O, the Sweet Potato. So simple and unassuming on the outside, but cut it open and you will find the orangey bliss and wonder that this spud has to offer.
Let's take a look at it's many benefits:
1. Contains high levels of Vitamin B6. B6 is known to reduce cardiovascular disease risk, certain cancers, as well as increase cognitive function.
2. Great (non-acidic) source of Vitamin C. Of course Vitamin C helps our immune systems and can shorten the duration of colds and illness. But it also plays a huge part in collagen production, wound healing, and keeping our bones strong. Not to mention it is also a cancer-risk reducer.
3. They contain Vitamin D. Vitamin D helps our bodies absorb calcium so our bones can be strong unbreakable fortresses (Vitamin C helps us absorb Vitamin D). D also supports our immune system, keeps our energy up and mood levels stable, all while helping our thyroid work properly.
4. Iron, iron, iron. Iron helps our energy levels but also is essential in red and white blood cell production, stress reduction, immune functioning, and even metabolizing proteins. (See, you don't need to eat red meat to get your iron!)
5. It has that great mineral Magnesium. Magnesium is extremely important in promoting relaxation stress-reduction. It is also necessary for healthy artery, blood, bone, heart, muscle, and nerve function. Up to 80% of us are deficient in this mineral so start stocking up on your orange spuds!
6. They are loaded with Potassium. Step aside Bananas. Potassium is an electrolytes that helps regulate heartbeat and nerve signals. as well as other functions such as relaxing muscle contractions, reducing swelling, and protecting and controlling the activity of the kidneys.
7. They are orange. We all know we should eat from all colors of the rainbow, and orange is no exception. Having this beautiful color allows them to be high in carotenoids like beta carotene, which is the supports vitamin A in your body. Carotenoids help strengthen our eyesight and boost our immunity to disease, they are powerful antioxidants that help ward off cancer and protect against the effects of aging.
8. They are one healthy happy carbohydrate. Toss those refined processed grains our the door and get your carbs from this great source. They have a low-GI so their naturals sugars are released very slowly and give us sustained energy.
With all of these benefits, what is there not to love about the sweet potato. Even if you have never had one you can already see what you have been missing out on. But now we get to the even better part. Taste! I adore sweet potatoes and eat them year round and always have a huge basket full at home.
There are so many uses for sweet potatoes so I will just name the basics: Mashed sweet potatoes, sweet potatoes in a smoothie, grilled, baked in the oven, "baked" in the microwave, cut in to disks or fries and baked in the oven, sauteed for a salad, or stuffed and loaded for a delicious easy meal. My favorites are micro-baked (just made that word up) or cut into fries and tossed the oven. O, and don't ever for get the cinnamon!
Baked Sweet Potato Fries
Ingredients: (Serves 1)
- 1 Sweet Potato (what every size your heart desires)
- Cinnamon! Or what ever spices you want your fries to be flavored with.
- Preheat the oven to 450°F. Wash your potato and dry it off.
- Next, cut your potato length wise them cut strips in each half, then cut those strips in half. You could also cut your potato in to rounds. Either way they will come out perfect!
- Foil and lightly oil a baking sheet and place your fries on it. Then load on your spices and toss and coat the fries with your hands.
- Place the pan in the oven and bake for 15 minutes. Now flip the fries or discs over so they don't burn and bake for another 15 or so minutes until your see dark brown marks on both sides. Take them out, let them cool a bit, if you have the patience, and die in! I love to serve mine with organic ketchup 😉
Mirco-Baked Sweet Potato
Ingredients: (Serves 1)
- 1 Sweet Potato (What ever size you'd like. Large think potatoes will take a bit longer to cook.)
- Toppings! My go-to's are cinnamon (obviously), pumpkin pie spice (i.e. cinnamon, ginger, allspice, cloves, nutmeg), hemp (hearts)/seeds, unsweetened coconut flakes, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, or even some nut butter!
- Wash your potato and dry thoroughly with a paper towel. Stab a few holes in the potato with a fork or knife. Then place the potato on top of the slightly damp paper towel and place it in the microwave.
- I use the potato bottom on my microwave which cooks it for 4 minutes on high. Then I flip it over and cook it again for 4 minutes on high. The Potato should be done now (slightly shriveled and very soft), if not just go through the cycle again for the appropriate amount of time.
- Take the potato out, (it's very hot so be careful), and place it on a plate, cut it open (I also usually cut the end tips off) and get crazy with toppings!
If you ever don't feel like cooking sweet potatoes are such a quick and easy side dish (or main dish). They have saved me so many times when I have been in a rush, just pop it in the microwave and BAM! Perfection.
Here are some other Sweet Potato Recipes from around the blog world:
Pesto Sweet Potato Vermicelli - via Jar O Honey
Roasted Fall Sweet Potatoes and Chickpeas with Sprouted Beans - via Produce On Parade
Grilled Sweet Potato and Wilted Kale Salad - via Tasty Yummies
Sweet Potato Straws - via Part-Time Health Nut
Sweet Potatoes Stuffed with Chipotle Black Bean Corn Salad - via Alaska From Scratch
Sweet Potato Mug Cake - via Oh My Veggies
Ethiopian Red Lentil and Sweet Potato Curry - via The Partial Ingredients
Spiced Sweet Potato Hummus - via Vegetarian Ventures
Spicy Bean and Sweet Potato Burritos - via Tali's Tomatoes
Chocolate Sweet Potato Protein Shake - via A Dash of Meg
Since it is Wednesday, remember to link up you favorite or recent eats to Jen's WIAW!
So tell me:
What is your favorite way to eat a sweet potato?
What is your go to carb/starch of choice when you are in a rush for dinner?