Sweet Potatoes

sweet potatoI LOVE LOVE LOVE SWEET POTATOES!!!!

They are so nutritious and quite versatile for my vegan diet.  There good for everybody.  Not just vegan diets.

The sweet potato has been named one of the world’s healthiest foods.  So why not add it to your nutrition arsenal.

Sweet potatoes are the best source for beta carotene.  Beta carotene is the orange pigment that gives veggies and fruit their beautiful colors.  But that is not all it is good for.  Beta carotene converts into Vitamin A and we need this important vitamin to maintain healthy skin, strong immune system, and good eye health.  It is an antioxidant which protects the human body from free radicals which are blamed for damaging cells.  Damaged cells can lead to many different chronic diseases.  By lowering your free radical load with the help of beta carotene found in sweet potatoes, you are lowering your risk of developing cancer and heart disease.  Sweet potatoes also have anti-inflammatory health benefits and help to control blood sugar.

The best way to prepare this tuber for maximum benefit is to boil it…believe it or not.  I was surprised to learn this.  I have always enjoyed my sweet potatoes baked in the skin but after learning from the little clip below I have changed my cooking method of this delicious gift from nature.

Sweet potatoes are so easy to prepare.  Just cut up into chunks and steam or boil for about 8 minutes.  This will maximize the nutritional values of the potato.  After you’ve cooked it you can add a little bit of fat such as olive oil to help with absorbing the goodness.  You could also add a bit of cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, or maple syrup.  I personally just like the sweet potato with nothing on it.  It is so flavorful all on its own.  Now if you don’t buy organic sweet potatoes then you should peel the skin off before cooking but if you buy organic then cook the potato, skin and all.

A medium sized sweet potato contains approximately 180 calories, and contains Vitamin’s A and C, manganese, copper, pantothenic acid, Vitamin B6, biotin, potassium, fiber, Vitamin B3, B1, B2 and phosphorus.  Now that is a powerhouse of nutrition.

Sweet potatoes can be used in dessert recipes, side dishes, main course dishes such as the topping for my vegan tempeh sheppards pie, and also make great soup.  Now that fall is settling in, sweet potatoes are a great comfort food for the cooler days ahead.

A quick and healthy recipe for this nutritious tuber is:

Steam about 1 pound of diced sweet potatoes for about 8 minutes.  Then toss the diced potato with 2 cloves minced garlic, Himalayan salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste, 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, 2 tablespoons of ground pumpkin seeds, 2 tablespoons of fresh rosemary or 1 teaspoon dried rosemary.  You could also add a teaspoon of cinnamon for added flavor.  Yummy!

Nutritionfacts.org has put out this very short but informative video at the link right below, about this amazing vegetable.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=5bzmvn0h_RI

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