I’ve been making a lot of sweet potato & parsnip fries lately because root vegetables are in season right now, and it’s a healthy, easy, yummy side-dish for weekday meals.
I used to use aluminum foil when making sweet potato fries, but certain foods (tomatoes are one of the worst) can absorb the aluminum, and we end up consuming it. Aluminum builds up in the body over time (higher levels in elderly people) and too much aluminum can be toxic to our bodies.
Research has shown that aluminum toxicity can cause nausea, excessive sweating, skin problems and is related to the development of Alzheimer’s disease. Not only does this include cooking & baking with aluminum foil (of course, one more convenience that is bad for us), but aluminum can be found in some anti-perspirants, baking sodas, antacids, aspirin, processed cheese and pickles.
For a while I was roasting directly on my baking sheet, but that’s such a pain to clean, ruins my pans, and I don’t think tephlon is much better for us.
I recently purchased a “Silpat” non-stick baking mat, which is made from fibreglass & silicone. I know that sounds scary too, but its FDA, NSF & Kosher certified. You can buy it in a variety of shapes and sizes, use it thousands of times, it’s easy to clean, good for the environment, low-cal (no greasing with butter & oil required!) and safe to use (check out their website for more info).
I bought mine at Kitchen Stuff for $25 + tax, and I’m really happy with it. It gives off a bit of an odd smell at first, but doesn’t affect the taste of your food. You can also use it up to temperatures of 482F, which means you can use it for roasting most food.
Image Credit: Macy’s