Is there anything better than roasted sweet potatoes? Well, sure, but aren’t they so delicious? And such a humble, unsuspecting food. They’re not braggers those sweet potatoes. Very grounded. These root veggies are incredibly versatile, nutrient dense, little energy nuggets, affordable…and perhaps most important, you can make fries out of them.
Sweet potatoes are indeed higher in natural sugars, but leaving the skin on provides fiber which will help maintain balanced blood sugar levels – even more so when you enjoy with a little healthy fat (hello ghee) and / or protein. When enjoyed in moderation (because no one should just eat potatoes all day) they are nutrition powerhouses. They can range from orange to white to purple, making them a beautiful addition to any meal. In fact, the color within them (particularly the orange and purple) provides antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties.
Another reason we particularly love them at Prescribe Nutrition? Sweet potatoes are an incredible source of beta-carotene, which can help raise our vitamin A levels (crucial for good vision, among many other things). What’s important to note is that beta-carotene converts to fat soluble vitamin A in the walls of our small intestines, and this conversion can’t happen without the presence of two crucial factors: bile salts and digestive enzymes. Bile salts
are only secreted into your digestive tract when you eat fat
. Hence, a low-fat diet does not bode well for vitamin A levels. I repeat: eat with fat. Yep! Grass-fed butter, ghee, coconut oil, organic plain yogurt…your call, but just use it. Digestive enzymes
are dependent on the presence of zinc
. If you are zinc deficient, you will not convert. Those with digestive issues are extremely susceptible of zinc deficiency unless they repair their digestive tract and supplement. So – you know what else is high in zinc? Seeds! Sprinkle some pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds or whatever your favorite seed is into your little sweet potato bowl. Food for thought!
Alright enough jibber jabber, below is a delicious go-to sweet potato recipe.
Sweet Potato Wedges with Pesto
4 sweet potatoes, scrubbed and cut into 1-inch wedges
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil or coconut oil
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
1 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 cup fresh cilantro
1/4 teaspoon chopped garlic (about 1 small clove)
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
Zest of 1 lemon, plus 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees. On a rimmed baking sheet, toss sweet potatoes with 1 tablespoon oil (if coconut oil let melt with potatoes for a few minutes and re-toss). Season with salt and pepper. Roast, turning once, until golden and tender, 23 to 25 minutes. Let cool slightly.
- Meanwhile, pulse parsley, garlic, paprika, walnuts, zest, and lemon juice in a food processor until coarsely chopped. Drizzle remaining 6 tablespoons oil and process until combined. Season with salt and pepper.
- Top roasted sweet potatoes with 2 tablespoons pesto. Eat.
Some more favorites?
Now, go to the store and get yourself some sweet potatoes.