How To Eat: Sweet Potatoes

by How To Mommy on 02.08.12

Did you know that February is National Sweet Potato Month?

My Hy-Vee dietitian, Amanda, sent me some great ideas to help me enjoy this “super spud.”

How to Select and Store Sweet Potatoes:

  • For the best flavor, choose sweet potatoes that are firm and do not have any cracks, bruises or soft spots.
  • Sweet potatoes should be stored in a cool, dark and well-ventilated place.
  • Avoid refrigerating sweet potatoes, as the cold temperature and negatively alter their flavor.

How To Get Healthy – Benefits of Sweet Potatoes:

  • Antioxidants: Sweet potatoes are full of beta-carotene {hence the deep orange color} as well as over 200% of our Daily Value of vitamin A {which helps with the health of our eyes, skin, skeletal and soft tissue, and even our teeth}.  Purple sweet potatoes contain anthocyanin and antioxidants with anti-inflammatory properties similar to red wine.
  • Blood Sugar Regulation: The high fiber content of sweet potatoes slows the release of sugar into the bloodstream, helping to keep blood sugar steady.

How to Enjoy Sweet Potatoes

  1. Wash and peel sweet potatoes; cut into long ¾-inch-wide strips; toss with olive oil and cayenne pepper. Bake at 425 degrees for 25 minutes for crispy sweet potato fries with a kick! The fat content of the oil will help with absorption of the beta-carotene in the sweet potatoes.
  2. Purée cooked sweet potatoes with bananas, maple syrup and cinnamon. Top with chopped walnuts. The healthy fat in walnuts also helps with beta-carotene absorption.
  3. Sweet potato pancakes – recipe here!
  4. Make your own baby food by puréeing cooked sweet potato, adding water for correct consistency. {My girls loved these!}
  5. Microwave a medium-sized spud on HIGH for 4-6 minutes. Cut off the top fourth of the potato and scoop out the flesh. Blend the inside of the potato with a splash of skim milk, a spoonful of maple syrup and a sprinkle of pumpkin pie spice. Stuff the mixture back into the potato shell and sprinkle with chopped pecans.
  6. Grill them! Wash, leave peel on and cut into wedges. Marinate with bottled low-sodium teriyaki sauce and grill until tender.

My favorite way to add the extra nutrients of sweet potatoes to an already delicious treat is my healthy Sweet Potato and Spinach Smoothie!

 

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