Never heard of swede / rutabaga? Well, it's time you get to know this vegetable, it's low-carb friendly! Swede (aka Rutabaga) is commonly used in paleo diet meals as a replacement to potatoes. Swede is high in potassium, which is a mineral often deficient in low-carb diets. Unlike sweet potatoes, it's relatively low in carbs. Just for comparison, here is a quick overview of the average net carbs of similar vegetables (per 100 g):
- sweet potatoes: 17 g net carbs
- parsnip: 13 g net carbs
- potatoes: 10-17 g net carbs depending on type
- celery root: 7 g net carbs
- carrot: 6.8 g net carbs
- swede: 5.6 g net carbs
However, if you aim for even less carbs, try fries from these:
- turnip: 3.9 g net carbs
- kohlrabi: 2.6 g net carbs
- parsley root: 1.7 g net carbs
After a few cooking experiments, I would say swede was a good compromise. But don't expect the same taste and crispiness of potato fries. I also tried fries from other vegetables: Turnip and kohlrabi fries had more water content and the texture was a bit too soft and chewy for fries, but they are still good for those who want to save more carbs. Parsley root fries tasted great but they may not be easy to find (at least not in the UK). Just make sure you don't get parsnips - they look the same but the carbs content is A LOT higher!
Nutritional values (per serving):
|of which Saturated||5.9||grams|
Macronutrient ratio: Calories from carbs (32.2%), protein (7%), fat (60.7%)
Ingredients (makes 4 servings):
Note: Oils that have high smoke points are suitable for cooking (avocado oil, coconut oil, macadamia oil, red palm oil, lard, etc.).
When looking for ingredients, try to get them in their most natural form (organic, without unnecessary additives).
First, preheat the oven to 450 F / 225 C. Wash and peel the swede.
Cut them into spears about 1/4 inch / 1/2 cm wide (or even less for crisping them up). As I realised in my previous post, the wider you cut them, the more difficult it will be to make them crispy. Place the fries into a bowl and remove any excess water using a paper towel.
In a small bowl, mix the oil, paprika, salt, pepper and ground cloves (if used).
Pour the oil mixture over the fries evenly and place them on a baking tray lined with baking paper. Make sure the tray is not overcrowded and use two of them if needed. Cook for 25-35 minutes (it depends on how thick you cut them). Check the fries regularly and turn the baking tray a couple of times to make sure they are evenly cooked.
Remove from the oven and serve with meat and sugar-free ketchup or mayonnaise (try my home-made mayo). Enjoy hot and don't leave them for too long or they will get soggy.
Note: If your daily carbs target is low, serve them with meat to make sure you don't eat any additional carbs.
UPDATE: Based on some recent feedback, frying a rutabaga is not ideal. Just use the oven method to make sure you don't burn it. Also, you may need to adjust the time depending on your oven.