To get into it:
1. Rinse any dirt or wax off the outside of your 'baga.
2. Using a sharp but not too large knife (paring is good, but make sure it feels right), slice a disc of peel off the top and bottom of the vegetable.
3. Using a [in my case, butcher's] knife, cut your rutabaga in half, using the flats you created in step 2 to help this out.
4. Peel the vegetable using your paring knife, removing any tough parts (though these are fine to eat, they just taste different).

To be in 'baga french fry heaven: (preheat your over to 450)
1. Cut your halves into either slim wedges or thick french fries (they'll shrink in the oven)
2. Boil them in a pot for 3-4 minutes (at a full boil)
3. In a large bowl, toss them with canola oil (1 tbsp, but just barely) and as much salt as you like.
4. Grind a generous amount of fresh pepper over the sliced rutabaga.
5. Lay slices on a baking sheet avoiding overlap - I needed to use two different cookie sheets at one time.
6. After about 15-20 minutes (depending on your over), flip your fries. Don't be alarmed if they're getting black in spots, they're likely not burning inside at all.
7. After another 10 minutes, taste test, and take 'em out when they're cooked to your liking.

This should make between 4-6 servings of side fries, depending on the size of your original rutabaga.

Serve hot, with ketchup, vinegar, salt, or any variation thereof, and thank yourself for doing your body a favor.

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