We usually don’t think much about store-bought frozen french fries. In taste, they are usually a step or two down from the fast food fries that tempt us into the drive-thru on the way home, but they are perhaps slightly more healthy because we are usually baking them instead of frying them.
Austinite Suzanne Franks grew up in an isolated part of West Texas where Dairy Queen reigned. But at home, her mom was a tinkerer, making just about everything she could from scratch. Franks inherited that culinary curiosity to make foods even the slightest bit more healthy or homemade. A few years ago, Franks started working on a french fry made from chickpea flour, which has more protein and fewer carbs than regular potatoes.
She’s not the first person to make a chickpea fritter, but she decided to develop one that would freeze well and crisp up when baked in the oven. The result is HapPea Fries, a new product that is available in the freezer aisle of Wheatsville Food Co-op and Fresh Plus in Austin. The chickpea fries have 50 percent more fiber than potato fries, 150 percent more protein and two-thirds of the carbs.
The fries cost $8.49 for 16 ounces. You can find out more at happeafries.com.