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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

Dry Ingredients:

½ cup coconut flour

1-2 teaspoons cinammon

½ teaspoon ground ginger

¾ teaspoon baking soda

¼ teaspoon sea salt

Wet Ingredients:

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.

Sweet potatoes photoServes 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

 

Dressing

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

 

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