Sweet potatoes are naturally gluten-free and one of the best nutritional bangs for your buck. Sweet potatoes have almost half of the RDA of vitamin C, twice the RDA of vitamin A and 4 times the RDA of beta carotene. They are only 130 – 160 calories for a medium sweet potato & if you eat the skin, they have even more fiber than oatmeal at almost 4 grams.
Sweet Potato Nutrition Facts
(for one medium size sweet potato)
- Calories 130
- Fat 0.39 g
- Protein 2.15 g
- Net Carbs 31.56 g
- Dietary Fiber 3.9 g
- Calcium 28.6 mg
- Sodium 16.9 mg
- Potassium 265.2 mg
- Folate 18.2 mcg
- Vitamin C 29.51 mg
- Vitamin A 26081.9 IU
Source: US Department of Agriculture
Sweet potatoes sometimes get a bad rap, I think due to the fact that around the holidays they are often prepared in a casserole with sugar, butter, pecans & marshmallow topping. Some people love that, others think it is too sweet. I had never tried sweet potatoes any other way until I had to go on the gluten-free diet, so my opinion of them was not favorable. I really branched out after starting on the gluten-free diet and started to include sweet potatoes in my diet. Jon & Hannah will even eat them, as long as they are in hash brown or French fry form. Interestingly enough, will not eat them when they are prepared the sugared-up holiday way.
Here are some of my favorite ways to prepare & eat sweet potatoes:
Chop your sweet potatoes into small chunks & spray with Pam or toss with olive oil. Season with salt, pepper & a touch of cinnamon. Saute in a frying pan until done.
Cut potatoes into steak fry shape & spray with Pam or toss with olive oil. Season with salt & pepper & a touch of cinnamon. Bake in a 375 – 400 degree oven, flipping every 10 minutes, until done (about 30 – 40 minutes).
Using a mandoline or sharp knife, cut potatoes into very thin rounds. Spray with Pam & season with salt & pepper. Bake at 375 -400 for about 30 minutes, flipping every 10 minutes.
Puffs or Pillows:
Preheat your oven to 350. Cut your sweet potato into thick rounds and toss with EVOO, sea salt & pepper (you can use Pam if you are trying to cut back on calories, though olive oil is good for you). Spread out in a single layer on a baking sheet & cook for 30 minutes, flipping half way through. Bump the temperature up to 400 for the next 20 minutes, again, flipping half way through. Total cooking time is about 50 minutes. This makes them sooooo soft on the inside & a little crisp on the outside – like a puff!
While sweet potatoes taste best baked in the oven, they can be baked quickly in the microwave for those crazy busy nights. Wash & dry sweet potato. Poke holes with a fork in your potato. Place on a plate & microwave for 2 minutes. Flip & microwave another 2 minutes. Times will vary depending on the size of your potato. You can tell when it is done when you can easily slip a butter knife into the center. Sometimes I will wrap in foil & toss in a warm oven to keep my potato warm while I finish making dinner. If you do have the time to bake your sweet potato in the oven, just wash, wrap in foil and bake for 60 minutes or so at 350.
For toppings I use Greek yogurt & cinnamon when eating along with my meal. I have also been known to top with black beans, mozzarella or goat cheese & Frank’s Red Hot.
How do you like your sweet potatoes?