Sweet Potatoes and Yams
Sweet, Savory, and Healthy….who ever thought that would be a combination! The sweet potato is something that should not just be eaten during the holidays piled with sugar and marshmallows!
Sweet potatoes come in different varieties. Skin and flesh colors range from cream all the way to a dark pink or purple. As usual, the darker the color the more nutrients! In this case, the darker varieties have more cancer fighting carotenoids (FYI, there are more than 600 different carotenoids!).
Don’t be confused between sweet potatoes and yams. Yams are a total different type of vegetable and have different nutritional value. In the American grocery store, the “yam” refers to the soft variety of sweet potato. At an international store, you might find the real yam.
One of the World’s Healthiest Foods!
Sweet potatoes are an excellent source of vitamin A in the form of beta-carotene, a very good source of vitamin C, and a good source of potassium, vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), iron, manganese, lutein, zeaxanthin and copper. They are on the Worlds Healthiest Foods list, so make sure they are on your shopping list!
One of the best things about this vegetable is that for a medium sized potato (5 in. long and 2 in. diameter), it’s only about 95 calories, not to mention all the vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals it has too. Don’t forget to eat the skin with these, as it has three times the amount of nutrients compared to the flesh.
Here’s a recipe to get you started! Put them in the oven and do 45 minutes of exercise, then come back and finish the recipe!
Stuffed Baked Sweet Potatoes with Pecans
(from http://allrecipes.com )
Serve it with a salad and some chicken or black beans, and you have a healthy dinner!
- 6 medium sweet potatoes (washed and scrubbed)
- 2 tablespoons margarine (softened)
- 1 (8 ounce) can crushed pineapple (drained)
- ½ cup pecans (chopped)
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
- Arrange the sweet potatoes on a baking sheet, and bake in preheated oven for 1 hour.
- Cut a slit into the top of each potato. (Make sure you protect your fingers; the potatoes will be hot!)
- Carefully scoop out the pulp from the potato, leaving the skins intact, and place the potato in a large bowl.
- Add the margarine and pineapple to the potato and stir together.
- Stuff the potato mixture back into the reserved potato skins.
- Sprinkle the pecans over each potato.
- Return the stuffed potato skins to the oven and bake another 12 minutes.
In the next post, you’ll find more recipes as well as information on buying and storing these nutrition powerhouses! Thanks to my nutrition intern, Maria for the content on the sweet potato posts. I definitely needed some new inspiration!