Know Your Ingredients – Sweet Potatoes
What has as much fiber as a bowl of oatmeal, almost twice the Vitamin A of carrots, more potassium than a banana, and is a good source of Vitamin B6 and Manganese? The sweet potato! Surprised?
The sweet potato is one of the healthiest foods in the Southern diet, achieving super food status for its powerful antioxidants and carotenoids that protect the body against cancer, heart disease and boosts the immune system.
One large sweet potato has approximately 162 calories, compared to 278 for a regular baked potato. It is naturally low in sodium and fat.
Of course, the problem is that most sweet potato recipes tend to drown them in butter and sugar. But this no longer needs to be true. Sweet potatoes are gaining attention of chefs and home cooks for their delicious flavors and outstanding nutrition.
How to Use Sweet Potatoes
Healthy Baked Sweet Potatoes
Baking or microwaving is one of the easiest ways to use sweet potatoes. Simply cook them the same way you would an Idaho potato. When it comes time to dress them, get a little creative. Instead of butter, try topping them with a sprinkle of cinnamon and top with a spoon full of pineapple tidbits. This is a healthy way to enjoy the flavors of sweet potato casserole, without the fat and sugar.
To Bake Sweet Potatoes:
Wrap each potato in foil and place in a 400 degree oven for 1 hour. Remove from the oven and slit open. Stuff as desired.
To Microwave Sweet Potatoes:
Wash the outside of each potato and prick the skin in several places with a fork. This will allow the steam to escape without rupturing the skin. Place on a microwave safe plate and microwave on high for 8 minutes. Press the potato, it will yield easily when done. If it is still hard, microwave for 2 more minutes or until done. Cooking times vary with the size of the potato and the power of the microwave.