secret to crispy hash brownsI find nothing more satisfying than a large breakfast on the weekend.  The only problem was that I had never learned how to make hash browns from scratch.  We always just bought them, frozen, in bags from the grocery store.  When I did think of making them, all I could imagine was that you had to peel a potato and grate it like you would a block of cheese.  I had no interest in doing that!

But the call of fresh hash browns was enough for me to learn, especially since I have been eating more carbohydrates in an effort to raise my metabolism.  There’s a simple trick to getting really crispy hash browns, and I’ll share it with you today!

Hash browns, eggs, quiche, frittatas, toast, fresh juice, pancakes, waffles, fruit, you name it.  That my kind of breakfast!  Throw a little lacto-fermented ketchup on these babies and you’re good to go.  Plus, when you eat a big breakfast you get the benefit of extra energy and a roaring metabolism.  Win win!

PUFA and Conventional Potatoes:  Have you ever read the ingredient list on a bag of frozen potatoes?  From fries to tater tots to hash browns, the story is always the same: vegetable oil and potatoes.

Vegetable oils are industrial by-products.  We were never meant to consume canola, cottonseed, soybean, grapeseed, or other oils in the quantities that we do in processed foods. We were meant to have saturated fats, like coconut oil and butter.

Polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) are also the perfect mechanism to disrupt our omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acid ratio balance.  Industrial vegetable oils are almost always PUFA, which are inherently unstable and may cause health problems.

Which brings me to: it’s a good thing hash brown are a lot easier to make than I thought!  Fry them up in ghee or expeller-pressed coconut oil.   Enjoy crispy potatoes with breakfast to raise your metabolism for the day, no PUFA in sight!

So What’s the Secret?  Squeezing out the water from the potatoes!  You have to press out the extra moisture from these shredded potatoes in order to get them really crispy.  It’s the same principle as squeezing the water out of zucchini for fritters, or patting meat dry so it can get a nice brown sear.

Equipment Needed:

  • food processor, kitchen towel
  • cast iron skillet, spatula

Note: Make sure you use expeller-pressed coconut oil for this recipe, since regular unrefined coconut oil will taste and smell like coconut.  Expeller-pressed coconut oil has a nice neutral taste, perfect for these savory kinds of dishes.  Alternately, you can use ghee, which won’t burn like butter when used for frying.

Crispy Hash Browns

6 large russet potatoes, peeled and halved to fit through feed tube of food processor
coconut oil or ghee (buy expeller-pressed coconut oil here, how to make ghee here)
salt and pepper to taste (buy unrefined sea salt and organic pepper here)

  1. Lay out a large kitchen towel, and set aside.  In a food processor fitted with the large shredding disk, process potatoes until they are completely shredded.  Remove from the food processor and pile in the center of the kitchen towel.
  2. Gather the corners of the towel together and twist to seal and grab firmly.  Over the kitchen sink, twist as hard as you can manage, squeezing out as much of the water from the shredded potatoes as possible.  Unwrap.
  3. In a large cast iron skillet, melt ghee or coconut oil over medium-high heat.  Cook about half of the shredded potatoes in the skillet for 5-10 minutes, until golden brown.  Season generously with salt and pepper.
  4. Using a spatula, flip the potatoes over to brown on the other side.  Season the other side with salt and pepper as well, adding more ghee or coconut oil to the pan if needed.
  5. When both sides are golden brown, remove from the skillet and serve.  You can save extra hash browns in the fridge, as they reheat very well.