Sweet for Sweet Potatoes

How truly sweet it is for your body when you eat sweet potatoes. This well-rounded vegetable that tastes like a dessert provides ample health benefits, adds to a balanced meal and is an essential dish at every Thanksgiving feast. Eaten baked or roasted, and as a spread, soup, and casserole, you are sure to find a way to love sweet potatoes.

Native to Central and South America, sweet potatoes are some of the oldest vegetables on the planet. Dating all the way back to prehistoric times, Christopher Columbus introduced Europe to this sweet spud in 1942. From there, it expanded to countries like Africa, India and Indonesia, and finally to America. America loved this orange vegetable, and it has become a staple in many people’s diets.

Why are sweet potatoes among the healthiest of vegetables? Their rich nutritional profile boasts a plethora of reasons. Sweet potatoes provide a bountiful amount of phytonutrients, special antioxidants and are an excellent source of Vitamin A, C, B6, and B12, manganese, copper, potassium and dietary fiber, among others. These healthy nutrients keep our bodies energized and feeling full.  Sweet potatoes alongside lean chicken and a side salad is a great way to create a delicious balanced meal.

Speaking of sweet potatoes, it is hard to believe, but Thanksgiving is right around the corner. For many families, Thanksgiving is synonymous with sweet potatoes. It’s not too early to start planning, so why not whip up a savory sweet potato dish? Sweet potatoes can be incorporated into a Thanksgiving meal in an abundance of pleasing ways. Some dishes that include sweet potatoes are:

  • Puree cooked sweet potatoes with bananas, cinnamon and walnuts
  • Cube sweet potatoes, add a splash of apple cider and a dab of butter and bake in a casserole until soft
  • Bake sweet potatoes with a hint of cinnamon and marshmallow cream
  • Oven roast sweet potato wedges; coat wedges in olive oil, sprinkle kosher salt, and roast at 425F
  • Enjoy them baked in the oven with no toppings at all. Wash, pierce with fork and wrap in foil. Bake at 450F for 45 minutes
  • Mash a sweet potato, apple sauce, and add cinnamon for healthy version of sweet potato pudding

Sweet potatoes are among the healthiest and sweetest vegetables on the planet. With Thanksgiving approaching quickly, try out a few sweet potato recipes before your holiday feast and impress your family with your favorite sweet potato dish. Remember though, sweet potatoes are not just for Thanksgiving so enjoy them year-round.

Photo Credit: Jennifer Collins

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