Those of you that enjoy the occasional bit of TV may have seen the launch of a new product from McCain, Sweet Potato SuperFries. The ad is set with a family sitting around a table. The daughter brings out a bowl of Sweet Potato SuperFries, and encourages her father to try something a bit different. I think it's something we can all relate to. It reminds me of the movie The Castle, with the classic line, "What do you call this?" "Chicken".
Anyway back to the SuperFries. Have you tried them? Let me know what you think.
The ingredients list is quite extensive.
Sweet Potato (72%), Vegetable Oil (Soy), Potato Starch, Rice Flour, Tapioca Starch, Sea Salt, Corn Starch, Corn Fibre, Baking Powder, Sugar, Dextrin, Dehydrated Sweet Potatoes, Dried Carrots, Thickener (415), Malt Powder (Malted Barley, Wheat Flour, Dextrose), Natural Flavour, Maltodextrin, Molasses, Spice, Natural Colours (150b, 160b, Paprika).
As you may know, the largest ingredients are listed first and so on.
It is suprising that sweet potato is listed as only 72%, I was expecting this to be much higher. It is also disappointing at the number of colours, thickeners and flavours that appear in these fries. I'm not sure why added flavours and colours need to be added to such a yummy, vibrant vegetable.
The Nutrition Panel
Nutritionally, the fries rate quite well. Note that a vegetable oil is used, and the fries are very low in saturated fat (0.6g per 100g), trans fat (less than 0.1g per 100g) and total fat (7g per 100g). Sea salt is the 6th ingredient, and contributes 370mg of sodium per 100g, which is not too bad, but could be lower (‘low salt’ means no more than 120 mg of sodium per 100g). McCain claims that Sweet Potato SuperFries are a rich source of vitamin A, and it's true. A 90g serving of these fries will provide almost half your daily requirement of vitamin A. What does vitamin A do? It has a powerful role in vision and preventing night blindness, as well as roles in cell function and immunity.
Taste wise, I give the fries a big thumbs up.
The price is a concern, when you compare these to how much you could buy with fresh ingredients. Yesterday at Coles I bought a 450g packet of the Sweet Potato SuperFries for $3.65. I also bought some regular sweet potatoes at $1.98/kg. So when you compare both at a weight of 450g, the SuperFries cost $3.65 whilst the sweet potatoes cost 89 cents. Although some consumers may argue that they are happy to pay more for the convenience of the SuperFries.
What's the verdict?
Overall the Sweet Potato SuperFries are a great substitute for regular deep fried chips. McCain uses a small amount of heart healthy oil and sweet potatoes will lower the glycaemic index of the meal. They are quick and easy to prepare (the instructions advise a 210 degree oven for 10 minutes). Oh and they come in Thin Cut and Crinkle Cut.
Of course nothing ever beats home cooked food, so if you have a half an hour to spare, why not make your own version of these!
Preheat your oven to 200 degrees Celcius. Wash and leaving the skin on, chop up some sweet potatoes into chip shapes (or whatever shapes you like), spray or brush them lightly with a mono or polyunsaturated oil such as olive or vegetable oil, and throw them in the oven for 30-40 minutes or until crunchy! It's that easy. And a much more cost effective option. Here's some I prepared earlier...
These sweet potato chips were delicious on a Friday night with a nice piece of grilled salmon.