Sweet potatoes are a major player in the world of superfoods. An outstanding source of carotenoids (including beta-carotene), as well as vitamin C, calcium, and potassium, sweet potatoes can help reduce LDL (“bad”) cholesterol, lower high blood pressure and combat a host of other ailments from colds to cataracts. Whether baked, roasted, or steamed, eaten whole, cut up, or mashed, this starchy vegetable can be enjoyed starting on Phase 2 of the South Beach Diet. Sweet potatoes (and their relative, yams) are most abundant from September through December, but you can find them at your local supermarket year-round. Here are a few ideas for enjoying this versatile vegetable.
Make Your Own Veggie Chips…Skip the store-bought fried or kettle-cooked white potato chips and prepare our Baked Sweet Potato Chips instead. In our version, we toss sweet potato slices with extra-virgin olive oil and Italian seasoning before baking them, but you can also season them with ground cinnamon and lightly drizzle them with sugar-free maple syrup for a spicy and sweet flavor. For a little kick, add some Cajun seasoning or smoked paprika. Or for a sweet-and-sour treat, toss them with red wine vinegar, a little sea salt, and a splash of lime.
Whip ‘Em Up…Creamy and flavorful, our Whipped Sweet Potatoes are a healthy alternative to mashed potatoes. The natural sweetness of the potatoes is enhanced by the addition of ground cinnamon and nutmeg, and the potatoes are garnished with fresh chives.
Get Roasting… Roasting caramelizes the potatoes in our Cider-Roasted Sweet Potatoes, making them crispy on the outside and moist on the inside. If you prefer a savory dish, roast the sweet potatoes with some fresh thyme, minced garlic, and a little sea salt.
Bake a Casserole…Sweet potatoes make a great base for casseroles that can be reheated for busy weeknights. In this comforting Orange-Ginger Sweet Potato Casserole, we bake the potatoes, then purée them in a food processor with orange zest, minced ginger, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Instead of a traditional melted marshmallow topping, chopped pecans lend a hearty and healthy crunch to this dish.
Make a Healthy Hash…For a weekend brunch, enjoy our festive Sweet Potato and Turkey Hash. To make it, we finely chop sweet potatoes and cook them until they are lightly browned. Then, we add some red bell peppers, scallions, and dried thyme for color and flavor, and finally stir in a little reduced-fat sour cream for added richness. Delicious!