Lately I’ve had an abundance of red palm oil in my kitchen. What does one do with jars of red palm oil you might ask? To this I would enthusiastically reply (with my arms flailing about in the air): what can't you do?! From chocolate cakes to stir-fries, this antioxidant rich saturated fat source is one of my favorite healthy fats to experiment with. And with a history that dates back as far as 5,000 years, there is no shortage of recipes to choose from. This week I have been enjoying these simple and delicious red palm oil sweet potato fries...by the plateful.
Red palm oil is a captivating superfood. Not only does it have a gorgeous, bright red color, but it boasts an impressive nutrient profile that is unparalleled by other vegetable oils, including ever-popular coconut and olive oils. Used throughout the world for culinary, cosmetic and medicinal purposes, red palm oil is easily digested and stable for high heat cooking, making it a truly functional food. Some of its most beneficial components include:
- Medium chain fatty acids (approximately 40%)
- Antioxidant Carotenoids (beta-carotene and lycopene)
- Naturally occurring Vitamin-E (tocopherols and tocotrienols)
- Inflammation-reducing plant sterols
- Heart protective CoQ10
- Immune-strengthening squalene
It is important to note here that not all palm oils are created equal. I repeat: not all palm oils are created equal. You want to be sure to find a red palm oil, which is derived from the antioxidant-rich fruit of the oil palm tree, versus the kernel or white oils that are from other parts of the plant and often highly refined. It is also essential to use a red palm oil that is thoughtfully and sustainably sourced. Use only palm oils that are RSPO (Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil) certified- verifying that they are prepared in a manner that protects wildlife as according to the standards of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF). I love Jungle Red Palm Oil because it is hand-crafted in small batches using traditional methods in a way that preserves the integrity of both the habitat and local culture in which it is made.
Sweet Potato Fries
Palm oil lends itself very well to this recipe as it is ideal for high-heat cooking and also enhances the already beautiful and bright color of the sweet potatoes. Be careful with using red palm oil however, as the oil does tend to stain. This is a recipe where using an apron is advised, unless you want to polka-dot your t-shirt with little red splatters that is.
1 medium sweet potato
1-2 tablespoons Jungle Red Palm Oil
ground black pepper, to taste
Slice sweet potato into thin rounds using a mandolin slicer or sharp knife.
Melt 1-2 TBS Jungle Red Palm Oil in large frying pan over medium heat. Add rounds in a single layer to pan.
Cook 1-2 minutes and turn, cooking another minute.
Remove from oil and place on a cookie sheet. Sprinkle with sea salt and freshly ground peppercorns. Enjoy!
Note: Rounds will be soft. If crispness is preferred, place in oven at 450 degrees or broil for 1-2 minutes or until desired crispness is achieved.