As Cameron and I continue on our quest to lead a more healthful lifestyle, we’re incorporating a lot more whole, unprocessed foods into our diet aka eating a TON of fruits and vegetables. The more I delve into the interesting world of how nutrition affects our health, the more I get excited by discovering an increasingly wide variety of foods found in nature that are SO good for us! One such food is the sweet potato, and this veggie has tons of stats worth singing praises about. Most American’s only eat sweet potatoes once a year, and when they do, they’re covered in marshmallows, a mere opening act to the Thanksgiving turkey. However, the sweet potato has been ranked by food scientists as the most nutritious of all vegetables, and can be prepared in a multitude of tasty ways.
Last week, we made a delicious dinner featuring rosemary chicken and shallots, along with mashed sweet potatoes from a recipe in this month’s Real Simple magazine. All we did was peel and cube the sweet potatoes, boil them for about 15 minutes, and when we drained them, we reserved 1/4 cup of the water the potatoes cooked in, and mixed this water back into the potatoes when we mashed them. The result was incredible–the potatoes were so smooth, rich, and creamy, it tasted like we had added tons of butter and cream during the mashing process, and all we had mixed in was a 1/4 of water! Also, they were BRIGHT orange in color, and nature tells us that fruits and veggies that are very pigmented also contain lots of nutrients (example: white iceberg lettuce vs. dark green spinach). So if you’re looking for a healthy side dish to your weekly dinner, I’d highly encourage trying out mashed sweet potatoes!
Last night, we went out to dinner in downtown Northville, and as an appetizer, we ordered sweet potato wedges…granted “wedges” is really just a fancy name for thick cut french fries. While making fries out of sweet potatoes definitely isn’t the most healthful way to eat them, you’re still going to be receiving a lot more nutrients than you would be with normal french fries, making them an indulgence that you can feel good about. Sweet potatoes are such a great food for the winter time because they are so hearty and make great comfort food, because after all when it’s freezing out, you’re not always in the mood for salads. I’m going to try making my own more healthful sweet potato fries in the next few weeks, as well as experimenting with more ways I can use this versatile veggie. For more information about the benefits of sweet potatoes, check out this website and happy cooking!!