Sweet potatoes have been in the ‘superfood’ category for quite some time now, re-surfacing in headlines every so often. Admittedly, the sweet potato is not as popular as King Kale or his Brother: Broccoli. Though also, not as green.
Sweet potatoes are dicotyledonous plants that belongs to the morning glory family Convolvulaceae. The sweet potato is a carb, so not only is it packed full of nutrients, it’s also teeming with long-lasting energy. A popular misconception that carbs should be strictly limited is just bad advice. The most efficient form of energy for our bodies and brains is absorbed by converting carbohydrates into absorbable sugars. Carbs should compose the majority of your diet, the trick is, to eat the right ones: Vegetables, whole fruits, legumes, nuts, seeds and whole grains. The sweet potato happens to be a carbohydrate that is so jam-packed with essential goodness, some health foundations claim it to be the healthiest food in the world.
Recent studies have shown between 100-1,600 micrograms of vitamin A to be contained in every 3.5 ounces of sweet potatoes. This could mean between 35% and 90% of our needs covered from this single food alone. In fact, 1 cup of sweet potato (200 grams, 180 calories) provides 214% of our Daily Recommended Intake (DRI). Vitamin C follows that staggering percentage at 52%, manganese at 50%, with copper and pantothenic acid coming in at 35%. The DRI of the subsequent nutrients go as follows:
- vitamin B6 34%
- biotin 29%
- potassium 27%
- fibre 26%
- vitamin B3 19%
- vitamin B1 18%
- vitamin B2 16%
- phosphorus 15%
Rich in antioxidants, high in anti-inflammatory properties, and said to potentially regulate blood-sugar, it’s not just it’s delicious taste making it famous. There is no good reason why not to consume this heaven-sent veggie as often as possible, so here’s some great ways to play around at meal-times:
Sweet Potato Fries
- Preheat the oven to 200ºC/400ºF/gas 6. Wash 2 large sweet potatoes under cold running water, scrubbing well with a scrubber to get rid of any dirt (there’s no need to peel them)
- Cut each sweet potato in half lengthways, cut each half in half lengthways, then each piece in half again so you end up with 8 wedges
- Add to a large mixing bowl, then sprinkle over a tiny pinch of sea salt and black pepper, and ½ a teaspoon of sweet smoked paprika
- Drizzle with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, then toss everything together to coat
- Spread out into a single layer in a large baking tray, then bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until golden and cooked through
- Leave to sit for a couple of minutes (this will make it easier to remove them from the tray), then use a fish slice to transfer them to a serving dish
Sweet Potato Muffins
- olive oil
- 600 g sweet potatoes (or ½ a butternut squash)
- 4 spring onions
- 1-2 fresh red chillies
- 6 large free-range eggs
- 3 tbsp cottage cheese
- 250 g wholemeal self-raising flour
- 50 g Parmesan cheese
- 1 tbsp sunflower seeds
- 1 tbsp poppy seeds
- Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas 4. Line a 12-hole muffin tin with paper cases or 15cm folded squares of greaseproof paper, then lightly wipe each one with oiled kitchen paper. Peel the sweet potatoes or squash and coarsely grate into a large bowl.
- Trim the spring onions, then finely slice with the chilli and add to the bowl, reserving half the chilli to one side. Crack in the eggs, add the cottage cheese and flour, then finely grate in most of the Parmesan and season with sea salt and black pepper. Mix until nicely combined.
- Evenly divide the muffin mixture between the cases. Sprinkle over the sunflower and poppy seeds, then dot over the reserved slices of chilli. Use the remaining Parmesan to give a light dusting of cheese over each one, then bake at the bottom of the oven for 45 to 50 minutes (if using squash, it’ll be a bit quicker)
Notes: These are amazing served warm 5 minutes after taking them out of the oven, and good kept in the fridge for a couple of days. Enjoy 2 muffins per portion.
“These tasty muffins are the perfect brekkie, and sure to keep you feeling full till lunch. I like to make the muffin mixture and divide it up the night before, ready to bake fresh in the morning – that way you can even bake off portions as and when you want to eat them.”
Springbone’s Kitchen Chakra Latte
(Courtesy of Well and Good)
- 1 cup organic chicken bone broth
- 1 tbsp cooked sweet potatoes
- 1 tsp fresh garlic puree
- Pinch of turmeric
- In a saucepan over medium heat, bring the bone broth to a simmer.
- In a blender, mix all ingredients. Serve immediately.
Pretty In Purple Sweet Potato Bars (100% vegan)
For the crust:
- 1 1/2 cups raw cashews
- 1 cup macadamia nuts (or skinless almonds)
- 1 cup pitted dates
- 3 tbsp coconut oil
For the sweet potato pie layer:
- 1.5 lbs purple sweet potatoes, boiled, skinned, and mashed (about 2 1/2 cups mashed)
- 3/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
- 3 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 tbsp coconut oil
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp nutmeg
- 1/8 tsp salt
- Soak the cashews and macadamia nuts in warm water for at least one hour. Drain off the liquid and pour the soaked nuts into the food processor. Add in the pitted dates and coconut oil and process until a sticky crust forms.
- Grease or line a 9×9 inch glass baking dish. Scrape the crust mixture into the baking dish and use a rubber spatula or spoon to press the mixture firmly and evenly into the pan. Freeze to set the crust, about one hour. Wipe the processor bowl out with a paper towel and set aside.
- Place the sweet potatoes into a large pot of water and bring to a boil. Cook until the potatoes are fork tender, about 10–15 minutes. Remove from the water and let cool completely. Once cooled, remove the skins.
- Place the sweet potatoes into the processor bowl with the almond milk, maple syrup, coconut oil, lemon juice, vanilla, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Process on high until the mixture is completely combined and smooth.
- Pour the mixture over the cooled crust layer and spread it evenly around. Place the baking dish back into the freezer to firm—they’ll be much easier to slice this way. Once they’re firm, about 3-plus hours later, slice the bars in even squares.
- Serve immediately or let soften in the fridge until you’re ready to enjoy!
Notes: Purple sweet potatoes are different than Japanese sweet potatoes, which are purple on the outside but white on the inside. Make sure you double-check or your pie squares—while delicious!—certainly won’t come out the same.
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