Could Deep-Fried French Fries be Healthy? Possibly, if...
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Could Deep-Fried French Fries be Healthy? Possibly, if...

One of the major reasons that people prefer deep-fried french fries is because they should be crispy on the outside, and chewy on the inside. The main concern is that french fries seem to absorb too much oil. A typical healthier alternative is "baked fries", but preparing them takes significantly more time, and is much more inefficient.
In my last article, I discussed par-cooking as a possible way to make food healthier (https://civilpedia.org/p/?t=The+Diet+of+The+Future%3A+Food+through+Unconventional+Methods&pid=390). The main benefit of partially cooking certain starches, cooling them right away for a few hours, then finishing cooking them is that starch is converted into fiber (https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/cooling-resistant-starch). Later, I would discover that par-cooking also prevents excess oil from entering the food, since extra water is added during this process.
I initially tried making french fries using this method by parboiling whole potatoes, cooling them, then cutting them up and deep-frying them. This was relatively inefficient and the fries still were too starchy. However, I recently got a state-of-the-art Japanese steamer, and it can steam cut potatoes really well (https://www.zojirushi.com/app/product/nstsc). "Par-steaming" makes sense because the overwhelming majority of a potato is water (http://www.fao.org/potato-2008/en/potato/factsheets.html).
I cut potatoes up without removing the skin into the fry shape. Then, I steamed them for 20 minutes, rapidly cooled them overnight, and fried them in two inches of oil the next day. The main findings were that the fries were very chewy in the center because of the newly generated fiber, and that the centers contained very little oil because the extra water from steaming took the place of oil. However, the outsides obviously were very crispy.
Here are some pictures of par-steamed then deep-fried yukon gold potatoes, deep-fried sweet potatoes, and baked yukon gold potatoes: