Why you need more sweet potatoes in your life.
Nights are getting cooler. The leaves are starting to change colour. And all of a sudden, we’re all craving orange root vegetables. Yep, it’s fall alright. The good news? Those cozy cravings are seriously good for you. And the crown jewel of fall veggies might just be the mighty sweet potato. Not actually a potato, this jewel-toned veg is actually a member of the morning glory family. And, not to brag, but it’s one of the most valuable crops in the world, providing more nutrients per farmed acre than any other staple food. Pretty impressive, right? Today, we’re here to talk about what this sweet and succulent ingredient brings to your plate. And trust us, its credentials are pretty darn impressive…
Orange you glad?
Just like carrots, orange sweet potatoes are high in the anti-oxidant beta-carotene, which helps boost vitamin A. In fact, you can get your daily recommended dose of vitamin A from just 100 grams of cooked sweet potato. Why is it important? Vitamin A is crucial for maintaining eyesight, as well as keeping your cells happy and boosting your immune system. Just make sure you add a little bit of fat to your meal so your body can absorb all those nutrients!
Fibre of your being
Another reason to love sweet potatoes? They’re a great source of fibre, with a medium-sized potato giving you almost 4 grams. This includes both soluble and insoluble fibre, meaning you get all the benefits fibre has to offer. Soluble fibre helps you feel fuller, meaning you’re less likely to overeat. Plus, it helps prevent blood sugar spikes by slowing your digestion of sugars. On the other hand, insoluble fibre helps keep your digestive system in good health, and it’s linked to lower cholesterol and a reduced risk of diabetes. Getting all that from just one food source? Not too shabby at all.
Eat your vitamins
If that wasn’t enough to convince you, consider this: sweet potatoes are basically edible multi-vitamins. Seriously! Aside from boosting your levels of vitamin A, they’re also packed with vitamin C, which is essential for boosting your immune system (hello, cold season!), as well as potassium, which is central to managing blood pressure and maintaining a healthy heart. Not to mention metabolism-boosting manganese, energizing vitamin B6, super-antioxidant vitamin E, and so much more. A good rule of thumb? The darker the flesh, the higher in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants your sweet potato will be. So choose wisely.
How sweet it is
Ready to get sweet on sweet potatoes? Here are some tips to get your started. First of all, we just want to debunk the idea that the skin isn’t edible. Leave it on! Eating the skin of your sweet potato will make sure you get all the nutrients it has to offer. Next, make sure you store your sweet potatoes in a cool, dry place – and try to use them within a week of buying them. If you’re cooking them whole, just pierce the skin 4-5 times and bake for 45-50 minutes, until tender. Looking for some more creative ways to work this multi-tasking veggie into your diet? Here are just a few ideas to get you started.
– Add diced, roasted sweet potatoes to your grain bowls and salads
– For an easy side, try mashed sweet potatoes with a little broth and a handful of herbs
– Instead of potatoes, try roasting wedges of sweet potatoes for healthier “fries” to go with your favourite sandwich
– For an easy soup, blend cooked sweet potato with sautéed onion and garlic, vegetable stock and a good helping of thyme or rosemary
– Try roasting thick slices of sweet potato “toasts” and top with yogurt, berries and granola
Got an amazing sweet potato recipe you’d like to share? Hit us up! Just shoot an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.