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10 Health Benefits of Sweet Potatoes By K Kristie

The sweet potato is a large, starchy and sweet-tasting tuberous root which is considered as one of the most nutritious root vegetable.  Depending on variety, the sweet potato flesh comes in colors of white, yellow, orange and purple. The orange-fleshed ones are among the top sources of beta-carotene. It has many culinary uses in different parts of the world; it is also a staple food crop in some countries including in rural areas in the Philippines where the tubers are usually boiled or baked in coals.

For every cup (328 g) of cooked, boiled without skin and mashed sweet potato, here’s how healthy it is.

1. Promotes healthy vision (Vitamin A – 1033% DV)

The color of the flesh of fruits and vegetables says something about their nutrients. The orange-fleshed varieties like the sweet potato indicate that they are blushing with vitamin A in the form of beta-carotene. Bake or make into potato fries and serve as snacks to promote healthy eyesight.

2. Keeps teeth and gums healthy (Vitamin C – 70% DV)

Fruits, particularly acerola and guava are nature’s top sources of vitamin C. But did you know that sweet potatoes are also loaded with this very important vitamin? Every cup can deliver 70% of the daily value of the nutrient known to prevent loose teeth and bleeding gums.

3. Make bones strong and healthy (Manganese – 44% DV)

Are you looking for another supporter in preventing osteoporosis? The sweet potato is one of the perfect foods to be had. It contains almost half of the DV of manganese, a mineral which plays an important role in bone metabolism.

4. Helps reduce cholesterol levels (Fiber – 33% DV)

It is also rich in fiber, a carbohydrate which has shown to be an effective helper in lowering blood cholesterol levels. Fruits, vegetables, beans and legumes are all important sources of fiber.

5. Keeps heart healthy (Vitamin B6 – 27% DV)

Sweet potatoes help prevent homocysteine build-up in the blood by providing vitamin B6. High homocyteine levels in the blood are associated with increased risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke.

6. Helps control blood pressure levels (Potassium -22% DV)

Potassium-rich foods are hypertension-fighting foods. If you want to prevent abnormal blood pressure levels, reach for potassium-rich fruits and enjoy a delicious sweet potato pie.

7. Helps fight stress (Pantothenic Acid – 19% DV)

It is a good source of pantothenic acid, a B vitamin which plays an important part in the body’s ability to produce stress hormones. It is believed that when a person becomes stressed, the pantothenic acid in the body is used up that is why there is a need to stock up for more.

8. Helps prevent wrinkles (Vitamin E – 15% DV)

It can deliver a good amount of vitamin E, a nutrient known for its benefits in skin aging. Avocados and kiwifruits are among the must-eat fruits if you want a natural source of vitamin E.

9. Helps control blood sugar levels (Magnesium – 15% DV)

Magnesium is the fourth most abundant mineral in the body, yet few people are aware of its benefits. Study participants have shown that those who consume a high magnesium diet were less likely to develop type 2 diabetes. Tamarinds, prickly pears and jackfruit are among the highest sources of manganese in fruits.

10. Helps the body produce energy (Iron – 13% DV)

If you have been feeling fatigue and weak, your body may be calling for more iron. Have some sweet potato to boost oxygen distribution throughout your body with the help of its rich iron supply.

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Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Fried Sage and Brown Butter

Ingredients:

  • 2 1-pound red-skinned sweet potatoes (yams), rinsed, patted dry, pierced all over with fork
  • 1 12-ounce container fresh ricotta cheese, drained in sieve 2 hours
  • 1 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese (about 3 ounces)
  • 2 tablespoons Fair Trade golden brown sugar w/molasses
  • 2 teaspoons plus 2 tablespoons sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
  • 2 3/4 cups (about) all purpose flour
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted organic butter
  • 2 teaspoons orange zest
  • 6 tablespoons chopped fresh sage plus whole leaves for garnish

Directions

Bake the sweet potatoes under tender 40 mins., cut in half and cool. Scrape sweet potato flesh into medium bowl and mash; transfer 3 cups to large bowl. Add ricotta cheese; blend well. Add Parmesan cheese, brown sugar, 2 teaspoons salt, and nutmeg; mash to blend. Mix in flour, about 1/2 cup at a time, until soft dough forms.

