Healthier Holiday Sweet Potatoes

I love sweet potatoes. Make that LOVE sweet potatoes. I love everything about them. They are delicious, versatile, warming, and filling. Best of all they are packed full of vitamins and minerals that we need.

Sweet potatoes are super high in vitamin A (in the form of beta-carotene). Vitamin C, manganese, copper, pantothenic acid and vitamin B6 can also be found in sweet potatoes. In addition to that, they are also great sources of potassium, dietary fiber, niacin, vitamin B1, and phosphorus.

The levels of beta-carotene in the orange-fleshed sweet potatoes directly relate to the intensity of the color.

Purple sweet potatoes have been shown to have around 3 times the amount of antioxidants as a type of blueberry!

Sweet potatoes have also been thought to potentially improve or manage blood sugar.

This delicious vegetable is one of the oldest vegetables known to man! Ancient relics 10,000 years old were found in Peruvian caves, showing the sweet potato being used. WOW!

Now that we have some history of these gorgeous vegetables, you may be wondering HOW to eat these beauties.

I love to add warming spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger to my sweet potatoes.
Cinnamon has been known to be full of antioxidants, has anti-inflammatory benefits, and could help with heart health and reducing cancer risk. At one time cinnamon was more costly than gold. I can see why!

Nutmeg is another spice that I sprinkle on.
Nutmeg warmed in a nut milk or any milk at night has been used by some cultures to induce sleep. It has potassium, calcium, iron, and manganese in it. It is also used to help improve digestion.

These are all warming and delicious spices. Try sprinkling some of your dishes.

Note: In excessive amounts, though they can be potentially dangerous, so check with your healthcare provider if you plan to take supplements or large amounts.

Now….
The holidays are here and you want sweet potatoes.
We have seen them slathered with butter and marshmallows, but how about some healthier options?

1.
Steamed or Boiled Sweet Potatoes
One way that I enjoy them is by steaming or boiling them and then mashing and adding spices such as cinnamon and nutmeg which are warming spices with many properties used across cultures for a variety of health reasons. I have also taken the sweet potatoes and mashed them with coconut milk and added ground cinnamon, a little-grated ginger, maple syrup, and nutmeg. Yummmmm!!

My most FAVORITE way to eat them is written below. This has been tested by my family and it meets in the middle in terms of healthy and traditional “holiday” food.

2.
Healthier Baked Sweet Potatoes

I first take the sweet potatoes, wash them with water and then pat dry.
Then I chop off both ends.
Next, I cut the sweet potatoes into smaller bite-sized pieces, leaving the skin on. There are so many nutrients in the skin. You could also leave them whole, and pierce each one several times with a fork and still follow the recipe. I do it both ways.

Next, I place them in a cooking dish. I then add a couple of tablespoons of coconut oil in there (you could also use extra-virgin olive oil). I add a few dashes of sea salt. Then, I sprinkle them evenly with ground cinnamon, nutmeg, and finely grated ginger. You could add a few splashes of 100% real vanilla extract. Use a light touch when you sprinkle. You do not want to pour on spices as that will overpower the taste. Just enough will do, as the sweet potato can shine on its own. I then add maple syrup over the sweet potatoes. Mix all of this together with a spoon so that the sweet potatoes are evenly coated. Then cover with foil and puncture the foil in several places to allow the steam to escape. Cook on 350 for about 45 minutes, or check to see when they become soft. Check for doneness by piercing with a fork and seeing that the inside is very soft. If the sweet potatoes are whole, you could peel them after baked, and slice. Yum!

Enjoy your holidays! Let me know what are your favorite ways to make sweet potatoes down below!

Saludos!

Vanessa xoxo

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