Sweet potatoes have been a hot topic for years, but is it all it’s cracked up to be? The answer is yes and yes. From delicious healthy salads, main courses, desserts and even smoothies!
Why sweet potatoes? Sweet potatoes contain a myriad of health benefits. They are high in fiber and Vitamin A, good source of vitamin B and C, manganese, potassium and so on. Essentially this means that sweet potatoes are great for eye and heart health, it contains antioxidants and is good for the immune system and brain function. Apart from all these goodies it has to offer, let’s see what it can do for our taste buds.
Picking out sweet potatoes at a farmers market or from a grocery store is always a treat. There are many different colors, ranging from cream, tan, pink, purple and orange. In the Dominican Republic, we have tropical sweet potatoes which tend to be white on the inside and purple on the outside. Sweet potatoes also come in all different shapes and sizes. Picking ones that are the darkest are your best choice for the highest amount of nutritional content, but remember, as with other things in life, the longer it ages the more nutrients it loses.
Sweet potatoes should not be eaten raw as they contain an enzyme inhibitor that makes it hard to break down and digest. So one must cook the sweet potato to gain its benefits. But here’s a cool fact: sweet potato leaves are edible. In fact they contain more nutrients then the sweet potatoes themselves.
Sweet potatoes can be boiled, roasted, steamed, baked and fried. For our bodies sake let’s look at the healthy options.
Baking sweet potatoes is always a nice and quick way to get the job done. You just poke some holes in the sweet potato with a knife and throw it in the oven for 35-45 minutes. As for boiling sweet potatoes, chopping them up into pieces and adding it to boiling water is also a quick and easy way.
But don’t forget the skin! The skin of the sweet potato also contains health benefits and should be consumed with the root itself. If you are buying organic, be sure to rinse the sweet potato and if you are buying conventional then be sure to scrub it well and clean it with a veggie cleaner.