Healthy & Gluten Free

Author:           Updated October 4, 2018
Categories: Snacks - Chips     Side Dishes    

This is a very easy recipe for absolutely delicious do it yourself potato chips, french fries, and wedges.

Baked potato chips on a plate
Image by: Thora Toft

Prep time: 15 minutes      Cook time: 20 minutes      Makes: 4 to 6 servings      Difficulty: Easy

Choose a "Real Food" oil, such as organic coconut oil, that doesn't use chemicals during manufacturing, Homemade Lard, butter or another meat fat of your choice. Avoid other vegetable oils, as they are not suitable for using hot.

Gluten free Dairy free Egg free Vegan option
Shopping Tips - what to look for to get the best gluten free, real ingredients for this recipe:

Fresh fruits and vegetables should be organic.

This reduces a number of toxic chemicals that can cause harm to humans. When you are required to eat gluten free, you will need to reduce all unnecessary stress on your stomach, so that it has a better chance of healing. Using organic fresh fruits and vegetables will go a long way to achieving this.

Each year a US report is created by the EWG (Environmental Working Group) listing the most and least pesticide contaminated common produce in the US. It is useful to know where to put your initial focus on what to buy organic and what can be lower on your priority list. I'd suggest that if a crop is not on the EWG "Clean 15" list on the below listed site, that you buy organic.

Consumer Reports has also published a report. They have a nice summary of residues on both conventional and organic produce. This is a good place to start if this is a new topic for you, and it gives good detail, but in a readable format.

They found that all organic produce has consistently been tested to show low or very low levels of residue. This can make you confident that organic is a good way to go. A link to their summary page on pesticide residues is linked below.

For anyone who really wants to dig into the full datasets of the EPA residue testing, they can find that at the bottom link below. This will include the most recent reported data.

Potatoes are listed as #11 on the EWG "Dirty Dozen" list (2018). Conventional potatoes had more pesticide residues by weight than any other crop. One pesticide in particular, chlorpropham, makes up the bulk of pesticides detected on potatoes. They should be purchased as organic.

Yams have not been tested by the EPA for pesticide residue. Sweet potatoes have been tested, and they are midway between the least and most residue contamination. Sweet potatoes rank 31st. Since organic produce for other fruits and vegetables have consistently had less residue, you should buy only organic yams and sweet potatoes.

Sweet potatoes are not on the EWG "Clean 15" list (2018). They rank 31st out of 48 for contamination. They should be purchased as organic.

Plantains have not been tested by the EPA for pesticide residue. Since organic produce for other fruits and vegetables have consistently had less residue, you should buy only organic plantains.

Check out these 4 articles. The first 2 show this year's EWG report on pesticide contamination, and will be updated automatically based on the current year. The third article is the Consumer Reports summary page for pesticide residue on produce, including conventional and organic, and domestic and imported. The fourth article is the direct link to the EPA residue testing site, where you can do further research:

You want to find unrefined salt, with no additives. It should say unrefined on the label. If it is refined, it will simply say salt. Refined salt does not need to list the chemicals used in the refining process, but the word "refined" will tell you that something was used (and most are toxic).

Look for unrefined sea salt, Himalayan salt, or various gourmet hand crafted salt.

Good sea salt should be unrefined, and will not be pure white.

There is also Himalayan salt that many consider a healthy source of salt. It is generally unrefined. There is some debate as to the quality, and the exact makeup of the other minerals found in it. If you find a source of it you like, then go ahead and use it. It's largest benefit is that it does not have added chemicals, and has a wide range of other minerals. If you want the other minerals, then this is a good option.

There are a number of different gourmet salts that are hand crafted via evaporation that are nice quality. With some investigating, you can find very clean, uncontaminated sources.

For additional reading on salt, check out this article on our site:

You want to buy 100% certified organic spices, with no additional additives, labeled gluten free, and labeled to state that no anti-caking agents or additives have been used.

100% organic certified products will contain no GM substances, and will not be irradiated. Without anti-caking agents, they can stick together. This is easily solved by stirring with a clean tool prior to using, if it has clumped together.

Note that when it says only Organic, it can contain small amounts of synthetic and GM substances (up to 5%). Many chemicals used in spices are not required to be labeled, thus you want 100% Certified Organic, and statements noting no additional additives used.

Spices should be used up within about 6 months. Any older and they can spoil, and will lose any benefits, and the flavor will fade.