Turn dough out onto floured surface; divide into 6 equal pieces. Rolling between palms and floured work surface, form each piece into 20-inch-long rope (about 1 inch in diameter), sprinkling with flour as needed if sticky. Cut each rope into 20 pieces. Roll each piece over tines of fork to indent. Transfer to baking sheet.

Bring large pot of water to boil; add 2 tablespoons salt and return to boil. Working in batches, boil gnocchi until tender, 5 to 6 minutes. Transfer gnocchi to clean rimmed baking sheet. Cool completely. (Can be made 4 hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature.)

Preheat oven to 300°F. Melt butter in heavy large saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook until butter solids are brown and have toasty aroma, swirling pan occasionally, about 5 minutes.

Add chopped sage (mixture will bubble up). Turn off heat. Season sage butter generously with salt and pepper, add half the orange zest.

Transfer half of sage butter to large skillet set over medium-high heat. Add half of gnocchi. Sauté until gnocchi are heated through, about 6 minutes. Empty skillet onto rimmed baking sheet; place in oven to keep warm. Repeat with remaining sage butter and gnocchi.

Divide gnocchi and sauce among shallow bowls. Garnish with fried sage leaves and the other half of the orange zest.

Yield: Makes 10 to 12 servings

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Sweet Potato Latkes With Apples and Onions

This is a fried Holiday treat that you’ll fight over.  (Makes about 12-14 medium sized pancakes)

Ingredients:

  • 2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and grated (equals about 4 cups)
  • 1 green apple, peeled cored and grated
  • 2 green onions, finely chopped
  • ½ small onion, grated
  • 1 cup organic pancake mix (make your own mix)
  • 1 free-range organic egg, beaten
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • Sprinkle of black pepper
  • olive oil/coconut oil for frying
  • organic sour cream/Greek yogurt as “garnish”

Directions:

In a bowl, stir together potatoes, green onion, onion, apple, egg, salt, and pepper. Gradually add the pancake mix and stir to combine.

Heat oil in a deep skillet over moderate high heat until hot but not smoking. Working in batches of 4 or 5, spoon a large spoonful of the mixture into the oil and lightly flatten.

Reduce heat slightly and cook for about 2 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Transfer latkes with spatula to a plate layered with paper towels.

Once they sit for a moment or two and drain, I transfer them to a cookie sheet. If I’m not serving them immediately, I warm them for a few minutes in the oven before I serve them.

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Sweet-Potato Paratha(Flat-Bread)

Ingredients 

  • 1 medium Sweet potato
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp Kalonji/nigella/onion seeds or any seeds will do, i.e. chia, cumin, sesame.
  • 2 tsp Dried Dill leaves

Directions

  1. Cook sweet potato in water  till soft, mash it well.
  2. Mix all the above ingredients to soft dough (no need to add water water content in the sweet potato is enough to make the dough), add more flour if required.
  3. Once it forms to stiff dough, roll to thin circles and cook them on griddle/tava.
  4. Eat warm with favorite side dish.
  5. Enjoy 😉

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Sweet Potato Chips

Ingredients 

  • 2 – 3 sweet potatoes washed, peeled & sliced thin
  • sea salt
  • 2 – 3 cloves of garlic cloves – minced
  • fresh or dried sage (or) you can use fresh oregano/basil/parsley
  • olive oil (1st press, cold press, extra virgin)
  • red onion finely sliced as garnish (optional)

Directions

Take baking pan and pour a little olive oil on the bottom and then lay-out the sweet potato chips placing them side-by-side. Add a little more olive oil on top plus the sea salt, sage (or whatever herbs your choose). Bake for 45 -50 minutes until crisp and slight golden brown. Remove from oven and add red onion garnish option, enjoy with any main dish as fish or fowl. So easy & delicious 😉

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Related Links: Recipes 

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