Why Choose Sweet Potatoes Over White
At a quick glance, sweet potatoes are similar to white potatoes in calories, carbs, protein and fat (which is zero.) These are the macronutrients. But as often is true, nutrition statistics on a label don’t tell the entire story. When you look at micronutrients and polynutrients, sweet potatoes come out as winners. These nutrient dense tubers provide us with fiber, potassium, niacin and phosphorus. In fact the list of nutrients in this colorful root vegetable reads like a nutritional handbook including iron, calcium, Vitamins C, B, E, K. See what I mean? And very importantly, they provide us with beta-carotene, an antioxidant known to be beneficial for our immune system, our vision, and our skin. Beta-carotene inhibits inflammation which is a big villain in our overall health profile. So, really…..sweet potatoes ought to be found in the pharmacy and vitamin section, right?!
But What About Those Yucky Sugar Grams?
Should it concern us that sweet potatoes are higher in natural sugar that white potatoes? Not really because our yellow/orange friend comes out lower on the glycemic indes, meaning its sugars break down more slowly, avoiding those unhealthy blood sugar spikes. If you want to more fully understand the glycemic index without reading a tough scientific article, check out our easy to understand post about GI here. Of course all carbs are broken down in the body into sugars and so should be eaten in moderation rather than by the giant platefuls, if you are conscious of your insulin levels.
One More Sweet Fact About Sweet Potatoes
You may have been told to avoid eating raw potatoes because of the enzyme solamine. Not so for sweet potatoes which are safe eaten raw, and at their lowest GI before cooking. So grate them and add them to your smoothies. Or your salads! Kinda’ like sprinkling on flavorful vitamins and nutrients.
Bring On The Recipes
I don’t know about you, but I am fully convinced. And I already love a baked sweet potato at its simplest, as well as delicious roasted ones on their own or combined with Brussels sprouts or parsnips. (Great piece of trivia here to help you win your next trivia game: Brussels sprouts has an “s” after the “l.” No kidding!) But let’s expand our horizons. At every meal.
How Sweet It is To Eat Breakfast!
Sweet potatoes for breakfast? You’d better believe it. Try it and you’ll be hooked. I make sure to bake or roast a few extras to keep in the fridge for a great substitute in any recipe for hash browns. Or to add to a breakfast burrito. We have two great breakfast recipes on our website that include this colorful veggie. Our Sweet Potato Breakfast Casserole with its cheesy goodness will make you want to eat the leftovers for lunch. If there are any. And our Roast Beef and Sweet Potato Hash is so beautiful they’ll think you need your own cooking show. And after tasting it you just might oh-so-humbly agree. Oh and don’t forget to try baking an egg in a pre-baked sweet potato half.
Lunchtime: Bring on the Tubers
I already mentioned tossing some grated orange goodness on your salad, but have you used them in place of potato salad? Next picnic be a trend setter with this delicious recipe from Taste of Home. Its simple flavors will be a hit, and give you the confidence to come up with your own variations. We also like cabbage, sweet potato and apple salad. What a combo. Or sweet potatoes in our quinoa salad with avocado folded in. So power-packed and satisfying.
And of Course for Supper
The sky’s the limit at supper. Make a beautiful roasted vegetable tray and if it’s #MeatlessMonday at your house, throw in some pecans the last fifteen minutes for flavor and protein. If you haven’t started making buddha bowls it’s definitely high time! Here’s a great starter one that features sweet potatoes and chickpeas. And definitely try out our Sheet Pan Sweet Potato Hash. Simple to throw together and sure to get raves.
Don’t Forget Sweets
After all they are called sweet potatoes. So stir up a batch of sweet potato bars like these incredible maple ones, or these aromatic and healthy #Glutenfree ones. Substitute sweet potatoes for the myriad of pumpkin desserts you will find on our Pinterest pumpkin board. And don’t forget to look for great coffee cake recipes that feature pumpkin. Just replace the pumpkin with sweet potatoes and no one will know. Unless you brag about it of course. Which you should.
We can’t close down the options without mentioning everyone’s favorite: pie. Sweet potato pie has been a holiday tradition in our house for as long as I can remember. Don’t knock it ’til you’ve tried it. I’m confident it will become a family favorite at your house as well. Now go get those nutrients!