The Best Way To Season Sweet Potato Fries To Curb Oversweetness

You may associate sweet potatoes with your grandmother's Thanksgiving sweet potato casserole, but the uses for these spuds have bloomed far beyond the holidays in recent years. As their name suggests, sweet potatoes have a higher sugar content than other types of potatoes – 14 times as much, to be exact, which they get from their sucrose. And they get even sweeter during cooking, which activates another sugar called maltose. This leads sweet potatoes to star in a plethora of dessert recipes, from sweet potato smoothies to simple sweet potato pie, and let's not forget Ben & Jerry's short-lived sweet potato pie flavor.

However, these spuds also make a delicious fry. As you may expect, sweet potato fries naturally have a more candied flavor than their counterparts, but their salty-sweet juxtaposition makes them a side dish to be reckoned with. You can season them with cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, brown sugar, and honey, but you may end up with a sickeningly sweet, dessert-like fry. To let them take their proper place next to a hamburger or sandwich, try using these savory spices.

Use spicy, herby, or smoky seasonings

If you're looking to balance out the sugars in your sweet potato fries, feel free to flex your creative muscles. An abundance of spices will work, but we'd suggest catering yours toward the flavor profile you're aiming for. If you're feeling earthy, dried herbs like oregano, parsley, rosemary, basil, and thyme will give you what you're looking for; But, if you want a more classic fry flavor, try keeping it simple with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder.

For a sweet and spicy fry, you can choose from a plethora of spices: Red pepper flakes, paprika, cayenne pepper, chili powder, Cajun seasoning, Tajin seasoning, and chipotle powder are all tasty options. And for extra smokiness, try a sprinkle of cumin. All these seasonings will add depth of flavor but won't completely overpower the potatoes' sweetness.

You'll want to add the spices on the potatoes after cutting them and tossing them in olive oil but before baking or air frying. And don't forget about a yummy dipping sauce. If you want to encourage a spicy-sweet flavor combination even more, try serving with a sweet cinnamon-sugar dipping sauce or marshmallow dip. But to amp up the savory aspect, try a Sriracha, chipotle lime, or garlic aioli. How will you season your sweet potato fries?