To read more about spices and anti-caking agents, check out these 2 articles on our site:

Check out these other 2 articles on buying good spices and what the term Organic means:

Fresh herbs and spices should be 100% certified organic.

This reduces a number of toxic chemicals that can cause harm to humans. When you are required to eat gluten free, you will need to reduce all unnecessary stress on your stomach, so that it has a better chance of healing. Using organic fresh fruits and vegetables will go a long way to achieving this.

Consumer Reports has also published a report. They have a nice summary of residues on both conventional and organic produce. This is a good place to start if this is a new topic for you, and it gives good detail, but in a readable format.

They found that all organic produce has consistently been tested to show low or very low levels of residue. This can make you confident that organic is a good way to go. A link to their summary page on pesticide residues is linked below.

Testing specifically on fresh and dried herbs and spices is more limited, and has not been done as consistently as other produce. Some of the testing that has been done, mostly on conventionally grown herbs and spices, is showing much higher pesticide residues than on other common fresh produce. For this reason, all fresh and dried spices and herbs should only be purchased as 100% certified organic.

A good option is also to grown you own herbs. Many herbs can be easily grown in small pots, even if just on your window sill in your kitchen. It is then possible to completely control what goes on them and into the soil.

Check out these 4 articles. The first is the Consumer Report on pesticide residues in general. The second article explains what the different versions of organic labeling mean. The third article is the USDA report on pesticide residues on organic produce. The fourth article is a pesticide report specifically on fresh and dried herbs and spices, in a limited market in the US:

Coconut oil - You want to look for organic coconut oil processed without chemicals. It does not need to be raw, since you're cooking with it, but you want it made without chemicals. You can also make your own coconut oil. Below there is a link to a You Tube video that shows you how to make both cold pressed, and heat created coconut oil.

Lard - You can also use unrefined, organic lard. You can make your own Homemade Lard here, on our site. If you are buying it, you do not want to buy the regular grocery store white blocks, as they are made with a number of toxic chemicals, some that don't need to be on the label, and are usually hydrogenated.

Palm oil - You also can use organic palm oil, as long as it's not processed with chemicals when it's made.

You want to avoid using vegetable oils when cooking, as they degrade into trans fats, which are extremely bad for you. Such as corn, canola, soy, grapeseed, sunflower, safflower, etc. Any oils with a significant amount of polyunsaturated fats should not be used for cooking.

Recent research is showing that saturated fats are not linked to heart health problems.

Saturated fats are the most heat stable to use for cooking. This is also why it's ok to cook with good quality oils that use heat during the processing, as long as they also don't use chemicals, and don't use hydrogenation.

This topic is very popular now, and you'll need to wade through a lot of conflicting information, and emerging information. Keep an eye out as more advances are made, and old ideas are discarded.

To learn more about these different types of oils, check out these 7 articles (I am NOT an affiliate of any of these):

Butter, and other dairy products - Raw organic is best. Non-homogenized, organic is preferred if you don't have access to raw. Never buy Ultra High Temperature (UHT), or Ultra-Pasteurized milk; you will need to carefully check the label, as it's not always obvious.

The issue of what type of milk is best is far too broad of a topic to cover in depth here. Whether you want cows milk, nut milk, coconut milk, or some other type of milk will be a personal choice.

However, here are some general guidelines to help you when choosing your milk. You can research further if it's an area of interest to you.

Dairy milk - Raw organic is best. Non-homogenized, organic is preferred if you don't have access to raw. Never buy Ultra High Temperature (UHT), or Ultra-Pasteurized milk; you will need to carefully check the label, as it's not always obvious.

Non-dairy milk - Most of these are really just fake food. Most only exist because people are used to white stuff to put on cereal and in coffee, etc.

Very few things in nature look and behave like dairy milk. They have to create unnatural compounds that look and behave like milk.

This category of products is quite challenging to find products that are made out of real ingredients. You will need to really read a lot of labels to find something that is not loaded with food additives, flavorings, binders, fillers, etc.

Many of these additives are very tough on anyone with any sort of digestive problems, which those who must eat gluten free do have.

Nut milk should only contain nuts and water.

Coconut milk should only have coconut milk, coconut cream, ground coconut and water or coconut water, or some combination of these ingredients.

Soy milk is not even remotely natural, or normal. White liquid does not come out of a green soy bean in any natural way. Large amounts of additives are added to it to make it resemble milk.

Rice milk should only have rice and water.

