Trade Your Pumpkin Goggles for Sweet Potatoes
Guest Post from DietsinReview
I know your eyes are glazed over with pumpkin spice this and that and everything in between, but I want you to try to listen. I’ve got something else worth wandering around in a orange stooper over – sweet potatoes!
I’ve been eating sweet potatoes on a regular basis for about two years. Prior to that, I wouldn’t touch them. All I knew of the sweet potato were the candied yams made every year for Thanksgiving. What a terrible way to treat an innocent vegetable! They were so horrible I swore off this super food entirely. Then, I made the choice to just keep cooking with them and experimenting until I found a way to like them. I’m glad I did!
Yes, you saw super food. Sweet potatoes are absolutely one of the healthiest foods you can eat because of their rich nutrition profile. Mary Hartley, RD, our resident dietitian at DietsInReview.com, calls them, “an extremely nutritious food,” and calls out their starch for energy, as well as culinary versatility. It has the most vitamin A of the orange vegetable family and is also a top source for vitamin c, calcium, and a ridiculous amount of potassium. A medium sweet potato only has 100 calories, not to mention a touch of protein. Mary even notes that in some cultures the sweet potato is their staple food.
It’s becoming one of mine and I want to encourage you to make the sweet potato a more common addition to meals than just during the holidays.
At its most simple, a baked sweet potato can go a long way. As is, with no toppings, it’s sweet and moist and makes a wonderfully filling side dish. However, there are a couple of ways I like to get more out of my baked sweet potato.
1. In place of a russet potato, top a baked sweet potato with grilled chicken, fajita vegetables, a little cheese, and a few slices of avocado for a filling lunch or dinner.
2. Skip the corn chips and corn bread and put a baked sweet potato at the bottom of your chili bowl, then top with a healthier turkey and black bean chili.
However, if I’m really going to convince you to remove your pumpkin goggles to fall just as hard for sweet potatoes, I’m going to have to sweet talk you.
How about Sweet Potato Brownies. Just like a pumpkin recipe, the cocoa, flour, and pecans look the same, and then a mashed sweet potato boosts the nutrition and flavor.
These Sweet Potato Pie Popsicles use only four ingredients for a healthy kid-friendly treat.
And a Sweet Potato and Toasted Sage Dip is a far better place to dunk pita and kale chips all season long.
Wherever you’re making healthier pumpkin treats, you can use sweet potato, too. Breads, muffins, biscuits, doughnuts, and pancakes are all fair game. Plus, you have the added bonus of sweet potato chips or fries – and you can’t do that with a pumpkin!