Sweet potato is the best. I think I’ve decided it’s my favourite vegetable. But then I think I’m cheating because it’s sweet…and then I feel guilty because my favourite vegetable doesn’t even taste like a vegetable and fuels my crazy sweet tooth.
So I thought I would make myself feel better and research the other good things about the king of vegetables aka sweet potato, and then give you a super easy recipe to up your vegie intake and cure serious hunger at 3 pm before eating a whole tray of Tim Tams. There are so many reasons why sweet potato is my favourite.
LOTS OF VITAMINS & OTHER GOOD STUFF
This vegetable is high in vitamin B6, which I need in high doses due to having pyroluria, but it is also important in the synthesis of many molecules in the body and is involved in heaps of enzymatic reactions.
It supports the activity of the nervous system and is involved in the breakdown of glycogen, which is important in ensuring we have the energy we need throughout the day.
It’s a good source of vitamin C, which we all know is important to ward off the nasty cold and flu, also helps in wound healing, and lots of other good stuff.
Orange is a great colour, which gives sweet potato brownie points in my book. The orange colour is actually due to carotenoids – mainly one called beta carotene. Beta carotene is converted into vitamin A in the body, which is needed for healthy skin, boosts immunity, strengthens eyesight, and helps reduce the risk of cancer and fights the signs of ageing.
That’s a lot of good reasons to eat some orange. To increase absorption of beta carotene in our sweet potato, a small amount of fat (3-5 grams) should be consumed with it. We are going to toss our chips with some olive oil and will have some tahini to serve it with so we have that covered.
GOOD CARBOHYDRATE SOURCE
Although it is a sweet and starchy root vegetable, eating sweet potato has actually been found to help regulate blood sugar levels. Being on a gluten free diet, my carbohydrate sources are limited so sweet potato provides me with some carbs for energy, has a decent amount of fibre to increase satiety (you feel fuller between meals), and depending on how it is cooked, can be around a medium GI so it shouldn’t cause a massive spike in blood glucose levels.
*NUTRITION RANT HAS NOW ENDED*
So now you have some more reasons to love sweet potato… if you even read all that nutrition stuff above. I forget not EVERYONE is interested in the nutrition side…*sigh* so I guess I will let it slide. As long as you know that sweet potato is great.
Sweet potato chips are my go-to for a healthy snack (tricks my brain into thinking I am eating a ‘sweet’ snack), an easy lunch, or a side dish as an alternative to regular potato. There aren’t the crunchy type chip, they are more for the floppy chip lovers out there (which do exist). If cumin isn’t your thing, just leave it out – sweet potato has lots of flavour on its own anyway, its that good.
SWEET POTATO CHIPS + TAHINI SAUCE (GLUTEN+ DAIRY+EGG+ SOY+ NUT+ REFINED SUGAR FREE+ VEGAN)
– 1/2 medium sweet potato
– 1 tablespoon olive oil
– 1 teaspoon rice flour
– 1 teaspoon cumin powder
– 1/8 teaspoon salt
– few grinds of black pepper
lemon tahini sauce:
– 1 tablespoon tahini
– juice of 1 lemon
Preheat oven to 200C (400 F) and line a baking tray with non-stick baking paper.
Wash the sweet potato well, with the skin on, and dry well. Skin ON. You won’t even notice when you eat your chips, and the skin is good for you!
Cut into chips and place in a medium bowl with oil, flour, cumin, and salt. Toss to combine.
Spread evenly on baking tray, making sure the chips don’t overlap. Sprinkle with a little extra salt.
Bake for 15-25 minutes, or until chips are soft and slightly golden.
Whisk lemon juice and tahini together and serve with the chips. I just dunk my chips in.
Enjoy, knowing you are eating a couple of serves of vegetables and putting good stuff into your body.
Just make sure you have lots of different vegetables throughout the day as well to make sure you get a variety of vitamins and minerals provided by all the different coloured vegies. I am saying this to myself…as I could happily just eat sweet potato all day as my entire vegetable food group.
As my nutrition lecturer likes to say, eat a rainbow. And when she says that, she means fruit and vegetables…not skittles and m&ms. You were all thinking it.