Plant-Based Veggie Highlight: Sweet Potato
Updated: Oct 1, 2020
I don't know about you but when I was growing up sweet potatoes, or yams, were known to me as those canned vegetables that are put on the end of grocery store aisles around Thanksgiving.
When I started college though, they easily became one of my favorite vegetables because of the delicious way my school cafeteria used to roast them. I would get them every night they served them because they were a delicious, nutritious, and sweet addition to my plate. School cafeterias aren't usually known for getting recipes perfect, but oh, this was one!
For those of us who don't use these on a regular basis at home, you've probably at least tried them at a restaurant over the last few years.
Actually, they are so talked about that you might be wondering, why the blog post about them? Well, you can never say enough about this wonder starch and I just happened to buy some yesterday at Costco...
Why are they so wonderful? Sweet potatoes are full of nutrients that I care a lot about as a Dietitian. Take a look below to see what I'm talking about!
Per 1 Cup Cooked Sweet Potato
Vitamin A: 214% DV (Daily Value)
Vitamin C: 52% DV
Manganese: 50% DV
Copper: 36% DV
Pantothenic Acid: 35% DV
B6: 34% DV
Biotin: 29% DV
Potassium: 27% DV
Fiber: 26% DV
What are some of my favorite ways to eat sweet potato?
Cut in half and roasted face down at 425 F for 30-45 minutes depending on the size. Make sure to pierce them with a fork for a few times to allow the steam to release. Cooking them facedown allows the flesh to carmelize that is touching the pan and it's so delicious. Once it's soft, you can top it with beans, chili, or a Mediterranean mix if you want it to taste savory. You can also top it with peanut butter and dark chocolate chips if you want something sweet.
Cut into cubes or fries, tossed with a couple of tablespoons of olive oil (fun fact, the fat helps you absorb the vitamin D) and an array of spices. Even just plain salt and pepper tastes amazing! Again, roast at 425 F for around 30 minutes.
If you are thinking about making these for Thanksgiving, try throwing them in the crockpot for a few hours topped with a small amount of vegan butter, cinnamon, and maple syrup for a healthier alternative to some traditionally very sweet Thanksgiving dishes.
What else can I say about sweet potatoes?
- They have a low glycemic index which makes them a much safer option than regular potatoes for patients with diabetes.
- They have fiber, which helps things stay regular.
- They have a relatively long shelf life which means you can keep a regular supply in your pantry and use whenever you need a tasty side or main dish.
- They are extremely versatile. Bake, boil, steam, even microwave them! It's nice to have a vegetable that you aren't stuck cooking the same way over and over again.
Well, I hope this inspired you to try roasting or steaming some sweet potato at home today. Your body will thank you!
1. Sweet Potatoes: A Nutritious Powerhouse With a Rich History. Todays Dietitian. tps://www.todaysdietitian.com/enewsletter/enews_1215_01.shtml. Accessed September 17, 2020.