If you really want these, many of them can be made fresh at home, and you can completely control the ingredients that go into them. Check out You Tube for tons of videos.

Check out the following 4 articles to help you find the best type of milk for your personal taste:

You want to find organic pastured meat, and use the fat from that meat. Read more below on a variety of meats, and what to look for when buying.

Beef - You want to find organic beef, that is grass fed, and grass finished.

This may be somewhat difficult to find, though there are starting to be more and more places where you can get this.

If you can't find exactly this, then do your best to get the best you can. The priority should loosely be grass fed, no antibiotics and no growth hormones, non GM fed, grass finished, and organic.

Pork - You want to look for pork from an organic, pastured pig.

Chicken - You want to find organic chicken, preferably direct from a farmer.

The best would be to buy from an organic farmer, who truly allows the chickens to roam free. The highest quality is produced from chickens that eat a truly natural diet by picking at the ground. They should not be fed a grain based chicken feed. This is far too different than what they would eat in a truly natural environment.

There is just so much wrong with the way chickens are kept for the vast majority of farms in the US. This produces inferior food for us. Making the effort to find this kind of chicken will pay off big time in your health.

You may be able to find this kind of chicken at farmers markets, or small health food stores.

Watch out for a lot of gimmicky marketing in relation to chicken, such as Omega 3 chicken. These are from chickens fed grain based chicken feed, so will actually be harmful to you. There's even vegan fed chickens. This is just a really stupid gimmick. They are fed a grain based chicken feed, and fully prevented from being able to pick at natural ground (since they'd eat things not vegan). And if you're eating chicken, it's not vegan. If it sounds gimmicky, walk away.

The health benefits of this kind of meat is well documented, and well worth the extra cost.

Check out these articles on livestock farming:

This article that will explain the benefits and help you understand why this is the preferred type of beef to purchase:

This article goes into more detail on pig raising, and what to look for:

This is a nice article about real, free range chickens:

Ingredients:
Sweet potato wedges
Baked sweet potato wedges on a plate
Image by: Thora Toft
3 medium Red potatoes, peeled
  Sea salt
  Fresh ground black pepper
  Garlic, oregano, basil, or other herb of your choice (optional)
1 to 2 tablespoons Oil, melted
Directions:
Sweet potato chips
Baked sweet potato chips on a plate
Image by: Thora Toft
  1. Preheat oven to 450 F (230 C). Line a flat baking sheet with wax or oven paper. For potato chips, cut the potatoes into 1/8" thick slices. If you have a mandolin slicer, they are excellent to get a consistent thickness, which is important to allow the chips to cook evenly. For french fries or potato wedges, cut to the desired shape and thickness.
  2. Bring a pot of water to a boil. Cook the potato slices for 3 to 5 minutes. Drain well. Place into a large bowl. Drizzle with oil, sea salt, pepper and spices of your choice.
  3. Place the potato chip slices on the flat, prepared baking sheet in one layer. Bake for about 15 minutes to 30 minutes, until crisp and golden brown. Carefully remove the chips and place on a cooling rack or paper towel. Let cool for few minutes and serve.
 
Variations:
Baked potato wedges
Baked potato wedges on a plate
Image by: Thora Toft
Try different types of potatoes for different textures, and various crispiness. Some varieties make a softer chip, if that's what you prefer. Yams and sweet potatoes can be used, and again, different varieties will produce differing textures. Green plantains also are an excellent alternative if you want to try something a bit different.
 
French fries and potato wedges can be done very nicely with this method. They have a light crunch on the outside, soft and tender on the inside. For these, you won't have to precook them; just give them a bit more time in the oven, and flip them part way through. They'll need 30 to 45 minutes, depending on how thick the wedges are.
 
Delish! Enjoy!
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Gluten free quick start booklet on top of meal preparation
FREE Gluten Free 'Eat Real' Quick Start Guide
 
• Concrete steps to take NOW
• 20 Recipes
• Regular Member only tips
• Quick Start Guide
Gluten free quick start booklet on top of meal preparation
FREE Gluten Free 'Eat Real' Quick Start Guide
 
• Concrete steps to take NOW
• 20 Recipes
• Regular Member only tips
• Quick Start Guide
Gluten free quick start booklet on top of meal preparation
FREE Gluten Free 'Eat Real' Quick Start Guide
 
• Concrete steps to take NOW
• 20 Recipes
• Regular Member only tips
• Quick Start Guide