Thursday, November 20, 2008

Spotlight on Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes are one of my favorite fall foods. Sweet potato fries especially. Often what I'll do is peel a sweet potato, then cut it into rough fry-shapes, then toss it with olive oil, salt and pepper, and bake them at about 350-400 for, I dunno, 30 minutes (or until soft). I don't care for them crispy, because they're less sweet.

I remember several years ago asking a personal trainer what kind of carb to eat if I were to eat carbs. She told me to eat a sweet potato. Now, I know there are plenty of healthy, whole grain carbs (like quinoa, for instance), but I wasn't big on carbs at that point. So now, I'm wondering if what she said would hold water. What's the deal with sweet potatoes?

1. They're high in vitamins A and C.
2. Good for ulcers and inflamed colons.
3. Beneficial for low blood pressure
4. Great for people who do lots of muscle work, because of its high vitamin and mineral content
5. Good for diabetes because it helps stabilize blood sugar.
8. Immunity booster
9. Relief of asthma
10. Helps maintain the water balance in the body
11. Soothing to digestions.
12. Aids in weight gain (wait, is this a good thing?)
(off the top of my head)
13. Very very tasty
14. Colorful, and my philosophy is that making something look tasty is half the battle

So basically, sweet potatoes have more vitamins and minerals than regular potatoes. They have some great health benefits, especially for those with blood sugar or digestive issues. You shouldn't eat too many of them or you risk weight gain. So eat them in moderation, but don't worry about their whole carb-iness - since they're lower on the glycemic index than regular potatoes, they don't threaten to spike your blood sugar as high, and they have a slew of antioxidants swimming around in their little atoms.

What are your favorite sweet potato recipes? Here are some that I've already posted:
Sweet potato chili
Pork chops with sweet potato fries
I've also made mashed sweet potatoes, which need less butter and milk than regular potatoes, so they don't have the same calorie/fat load


Leah J. Utas said...

I love sweet potato fries. I prefer them served as a regular savory veggie as opposed to all this sugar and juice and marshmallow excitement in most recipes.
I did not know about all the health benefits. Thanks.

The Lethological Gourmet said...

I had some sweet potato fries last week that had cinnamon sugar on them. They were fine, I guess, but I think olive oil is the best to bring out their flavor!

Anonymous said...

At the risk of sounding like a huge nutritional nerd, I'm always looking for something quick, easy, and moderately non-perishable, for when I forget it at the back of the fridge (I waste a lot of money with food going bad that way). In any case, for about 80 cents grocery stores sell pre-washed, pre-wrapped sweet potatoes that steam in their wrapper in about 8 minutes in the microwave. They're a GREAT pre-workout snack since they have good carbs but won't upset your stomach. Cheap and easy, just like me.

Also, I've seen sweet potato fries served with marshmallow fluff mixed with cinnamon--just like sweet potato casserole!


The Lethological Gourmet said...

One of the great things about sweet potatoes (or potatoes, or onions), is that if I buy them but don't get around to cooking them, they won't go bad. They can sit there for a couple weeks and still be good. Though I did have one episode in college with a bag of potatoes being left in an unused pantry. It was the nastiest smell I think I've ever smelled in my life when those potatoes liquefied. Just the memory of it gives me the heeby-jeebies.