The sweet potato is a bit of a misnomer – it is, in fact a tuber, part of the root system that contains nutrients for a plant. Therefore sweet potatoes are packed with nutrients that are essential for humans, including vitamins A, B5, B6, thiamin, niacin, riboflavin and carotenoids (the nutrient that gives them their orange colour). Carotenoids and vitamin A are essential for good eye sight, and also contain lots of antioxidants, essential for repair of the body and the prevention of cancer. A large sweet potato contains more than 100% of your RDA of vitamin A and fewer calories than a white potato. It’s also high in vitamin C, slowing ageing and maintaining skin elasticity. What’s not to love about this miracle vegetable?
Here are some recipes to keep your sweet potato addiction interesting. Enjoy!
Sweet potato fries/wedges:
- Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees
- Scrub one large/2 small sweet potatoes to remove dirt (no need to peel)
- Chop into fry shapes (either thick wedges or thinner slices for fries)
- Drizzle on olive oil, salt, chilli flakes, paprika and black pepper and mix to coat
- Put on a baking tray and roast until golden, about 40-45 minutes.
Sweet potato toast:
- Scrub one small to medium sized sweet potato
- Cut into the thinnest slices possible (1/4-1/2 inch thick)
- Place in a bowl, cover and cook in the microwave for 5 minutes
- Remove and place into a toaster until cooked through and brown at the edges (this may take 2-3 times)
- Top with topping of choice – both savoury and sweet work well
Sweet potato and chickpea curry:
- (Peel and) chop one large sweet potato and boil until tender
- Chop one onion and a clove of garlic
- Fry in some oil, and mix in 1tsp turmeric, 1tbsp garam masala, a pinch of chilli flakes and 1tbsp ground coriander
- Drain one 400g tin of chickpeas and add to the pan
- Add 100-200g spinach and put a lid on the pan to wilt the spinach
- Once wilted, add the drained sweet potato to the pan and mix
Sweet potatoes are versatile, cheap and delicious. Anywhere normal potatoes are used, try switching to sweet potatoes. They’re easily cooked in the microwave, on the hob or in the oven, so can be used in all sorts of recipes!