Confessions of a French Fry Addict

“Hi, my name is Heather. I am a french fry addict.”  (Yes, this has everything to do with Ayurveda.) I love fries. Disproportionately so. Sometimes, I love them like my life depended on it. And sometimes, my sanity definitely does.

Let’s talk about why- tastes & qualities. In Ayurveda, tastes and qualities provide the reason for a substance’s intense desirability. French fries are starchy, salty, sweet, hot, a little crispy… I remember licking oil and salt off my fingers as a kid. Always extremely excited for french fries, disproportionately so. This must be connected, there’s got to be a relationship between my lust for fries with the satisfaction of that childhood thrill. They make me feel calm and happy. Oil makes it go down easy. Makes it come out easy too. But potatoes, not so bueno for some of our intestinal tracts, including poor-little-mine. But I want them. I really want them. And I need something about them too, in those moments, to drop back into that feeling of childhood contentedness. That must be it, because this craving ignites when I’m stressed out.

As it turns out, there is method in the madness. Starchy foods provide instant energy, salty-sweet-oily foods give a sense of comfort. In fact a major function of the sweet taste documented in the Caraka Samhita (an ancient text of Ayurveda), is comfort & contentedness. Comfort is necessary, contentedness the goal. Sweet, oily, & salty qualities are not the enemy- it’s the method of delivery that gets us into trouble.

So… What will give that sensation of french fries without the soon to be felt undesired effects of cranky-bloated-sleepiness? Sub out the potatoes, bake instead of fry, voila!  Sweet potatoes are one exquisitely delicious option. And here’s another- Yucca. Their light starchy goodness might as well be a potato, only sweeter.  They are also a much more sustaining source of carbohydrates than potatoes. Their light, sweet taste is perfectly complemented by coconut oil as they bake to crispy perfection. A sprinkle of sea salt? Well, alright. Fresh cracked pepper and a touch of cayenne? If you insist.

The remedy for the craving that is not going anywhere, except my mouth. Because it’s my body’s desire for calm interpreted as french fries. And… That. Is. Just. Fine.

Recipe for Yucca Fries

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Slice 1 yucca into french fry slivers. Steak or shoestring, you decide.
  3. Toss with 1 tbsp coconut oil.
  4. Sprinkle with a big pinch of sea salt and 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper.  Grind black pepper to taste. Some of us like a whole lot.
  5. Bake for 10-15 minutes until your desired crispiness is achieved.
*Heather remains passionate about all things fried, and figuring out how to eat them without hurting herself.