Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Sweet Potato for Breakfast

Sweet potatoes are one of my favorite foods of all time. My grandparents used to make them when they knew I was coming over for dinner. I have this distinct memory of forcing sweet potato through the tiny hole of my plastic care bear mask one year. I must have been around 5 and unwilling to compromise between removing my Halloween costume and eating sweet potato. Sweet potatoes are delicious baked, mashed, roasted, and fried and are great in juices, soups, stews, and even in baked goods. They also happen to be a perfect single-serving nutritional powerhouse pre-packaged by nature.

Their only downside? Sweet potatoes, like lots of healthy root veggies, take time to cook! For that reason alone, they're not always practical for dinner after a long day of work and school, so I started thinking of ways to bake them in advance of eating them to get more yummy sweet potato into my belly. Last week, I picked a couple up along with some beets and the other night, I poked some holes in them with a fork, wrapped them in foil, and popped them in a 400* oven for about an hour. I turned the oven off and left the potatoes in the oven for a bit longer. I removed them from the oven and let them cool on the counter before popping them in the fridge.
source: http://kblog.lunchboxbunch.com/2012/12/sweet-potato-soup-in-flash-avocado-on.html
I didn't remove the tin foil until the morning when I unwrapped and peeled (personal preference when not organic) the potato and microwaved it for 90 seconds when I got to work this morning. It was the PERFECT breakfast and such a welcomed change from my standard oatmeal. The natural sweetness was satisfying and the fiber was filling. It might be nice to top this meal with some nut butter, avocado, steamed greens, Greek yogurt, a poached egg, or some pastured butter, but it was delicious all by itself!

Sweet potatoes are a great way to make sure you're eating the colors of the rainbow. Their orange hue means they're high in Vitamin A and Beta-Carotene. A 1-cup serving provides over 700% the RDA of Vitamin A, 6.6 g of fiber, and is a great source of Vitamins C and B6 and minerals potassium and manganese (source linked below).  So eat up those yummy sweet potatoes!

Oh, if you're sitting there wondering about the protein, you'll be pleased to know that 1 cup of sweet potato contains 4 grams of quality protein that can be complemented nicely by mushrooms, corn, eggs, cheese, and yogurt. Americans tend to be overly-concerned with protein and are often surprised that vegetables like sweet potatoes contain any at all. Those of us who opt out of meat need to be mindful of where our protein comes from to make sure we get a good balance of the amino acids that help our body build, maintain, and repair muscle tissue, but even for omnivores, a couple 4-6 oz servings of animal flesh a week is more than enough for most.

Want more sweet potatoes?


Sweet Potato and Spinach Soup RecipeSweet and Sweaty Vegetarian Chili RecipeCorn Chowder (No Dairy or Wheat) Recipe


Sources:
http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/vegetables-and-vegetable-products/2667/2