As someone recovering from an eating disorder and slowly introducing new foods, sweet potato has slowly made its way to my plate and my growing ‘must try’ recipe list!
However, I needed to encourage myself and so started to learn more about just how FABULOUS this orange little nugget can be for our bodies. Needless, to say I am convinced!!
Sweet potatoes are the candies of the vegetable world! If sweet shops sold cooked, cubed, maple covered sweet potatoes, I would be their best customer.
With their rough, brown exterior they could easily be passed as the ugly sister of the potato world. But cut into them and peel back their skins and you are faced with orange perfection. Cinder-potata you can go to the ball……..
A sweet flavor, beautiful color, and an extremely versatile usage repertoire what is there not to love about SP’s?!
Potato with 1000 names.
Did you know there are over 6500 varieties and some are graced with names such as; Cherokee, Hannah, White Delight and Cordner. SO CUTE, the names alone make me love them even more.
They are the ‘staple’ food for many countries throughout Africa and they will be typically eaten for breakfast or cooked up in stews.
They are the only food some countries have the luxury of being able to grow, these nutritional ‘power houses’ work hard to keep impoverished nations healthy.
Skin colors vary and can be all shades of the rainbow. From white, yellow, orange to purple.
I love their sometimes ‘butt ugly’ shapes, from long and thin to short and stumpy, they are all so uniquely different and individual……aren’t we all.
Imagine serving up a tasty bowl of mashed ‘Cherokee’ or tater tots made from the yellow flesh of ‘Hannah’. (OK – maybe more ‘The Walking Dead’ with that last name) ;-))
I have been pouring over some of the AWESOME purple sweet potato recipes lately – especially this one! I am desperate to tweak a few and create my own. Watch this space!
Let’s just cover this common question!! Yams and Sweet potatoes (SP’s for short) are not the same. I know, its kinda confusing!
Yams are a root vegetable but true yams are rarely sold in grocery stores. They are much bigger than SP’s and they typically have a black, hard skin and a white or red flesh.
Grocery stores like to label SP’s as Yams – after all, what do we know, we are just buying what we think are Yams – right?!
Basically, if you have bought a YAM from a grocery store, chances are it will be a Sweet Potato. Head to one of your local Asian specialty food shops and sniff out a real Yam, you will easily spot the difference.
Packs a Potato Punch for health
Now onto how amazingly healthy they are for us!
Did you know the best way to maximize all of the beta-carotene in a sweet potato is to eat it with cinnamon and nutmeg, the three ingredients combine to help your body dig out the goodness of the SP quicker and easier! Who knew?!
Beta Carotene – Also known as Vitamin A is needed to keep our immune systems in tip-top condition.
Sweet potatoes are also nature’s natural sugar and people have been starting to introduce SP into brownies and cakes rather than processed sugar! I have had fun trying many a sweet potato brownie recipe and they taste delicious.
And there is more good stuff……..
Regulate blood sugar
Due to its naturally high carbohydrate and fiber content the SP helps to keep blood sugars stable. Slowly releasing its sugary goodness and keeping sugar slumps away.
SP’s have the ability to breakdown unwanted molecules in our bodies, research has proven them to be successful in healing inflamed nerve tissues and aid with blood clotting.
Packing a healthy dose of fiber, SP’s are easy to digest and encourage our often sluggish digestive systems to get moving again. Literally – no more said!
For those of you shying away from the humble SP, give them a chance. They really are so versatile and awesome to cook with.
Don’t forget SP’s aren’t just for Christmas.
Whilst I am busy creating my own recipes, check out the below easy, quick and simple baked potato recipe! Want something a little more challenging. Sweet Potato nachos! should keep you busy.