Eat Local! Sweet Potatoes
October 30, 2015
Despite often being called yams, sweet potatoes are a species distinct from that of both yams and potatoes. They are harvested September through December but can be found fresh, canned or frozen year-round at any grocery store. Sweet potatoes can spoil easily so it is best to choose those with unblemished, wrinkle-free skin and store them in a cool, dark place. Do not refrigerate sweet potatoes or they will acquire an “off” flavor and unappealing texture.
Sweet potatoes are an excellent source of dietary carotenoids. One well-known carotenoid found in sweet potatoes, beta-carotene, is used by our bodies to make vitamin A. Vitamin A is a potent antioxidant and anti-carcinogenic aiding the body’s ability to heal. Carotenoids, including beta-carotene, consumed regularly from a whole foods diet may also provide many other benefits:
-Decrease the risk for developing cancer, including breast, esophageal, lung, pancreatic and stomach cancers.
-Promote heart health
-Improve blood sugar regulation
-Enhance the function of the immune system
Sweet Potato Spice Muffins
½ cup coconut flour
1-2 teaspoons cinammon
½ teaspoon ground ginger
¾ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon sea salt
5 large organic eggs
½ cup mashed cooked sweet potatoes
¼ cup melted coconut oil
¼ cup honey or pure maple syrup
1 teaspoon raw apple cider vinegar
Preheat oven to 350F. Line a muffin pan with 9 paper liners or gently oil with coconut oil.
In separate mixing bowls, whisk together wet and dry ingredients. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and beat together.
Fill 9 muffin cups about half-full with the batter. Bake for 30 minutes or until tops have cracked and a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.
Cool muffins on a wire rack. Store covered at room temperature for 4 days or freeze for later use.
Recipe adapted from: Whole Life Nutrition’s Elimination Diet
Wilted Kale & Sweet Potato Salad
This warm salad provides a beautiful contrast between hearty dark leafy greens and creamy orange potatoes. Its sweet flavor-rich sauce pairs wonderfully with roasted chicken or a pork tenderloin. If you’re not a fan of kale, use Swiss chard or hearty spinach instead.
Serves 2 as a main dish, 4 as a side
2 medium sweet potatoes
1 small sweet onion, thinly sliced
4 cloves garlic, crushed
4 cups kale leaves, chopped (stems removed)
½ cup golden, seedless raisins
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 Tbsps extra virgin olive oil
½ Tbsp honey
½ Tbsp port or other dessert wine
⅛ tsp toasted sesame oil
Heat oven to 400°. Peel and chop potatoes into 1” cubes and roast for 20 minutes until tender and just barely brown.
In a lightly oiled skillet on medium heat, sauté onions and garlic. Cook until onions are softened and garlic is fragrant, about 5 minutes.
Turn heat to low and add all dressing ingredients to the pan. Heat and stir until honey liquefies.
Add kale to skillet, lightly sauté until kale starts to wilt, about 1-2 minutes.
In a large bowl combine contents of skillet and sweet potatoes. Toss, top with raisins and serve warm.
Per side-dish serving: 220 calories, 3g protein, 38g carbohydrate, 7g fat (1g sat fat, 6g mono/poly), 4g fiber, 35mg sodium, 10% DV potassium
Article and recipes by Darci Barman, MSN, RDN, LD, a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist practicing “foods-first”, functional nutrition at Pilgrim’s Wellness Clinic in Coeur d Alene, ID. For more healthy recipes or info on how to become a patient, see www.darcibarman.com