Sweet potatoes are a staple at many dinner tables during the holiday season, but this naturally nutritious ingredient is often transformed into a marshmallow-filled calorie-bomb of a casserole (with the exception of my personal favorite sweet potato and banana dish). When it comes to making healthy sweet potato recipes, you are only limited to your own imagination.
As a nutrient-rich vegetable—full of fiber, potassium, and vitamin C—scientists are working to cultivate sweet potatoes in developing nations to fight hunger, according to GOOD Worldwide. This amazing ingredient is plentiful in the fall, allowing you countless chances to conduct your own healthy kitchen experiments. Get the most out of this nutritious and delicious root vegetable by serving these easy-to-make dishes to your family and friends.
1. Baked Sweet Potato Fries
Here's what you'll need:
- 4 large sweet potatoes
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon salt
- ½ tablespoon pepper
- ½ tablespoon garlic powder
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Slice the sweet potatoes lengthwise into ¼-inch slices, and slice them again so they are ½ inch wide (e.g. the shape of french fries). Spread one tablespoon of olive oil on a baking sheet. Toss the other tablespoon of olive oil in a large dish with the sweet potato slices, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Place the seasoned sweet potato slices onto the oiled baking sheet and cook in the oven for about 40 minutes. Toss the fries after they've cooked for 20 minutes and again at 30 minutes.
2. Slow Cooker Sweet Potato & Butternut Squash Soup
Is there anything better than coming home to a (practically) ready-to-eat meal in the slow cooker? Ever since I discovered this sweet potato and butternut squash soup recipe from Life Made Sweeter, I have incorporated it into my fall meal plan.
- 2 medium butternut squashes, halved, seeds removed, roughly cubed
- 1 medium sweet potato, peeled, roughly cubed
- 1 medium onion, peeled, roughly diced
- 2 cups low-sodium or unsalted chicken or vegetable broth
- 2 teaspoons fresh ginger, peeled
- 3 cloves garlic, sliced
- ¾ cup canned coconut milk
- 1 teaspoon nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon turmeric
- 1–2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
- salt and pepper, to taste
Add the squash, sweet potato, onion, broth, ginger, and garlic to your slow cooker. Cook on high heat for 2 hours or low heat for 4. Then add the coconut milk, nutmeg, turmeric, and cayenne pepper, and puree using an immersion blender. Add salt and pepper as desired.
Along with seasonal favorites like sweet potatoes and squash, the onions, ginger, and coconut milk add to the complex flavor palette of this dish. I use vegetable stock when I make this recipe, but you can experiment with your favorite bases.
3. Cinnamon-Sprinkled Sweet Potato Chips
This recipe is really an adaptation of the baked sweet potato fries dish. Simply omit the garlic powder, add a teaspoon of cinnamon, and cut the sweet potatoes into thin, chip-like slices. You may need to use an additional baking sheet to accommodate the wider slices, but everything else is the same.
4. Double-Baked Sweet Potatoes with Walnuts
Here's what you'll need:
- 4 sweet potatoes
- ½ cup vegan yogurt (substitute traditional if preferred)
- ½ tablespoon cinnamon
- ½ tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 cup chopped walnuts
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Pierce washed sweet potatoes with a fork, place them on a baking sheet, and cook for approximately 30-40 minutes. Cut the cooked sweet potatoes in half lengthwise and scoop out the insides without damaging the skins. Mash the sweet potatoes with the yogurt, cinnamon, and brown sugar. Place this mixture back into the potato skins, top with chopped walnuts, and bake for an additional 15 minutes.
5. Sweet Potato Mash
Here's what you'll need:
- 4 sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
- 1 cup almond milk (or your favorite milk variety)
- ½ cup real maple syrup
Bring a pot of water to a boil. Add the cubed sweet potatoes and cook for about 20 minutes, until tender. Remove the potatoes from the water, mash them, and add the remaining ingredients. If you prefer to make a savory mash, simply omit the maple syrup and, instead, add salt and pepper to taste.
There you have it! You no longer need to wonder how to cook sweet potatoes. Whether you prefer savory or sweet, there are a variety of tasty dishes to try while experimenting with healthy sweet potato recipes. Share your tips and techniques with a #GoodMatters tweet!
Image sources: MaxPixel | MaxPixel | Flickr
This article was brought to you by Tom's of Maine. The views and opinions expressed by the author do not reflect the position of Tom's of Maine.
Why It’s Good
Sweet potatoes are among the most nutritious fall harvest vegetables. They're even being used to combat hunger around the world. Sample a few healthy sweet potato recipes to get the most out of this versatile ingredient.