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10 Things to do with Sweet Potatoes

Updated on March 19, 2013
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Kathy is a busy mom of two teens who loves to cook tasty and simple food for her family and friends.

Sweet potatoes are nutritional powerhouses, high in vitamin A, vitamin C, potassium, beta carotene and other nutrients. They are a great source of complex carbs and have a low glycemic index. Despite their name, sweet potatoes are actually better for diabetics than regular potatoes and are believed to help lower insulin resistance. They can be an important part of a healthy diet, and should not be reserved for special occasions only.

Sweet potato pie or sweet potato casserole are a common part of many people's traditional Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner. Typically, these holiday dishes contain a high amount of fat and sugar, as they often include lots of brown sugar, syrup and even marshmallows. However, there are many other ways to prepare sweet potatoes that make them a healthy choice for everyday meals.

Here are 10 suggestions for different ways to cook sweet potatoes to make them a part of your everyday meals:

How many calories are in a sweet potato?

A medium size sweet potato (approx 110-115 g) has about 105 calories and contains more than 100% of the RDA of Vitamin A, and 35% of the RDA of Vitamin C.

Source: USDA

1. Serve mashed sweet potatoes as a side dish

Bake or boil some sweet potatoes, then mash them up. Add any of the following: milk, butter, sour cream or maple syrup and serve. Obviously, you will want to only add a bit of any of the above if you are watching your fat or sugar intake. Plain yogurt is also a good option.

Sweet potato fries
Sweet potato fries | Source

2. Make sweet potato fries

Sweet potato fries can be a healthy substitute for regular french fries - particularly if they're baked instead of fried.

3. Roast them

Roasted sweet potatoes are so easy to prepare. Cut the sweet potatoes into chunks or wedges, toss them in some olive oil or vegetable oil and cook in a 400 degree oven for about 30 minutes. You can add extra seasonings like cumin, garlic, honey or lemon juice if you want a bit more flavour.

Short on time?

For a speedier version of a baked sweet potato, poke a few holes in a raw sweet potato and cook it in the microwave for five minutes.

4. Make baked sweet potatoes

Baked sweet potatoes are a nice change from a traditional baked potato. Because the sweet potato has more flavour than a normal baked potato, you may find that you don't need as many high fat toppings as you would normally add.

5. Cook them on the barbecue

Barbecuing a sweet potato allows it to caramelize, bringing out its natural sweetness. You can either cook sweet potatoes, whole or sliced, directly on the grill or wrap them in tin foil first.

6. Make sweet potato soup

Soup made using sweet potatoes can be savoury, with the addition of curry and apples, or rich and sweet with maple syrup and nutmeg. Serve the soup as an appetizer, or freeze some for a delicious and nutritious lunch.

7. Use sweet potatoes in a salad

Cubed cooked sweet potatoes add colour and nutrition to a green salad, or you can even make a potato salad with them instead of using white potatoes.

8. Use sweet potatoes in stews

You can substitute sweet potatoes for regular potatoes in your favourite stew recipe to increase the nutritional value and add a bit of extra colour.

9. Make sweet potato pancakes

Depending on the recipe, you can make sweet potato pancakes using either mashed potatoes or grated potatoes. The result can be like traditional potato pancakes, or more like a regular breakfast pancake. Both variations up the nutritional factor, and are worth trying.

10. Bake sweet potato muffins

Although it may sound unusual, sweet potato muffins are delicious and very nutritious. You can puree them, or leave them chunky for a bit more texture. Cinnamon and nuts compliment sweet potatoes nicely in muffins.

Healthy Sweet Potato Muffins

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