Sweet potatoes are one of my top three favorite vegetables and deserve their very own post. Yes Sweet Potatoes are a super food!
I actually just harvested some sweet potatoes during my Civic Agriculture class when we took a visit to Kentland Farm, where are the organic produce goes to dining serves to be served in Farms and Fields!
I have been eating approximately 5 sweet potatoes a week. They just never get old. If not with dinner, I prepare and pack it up to take it with me on campus! How can you not like something that is naturally so sweet and versatile (although I am prone to eat them my favorite way everyday). Not surprisingly they are FULL of so many beneficial properties.
In about 77 grams-which is roughly 1 sweet potato, you receive over 260% of your Vitamin A (in the form of Beta-Carotene) needed in one day.
-High in Vitamin C (25%) and Manganese(20%)
-Amazing anti-oxidant properties shown from the carotenoid pigment. Some studies shown the beta-carotene to be MORE bioavalable to our bodies than dark leafy greens! (Which are typically thought to be one of the best sources)
-High in phytonutrients, which are powerful antioxidants that have been shown (in sweet potatoes) to lower heavy metals and oxygen radicals in our digestive system, which is great news to people with irritable bowel syndrome.
-Anit-inflammatory properties due to Anthocyanin pigment has been shows to decrease inflammation in brain and nervous tissue.
-Control blood sugar levels, which one wouldn’t expect from a starchy food! Which is good news to diabetics.
-Leave the skin on (only if organic) to enhance the insoluble fiber content. Note: Conventional sweet potatoes are heavily sprayed, not to mention waxed and often dyed.
How I usually prepare them:
Bake in microwave (if in a hurry and uses less electricity) for oven.
Top with raw almond butter, cinnamon, nutmeg, shredded unsweetened coconut, and raw pecan pieces.
* I put cinnamon on as much foods as I can.
I whip this together really quick and wrap and foil and take as a perfect lunch in between classes when I am stuck on campus all day. I just have to remember to bring my own fork and knife-plastic doesn’t cut it.
These amazing spuds are in the Convolvulaceae family and are dicots. Yams are in the Dioscoreaceae family and are monocots, noting their sole difference.
Great news is that the beta-carotene is BETTER adsorbed by adding a small amount of natural fat. I was thrilled to learn this considered I can’t resist topping mine with almond butter. But you only need 3-5 grams of a coconut oil/butter or nuts/seeds in some form.
The almond butter warms up and oozes out. Also, try cashew or pecan butter!
Crazy enough, beta carotene is the most bioavailable to us when we boil them, opposed baking or roasting. The GI (glycemic Index: The scale of spike in blood glucose upon consumption of a certain food. We don’t want to eat too many high GI foods) for roasting is 82, Baking is 94, and Boiling is 46. I was shocked when I found this out. I will have to start boiling (still with the skin on) and mashing them up mixed with some garlic, onion, thyme, and rosemary possibly?
My typical dinners lately:
Pair with dark leafy greens (kale) topped with onions, dried cranberries, hemp seed, and a splash of olive oil & lemon juice. What a delightful dinner. Time is big factor in preventing me from trying so many other new sweet potato dishes.
P.S. I am on the hunt to try a Purple and White Sweet Potato next!