Becca's Super Food Number Eight: Sweet Potatoes.
Sweet potatoes are far superior than their white cousins. Loaded in beta-carotene (which is converted into vitamin A), it is important to eat sweet potatoes with a little fat to help absorb this fat-soluble vitamin that is important for our skin, growth, immunity, and especially vision. Sweet potatoes have vitamin C and lots of fiber too. Despite having "sweet" in its name, they are good for diabetics as they help modulate insulin levels and have a lower glycemic index than regular potatoes.
These orange spuds are also very tasty and surprisingly versatile. Although you may only recognize these spuds when deep-fried (e.g. sweet potato fries) or covered in marshmallow (e.g. traditional Thanksgiving casserole), I assure you that this vegetable is good even when it isn't drowning in sugar or smothered with fat! Other ways of preparing sweet potatoes are roasting them in chunks, baking them whole like a "baked potato", mashing them like "mashed potatoes", blending them in smoothies (their sweetness makes for a sweet and creamy smoothie), hiding them in biscuit recipes, and using them in traditional recipes that call for white potatoes, like layered on top of Sheppard's Pie or in potato salad. Oh, and sweet potato fries are easy to make am home: simply chop them thin, toss then in oil, DON'T salt them, bake them at 400F for 40ish minutes. Salt them after they come out of the oven (salting them before will make them soggy as salt draws the water out of them; salting after they are baked will keep them crisp). Sweet potatoes also make healthy dessert options; how about a baked sweet potato with coconut oil, maple syrup, and cinnamon?
My new favorite way to serve sweet potatoes. This dish is filling (beans and rice), sweet (sweet potatoes), spicy (salsa), and cooling (avocado). Soooo gooood.
2 cups roasted or boiled sweet potatoes, cubed
1 cup cooked brown rice
1 cup salsa
1 cup black beans
1 cup cilantro, chopped
1 onion, sauteed
2 tablespoons lemon or lime juice
1/4 of an jalapeno, minced (optional)
2 avocados, diced
Combine all ingredients (except avocado) and mix well. Either heat on the stove or microwave, or serve cold. Top with half of a diced avocado per serving. Serves four.