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Ballpark Fries at Home

It’s playoff time, and what tempts you more at the ballpark than the smell of french fries? But wait, just because french fries are plant-based, doesn’t necessarily make them healthy…unless you eliminate the oil that is. My infatuation with baseball began about 14 years ago when I met my husband, a college standout shortstop who went on to earn just as many awards as a coach (Governor Mifflin 120/41) as he did a player (PSAC player of the year, DII South All Start Team, North Atlantic All Region 1st Team, okay, maybe I’m bragging a little.) During the time we were courting, I gained a new appreciation for the game and we took the opportunity to travel to a variety of ballparks, which of course have never been known for their healthy food choices. This coupled with being a longtime resident of Berks ensures that I surely compare every french fry to the mighty, sizzling perfection of V&S and every crab fry to that of Chickie and Pete. Surely Amercia’s favorite past-time could use some freshening up to go along with our appreciation of the farmers who produce the food that keeps our bodies strong…are you with me? I wish I could say that the ballparks are on board, really there are some that serve up vegetarian panninis and blackbean burgers (in fact, Citizen’s Bank Park was voted #1 ballpark in vegetarian options by the Food Network), but until they all jump on the healthy living bandwagon, I guess I will have to settle for making my own healthier version of fries at home.
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Ingredients
Potatoes – Russet work best
Cold Water
First pressed olive oil, about 1 Tbsp. or less
Salt

Preparation
Preparation is a 3-step process: Slice, Soak, Bake. Step 1: Slice the potatoes into similar size match sticks or wedges, just ensure that they are sized evenly so that they bake evenly. Step 2: Soak the fries in a bowl of cold water for about 20 minutes. After 10 minutes, rinse well, add new soaking water, and soak for an additional 10 minutes. Removing the starch through soaking is the key to producing a crispy fry when it goes in the oven. When the soaking is finished, pat dry with a clean dishtowel. Step 3: Place the fries in a single layer on parchment paper or a lightly sprayed baking sheet, coat lightly with first pressed olive oil, and bake at 450 degrees for 20 minutes. Add a sprinkle of salt when they come out of the oven and enjoy the fact that these fries are actually good for you.

To learn more about the dangers of heating oil, click here.
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1-soak
2-bake
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