I loooove potatoes. Seriously. They are so much more than a side dish. Not only do they taste delicious, they are so filling and satisfying that they make for a complete meal. I love them in any state – boiled, baked, roasted, mashed, fried…but they are at their best in the form of chips or wedges. Now, if this sounds greasy and unhealthy to you, dripping with trans fats and all sorts of nasties, hear me out. It is possible to achieve the perfect crispy oil-free potato wedges. No oil and no deep-frying required!
These are not the result of an air-fryer (if you are remotely familiar with instagram you would have come across the latest craze that is air-fryers). No fancy or expensive equipment required, just a good ol’ oven, a baking tray and 40 minutes of your time. That’s all!
While rice, noodles, pasta and (gluten-free) bread all have their merits, nothing will keep you full for as long as a good plate of spuds. Being much lower in carbohydrates and calories than other “side dishes” and with their favourable nutritional profile, potatoes are closer to vegetables than starchy sides. They are fat and cholesterol free and bursting with iron and vitamin C. Vitamin C actually improves the absorption of iron which is why potatoes are extremely valuable for vegans and vegetarians. They contain more potassium than a banana, are a good source of vitamin B6, fiber, magnesium and antioxidants as well as the so-called “resistant starch”. Resistant starch works like soluble fiber which contributes to improved insulin sensitivity, lower blood sugar levels, reduced appetite and improved digestion.
Enough said about the benefits of spuds, I bet you just want to know how to achieve the perfect crispy oil-free potato wedges! Crispy wedges without any oil? What’s the secret ingredient? Yes, there is actually a secret ingredient. And that is…water! I knew that in gluten-free bread baking, putting a tray of water into the oven helps the bread to form a proper crispy crust. I thought that this must also be possible with potatoes! While I have achieved good results dry-roasting potatoes before, adding some water to the tray definitely put these babies onto a new level. Unlike with bread where a separate water tray is put into the oven, the water is added directly to the tray with the potatoes on it.
Crispy oil-free potato wedges
1kg potatoes, washed and cut into wedges
1-2 tbsp coarse sea salt
1 tsp paprika
halt a cup plain water
Preheat the oven to 230 °C. Spread the prepared wedges onto a non-stick (or lined) baking tray. Mix the salt and paprika in a small bowl. Sprinkle the spice mix over the potatoes and rub into the wedges. Add the water to the tray. Bake for approx. 40 minutes, turning halfway.