Focus on Sweet Potatoes?

 I grew up in the Midwest where we had potatoes often and in many forms. I grew to love potatoes and I still do. Sweet potatoes were another matter. We had them only at Thanksgiving, and maybe Christmas, usually covered with brown sugar and marshmallows. They were this funny orange color, didn’t taste like regular potatoes, and I never really cared for them much.

But now as I’ve come to appreciate the health benefits of eating vegetables, I’ve opened up to sweet potatoes. I learned that Papau New Guinea highlanders consume 90 percent of their calories from sweet potatoes and have no cardiac disease or diabetes. Not suprising given that sweet potatoes are low in fat, contain about 10% protein, and are high in dietary fiber, vitamin A, vitamin C, potassium, and many other vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients. But what about the taste?

My first surprise was eating black bean and sweet potato soup from this recipe. I unexpectedly found myself really liking this soup. The recipe does have regular potatoes in it as well as sweet potatoes, so that might have helped my get over my aversion to the sweet potatoes in the soup. But all the flavors really work well together. This soup has become one of the favorites around here. Try it. I think you’ll like it.

Then just a short time ago, we were introduced to a sweet potato and mango bowl from this recipe. Again, the flavors blend together really well, and the dish is colorful too. A dish that is filling and healthy never tasted so good.

The two recipes above are posted in the recipe section of our web site. But let me throw in one more. Now that I’m really beginning to like sweet potatoes, I often try this simple, quick recipe. Cut a sweet potato into French fry slices. Cook on a non-stick surface in the microwave for 6 to 8 minutes. Eat. Sweet potato fries, fast and delicious. And totally healthy. Three cheers for the sweet potato!

John Tanner


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