Introduction:Would it excite you to learn easy ways to dress-up your sweet potatoes? Underrated as a side dish, they deserve our attention. Sweet Potatoes are classed as "winter vegetables", which means they are harvested late fall/early winter. Did you know the sweet potato is rated the number one nutritious vegetable, when compared to all vegetables?
The "Center for Science in the Public Interest" rated the sweet potato number one in nutrition, when compared with all vegetables!
Some nutrition benefits include: high in fiber and protein, digests slowly, causing us to feel full longer; contains 42% of minimum daily requirements (MDR) of vitamin C; when eaten with skin intact, beta carotene converts to 2X the MDR of vitamin A.
According to the Mediterranean Diet Pyramid, we strive for seven servings of fruit and vegetables daily. Pairing-up the sweet potato with other winter vegetables is an excellent start. These are classic winter vegetables you may include in soups or stews, roast or microwave: beets, parsnips, carrots, cabbage, leeks and/or onion, white turnips, radishes and winter squash.
As a side dish, sweet potatoes can stand alone, when steamed in microwave or baked in oven. Split down the center, spoon in globs of healthy butter* and mash with fork. (*I use Smart Balance.)
Now you are ready to spice-up your sweet potato. Due to natural sweetness, try to forego the brown sugar. Add two or three drops of Vanilla Extract for a unique flavor. Or, sprinkle with nutmeg, crystallized ginger, cumin or ground red pepper
Roasting is the preferred cooking method on the Mediterranean Diet Plan. Start with sweet potatoes and then select four or three-four of your favorites from the classic winter vegetables listed above. Don't worry if you can't find all of them. Every vegetable I've listed pairs-up well with sweet potatoes. For a pretty presentation, vary them by color. I like to add green, red or yellow bell pepper slices.
After the preparation time you'll spend slicing, dicing and chopping, roasting winter vegetables is a breeze. Coat the vegetables liberally with olive oil and lemon juice. (Note: if you choose beets, they require a longer cooking time. Start about an hour earlier. Set aside when tender. Onion or leeks, squash and garlic require lesser time. Add these winter vegetables after cooking about 20 minutes. Also add the beets.)
The secret to roasting is a hot oven. Set temperature to 400 degrees. (As you know, oven temperatures vary. Make any desired adjustments.) Roast about 20 minutes and stir. Cook another 15-20 minutes and check for desired tenderness. When ready, arrange on pretty platter and spice-up if desired.
The next time you're called on to make a pot-luck dish, try this sweet potato and apple dish. It does contain brown sugar, which is the reason I hoard the recipe and use for pot-luck or other festive occasions. You may find it a delicious change from the usual sweet potato, marshmallow concoction.
Slice and boil enough potatoes for your gang. (I'll give directions, assuming you'll use two sweet potatoes, which will serve six hungry people. You can adjust upward.) Layer sweet potatoes with sliced tart apples. One layer sweet potatoes, one layer apples, etc. Sprinkle ¼ cup brown sugar between each layer and "dot" with butter. Bake at 350 degrees for one hour.
The above ways to dress-up sweet potatoes are similar to an ice cube, in contrast with a glacier. There exist hundreds of ways to use the versatile sweet potato, which is rated number one in nutrition compared to all other vegetables. Don't be afraid to cook as I do, guided by imagination and steered by inspiration.
Sweet potatoes are so full of wonderful nutrients, thank you for this list. Great Job!
Great tips on dressing up sweet potatoes. H5!
Great list of ways to dress up sweet potatoes. Well done. Thanks.
I usually just eat sweet potatoes alone, kind of like a desert. But you've piqued my interest concerning the spices....I'll have to try that.
Oh, I did number 3 quite often with the left-over whole sweet potatoes I had left. People just don't know how vitamin packed they really are. I use splenda or equal half and half. Light brown sugar has 3 grams of sugar per tspn which isn't as bad as the darker brown. Great article! H5
Thank you for the various ways to dress up sweet potatoes. I make a delicous omlette with sweet potatoes.
Love sweet potatoes. I knew they were healthy but didn't know they were #1.
Sweet potatoes are a gold mine of minerals! High 5~
I love roasted winter vegetables and make them often. Sweet potatoes are one of my all-time favorites, but I have a new found love for beets and parsnips :) Thanks for the list!
select one here...