Yes I am talking about the ever so humble sweet potato. These Orange-fleshed vegetables may be one of nature's unsurpassed sources of beta-carotene! Not only are sweet potatoes readily available, inexpensive, and delicious, they have many other benefits for your health.
Before I go through a few delicious & nutritious recipes, here are just few amazing benefits...
1. They provide kind carbohydrates that don't induce a sugar crash
While white potatoes’ high glycemic index mean that their carbohydrates are quickly converted into sugar and a corresponding elevation in blood sugar levels, sweet potatoes are different. They fall much lower on the glycemic index which is better for avoiding sugar crashes and better for diabetes control, according to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Sweet potatoes in moderate amounts can help maintain healthy blood sugar levels even for those with diabetes.
2. They keep your digestion running and help beat disease
One medium sweet potato with skin provides roughly between 4 to 6 grams of fiber which although isn’t the highest fiber source from plants but it sure does pack a punch! And plus we all know the benefits that fiber has on our bodies!!
3. Help with treating inflammation
Sweet potatoes prevent and fight inflammation in the body. As the protein it contains helps the plant repair itself after damage or bruising and this protein acts as an anti-inflammatory in our body. They also are a great source to replace inflammatory food culprits like wheat!
This ones for the ladies..
4. They could help conquer PMS blues
While huge amounts of manganese aren’t healthy, experts estimate that up to 37 percent of Americans don’t get the recommended dietary intake (RDI) of manganese in their diet. Along with promoting good bone health, studies show that boosting manganese intake from 1 mg to 5.6 mg of dietary manganese per day helped women with PMS to have fewer mood swings and cramps. For those asking what is Manganese, it is a mineral that is found in several foods including nuts, legumes, seeds, tea, whole grains, and leafy green vegetables. It is considered an essential nutrient, because the body requires it to function properly!
RECIPE TIME!! I have compiled a few recipes that you can include in your weekly meals! All are quick & easy and of course, healthy!
Sweet Potato Oats (Serves 2)
1 cup rolled oats, GF for gluten-free eaters (another alternative is quinoa flakes or buckwheat)
1 small sweet potato, steamed and pureed
1-2 Teaspoons maple syrup, honey or rice malt syrup
½ tsp ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon of flax seed
1 teaspoon of chia seeds
Handful of pecans
1. To roast your sweet potato, preheat oven to 400 degrees F (204 F) and cut a sweet potato in half and lightly coat with olive oil or coconut oil. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until soft and tender.
2. Mash your sweet potato and set aside.
3. Once cooled down, stir in sweet potato puree with oats, sweetener of choice, cinnamon, flax seed, chia seeds and stir to combine. Taste and adjust flavor/seasonings as desired. If mixture is too thick, add a splash of non-dairy milk (such as almond).
4. Divide oats between two serving bowls and sprinkle with Pecans. Add a drizzle of honey for more sweetness. Enjoy immediately or place in jar to enjoy during the week!
Baked Chilli Sweet Potato ( serves 2)
2 Small to Medium sized Sweet Potatoes
Cup of Black beans
½ Cup Diced Cucumber
½ Cup of Diced Tomatoes
Tablespoon of Greek yogurt
Tablespoon of fresh or dried chilli
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. Poke holes into your sweet potatoes and bake them on a baking sheet (don't wrap them in foil), for about 40-45 minutes or until they're tender
3. Remove from the oven. Slice them open, and scoop out a little bit to make room for your stuffing.
4. Stuff with black beans, cucumber, tomato and top with greek yogurt.
5. Sprinkle some chilli on top and dig in.
Sweet Potato Brownies (Serves 12)
3 tablespoons coconut flour
2 tablespoons raw cacao powder
½ teaspoon vanilla powder
¼ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
pinch of sea salt
1 scoop vanilla protein powder (optional)
1 large sweet potato, cooked in the oven until soft, skin removed & pureed
3 eggs, whisked
¼ cup coconut oil
⅓ cup rice malt syrup or honey
1. Preheat oven to 185 °C (365 °F)
2. Combine sweet potato, eggs, vanilla, honey and coconut oil in a large mixing bowl and stir together until well incorporated. Then add cacao powder, cinnamon, pinch of salt, protein powder (optional), baking powder and stir. Finally add coconut flour. Avoid adding too much coconut flour as it will absorb too much moisture which will leave you with dry brownies..
3. Once combined, pour the mixture into a baking tray lined with lightly greased baking paper.
4. Cook for 25-30 minutes. Remove the tin and cool for 5-10 minutes before carefully removing the brownies from the tin. Cut them into squares and dust with a little cacao powder. Serve with raspberries or strawberries and maybe some greek yogurt or coconut yogurt to be extra decadent.