Did you know that the sweet potato is not in the same family as the white potato or even yams, which they are commonly mistaken for? Sweet potatoes actually belong to the convolvulaceae family or “morning glory family” which also contains a plethora of flowers as well! No matter what “family” the sweet potato belongs to, there’s no doubting how good it tastes.
November is National Sweet Potato Awareness Month, which makes now the perfect time to learn more about this delicious food.
Sweet potatoes are jam-packed with nutrients.
- Vitamin A, which is important for preserving eyesight as you age, supporting a healthy immune system and preserving bone strength
- Fiber, which plays a role in your gut health and will keep you fuller for longer.
- Iron, which helps carry oxygen from the blood to your lungs and other parts of the body
- Calcium, which plays a role in maintaining bone health
- Selenium, which can act as an antioxidant – meaning it protects you from cell damage.
- Vitamin C, which also aides in keeping your immune system healhy.
6 “Sweet”, Sweet Potato Recipes
In honor of Sweet Potato Awareness Month, here are some sweet potato recipes for you to try at home – just in time for Thanksgiving!
1. Spicy-Sweet Roasted Potatoes
Place your cubed sweet potatoes in a large bowl, drizzle with oil. Add light brown sugar, salt, paprika, chili powder, onion powder, cayenne pepper and black pepper to the bowl and stir to coat the sweet potatoes evenly. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees F, spread the sweet potatoes out on a large baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes. Toss and bake another 15 to 20 minutes and enjoy!
2. Mashed Sweet Potatoes
Wash the sweet potatoes and prick them with a fork several times. Coat a sheet pan with cooking spray and arrange the sweet potatoes on the pan. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and bake for one hour or until potatoes are tender and let them cool slightly. Then peel off the skins and place the potatoes, milk, butter and salt in a bowl. Mash the potatoes by hand with a masher or fork and enjoy!
3. Baked Sweet Potato Chips
Cut your sweet potatoes into thin slices and toss in olive oil, sea salt, and chili powder in a bowl. Arrange the slices on a baking sheet in a single layer. Bake the chips in the oven for 10 minutes and then flip and roast for another 10 minutes. After this, broil the chips for a couple of minutes to make them nice and crispy and serve with your favorite sauce!
4. Spinach Stuffed Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes
- This dish is an explosion of antioxidants and nutrients from both the orange carotenoids in the sweet potato and the green chlorophyll in the spinach. The spinach and sweet potato complement each other beautifully in this dish that makes a wonderfully cozy side dish or appetizer. Check out the recipe .
5. Sweet Potato and Apple Stacks
Excite your taste buds with this dish! It’s sweet, yet still nutritious with dietary fiber and nutrients from the apples and sweet potatoes. Have your children help you make these, and have fun while doing so. Check out the recipe .
6. Roasted Beet and Sweet Potato Salad
- This salad is an unbelievable marriage of colors, textures, and flavors. You wouldn’t think to put cheese together with beets, but the blend of the slightly sweet and slightly salty is incredible. The textures and flavors of the soft roasted vegetables with the crunchy lettuce and nuts, along with the smoothness of the cheese do wonders to the palate. Check out my recipe .
If you are new to the sweet potato “craze”, now is the perfect time to try them. Sweet potoates are very versitalie and can be paired with most foods! Don’t be afraid to get creative.
Your Turn to Take Action: How will you incorporate sweet potatoes into your diet this Sweet Potato Awareness Month? Let me know in the comments below.