01 Dec The mighty power of the sweet potato
The weirdly-shaped sweet potato really is a versatile powerhouse that packs a mighty nutritional punch any time of day!
It’s great when such a nutrient filled food is so adaptable, and the little ones love it! They are a great energy source for kids, with a higher natural sugar content than regular potatoes but with fewer overall calories, and loads more nutrients. Being low GI, gluten free they are commonly incorporated into clean eating and Paleo meal plans.
Sweet potatoes are one of the best known sources of beta-carotene, and provide loads of fibre, potassium and powerful antioxidants like vitamins A, B5, B6, C, manganese and quercetin. They are associated with lowering the risk of certain cancers – diabetes – obesity – heart disease – overall mortality – boost your immunity – promote a healthy body weight and complexion. It’s a winner for everyone.
If you usually peel the skin off, next time try leaving on as much as possible. It not only saves you time in the kitchen but the skin brings great flavour and texture to the table, not to mention it is chock full of extra fibre, vitamins and minerals that you would otherwise be throwing in the bin.
So how do you enjoy this golden friend? – Only at least 100 different ways! Roasting really brings out their natural flavour, but they can be cooked almost any way – boiled, steamed, microwaved or slow cooked. Adding small cubes of roasted sweet potato to your favourite salad really adds a depth and robustness. I love it tossed through baby spinach, red onion, feta and pine nuts with a balsamic, honey, mustard dressing. Sweet potato chips and mash are perennial favourites in our house, and a healthier option to regular potato products. For something different, try adding mash to almond meal pancakes or hummus. Spring onions and pecans can add wonderful texture to sweet potato mash, and delightfully offset its natural sweetness. To keep it interesting, get spicy and add cinnamon, cumin, curry powder or chilli flakes for an extra flavour punch. Another of my personal favourites is adding sweet potato puree to baking to give cakes and muffins some natural sweetness and a lovely moist consistency. See Zestio’s recipe post for Choc Sweet Potato Brownie! The possibilities are endless.
It is important to have nutritional foods such as these in your diet and even more so to maintain a variety of foods for a balanced diet and wonderful disease fighting capabilities. The great thing about the versatility of sweet potato is the many other nutritional foods it goes with.
So be inspired, get creative and get cooking!