Sweet Potato

Nutrient Fact Sheet

Nutrient Fact File Sweet Potato Loula Natural

Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes are native to Central America and are one of the oldest vegetables known to man. It is documented that they may have been consumed since prehistoric times as  sweet potato relics have been discovered in some Peruvian caves. Christopher Columbus first brought sweet potatoes to Europe after his first voyage to the New World in 1492.

They have a creamy texture with a sweet, warm and a little spicey flavour that makes them ideal for savoury dishes. However they are also great in cakes, cookies, smoothies and even to make ice-cream. Although peak season for sweet potatoes is October to March, they are a vegetable that is readily available, inexpensive, and delicious.

Depending upon the variety, there are around 400 different ones, the skin and flesh of the sweet potato may be almost white, cream, yellow, orange, pink, or deep purple. The Japanese and Korean white/cream and American yellow-orange flesh are most common.

Although sometimes referred to as ‘yams’ in the USA, sweet potatoes belong to an entirely different food family. They are also very different from the common potato.  Sweet potatoes are far more nutrient dense and healing. Their properties and uses are diverse, and when you choose sweet potatoes as a dietary root vegetable, you are getting a truly unique and superior type of potato. Some of the benefits include

  • They are high in vitamin B6. Vitamin B6 helps reduce the chemical homocysteine in our bodies. Homocysteine has been linked to degenerative diseases, including the prevention of heart attacks.
  • They are a good source of vitamin C. While most people know that vitamin C is important to help ward off cold and flu viruses, few people are aware that this crucial vitamin also plays an important role in bone and tooth formation, digestion, and blood cell formation. It helps accelerate wound healing, produces collagen, which helps maintain skin’s youthful elasticity (sweet potatoes make us look young- bonus!), and is essential to helping us cope with stress. The anti-oxidant properties also may help to prevent cancer
  • They contain some Vitamin D which is critical for immune system and overall health at this time of year. Both a vitamin and a hormone, vitamin D is primarily made in our bodies as a result of getting adequate sunlight. Vitamin D plays an important role in our energy levels, moods, and helps to build healthy bones, heart, nerves, skin, and teeth, and may support the thyroid gland.
  • Sweet potato’s are full of beta-carotene’s good for eyesight, immune system and digestive health.
  • Sweet potatoes contain some iron. Most people are aware that we need the mineral iron to have adequate energy, but iron plays other important roles in our body, including red and white blood cell production, resistance to stress, proper immune functioning, and protein metabolism, among other things.
  • Sweet potatoes are a good source of magnesium, which is the relaxation and anti-stress mineral. Magnesium is necessary for healthy artery, blood, bone, heart, muscle, and nerve function.

Another interesting thing about sweet potatoes is the antioxidant capacity of all their parts. Recent research has shown differences in consuming the flesh versus skin of the sweet potato. Both producing different concentrations of anthocyanin antioxidants. Purple-fleshed sweet potatoes (when you can find them- Asia has them fairly regularly) are a fantastic source of anthocyanins (especially peonidins and cyanidins) as the darker and more vibrant the colour of a vegetable the more antioxidants they contain. In one study, the antioxidant activity in purple sweet potatoes was seen to be up to 3 times higher than that of blueberries.

Since they are not actually a potato so therefore not a deadly nightshade, sweet potato can actually have a healing effect on your digestive system rather than an irritating one. The fibres in the sweet potato actually feed the bacteria and are classed as fermentable as a prebiotic (food for bacteria). This therefore helps to create a more balanced bacterial environment in your digestive system. Thus giving a digestive healing effect with an immune boost too.

Finally most kids love sweet potato- it is a great first food, great in the lunch boxes cold and as hot chips at dinner time. A simple way to get some amazing nutrients into kids without too many arguments. Try them in smoothies, juices and soups for a smooth creamy consistency and natural sweetness.

Sweet potatoes are traditionally been baked, roasted or mashed, but they can also be added to risotto, pasta or curry. Here are my recipes;

Here are my mouth watering recipes;

 Here are some other amazing recipes;

Sweet Potato Spaghetti- Healthy Living How To
Sweet Potato Spaghetti- Healthy Living How To 
Dark Chocolate Brownies Renew Whole Health
Dark Chocolate Brownies Renew Whole Health
Fudgey Brownies Jules Fuel
Fudgey Brownies Jules Fuel
Pumpkin Sweet Potato Cupcakes Veggie Converter
Pumpkin Sweet Potato Cupcakes Veggie Converter
Sweet Potato Breakfast Cookies- The Paleo Mama
Sweet Potato Breakfast Cookies- The Paleo Mama
Sweet Potato Chocolate Cake Homemade Mommy
Sweet Potato Chocolate Cake Homemade Mommy
Sweet Potato Chocolate Chip Cookies Homemade Mommy
Sweet Potato Chocolate Chip Cookies Homemade Mommy
Chicken with Sweet Potato Curry Sauce- La Healthy Living
Chicken with Sweet Potato Curry Sauce- La Healthy Living
Sweet Potato Quiche-Grok Grub
Sweet Potato Quiche-Grok Grub
Sweet Potato Pancakes-Healy Real Food Vegetarian
Sweet Potato Pancakes-Healy Real Food Vegetarian
Sweet Potato Hash- Stupid easy paleo
Sweet Potato Hash- Stupid easy paleo
Sweet Potato Chips- Healy Real Food Vegetarian
Sweet Potato Chips- Healy Real Food Vegetarian
Sweet Potato Apple Pancetta Hash- Gutsy By Nature
Sweet Potato Apple Pancetta Hash- Gutsy By Nature
Sweet Potato and Banana Pie Smoothie-Green Thickies
Sweet Potato and Banana Pie Smoothie-Green Thickies
Sweet Potato Recovery Shake Stupid Easy Paleo
Sweet Potato Recovery Shake Stupid Easy Paleo
Sweet Potato Gratin- Meatified
Sweet Potato Gratin- Meatified
Sweet Potato Crackers- The Coconut Mama
Sweet Potato Crackers- The Coconut Mama
Chickpea Stuffed Sweet Potatoes The Coconut Mama
Chickpea Stuffed Sweet Potatoes The Coconut Mama
Squash and Sweet Potato Lasagna Veggie Converter
Squash and Sweet Potato Lasagna Veggie Converter
Spicy Lime Sweet Potato Mash- Popular Paleo
Spicy Lime Sweet Potato Mash- Popular Paleo
Raw Carrot and Sweet Potato soup with Spinach- Green Thickies
Raw Carrot and Sweet Potato soup with Spinach- Green Thickies
Paleo Hash- The Sprouting Seed
Paleo Hash- The Sprouting Seed
Organic Sweet Potato Chips Whole Lifestyle Nutrition
Organic Sweet Potato Chips Whole Lifestyle Nutrition
Make Your Own Sweet Potato Chips- Healthy Living How To
Make Your Own Sweet Potato Chips- Healthy Living How To
Loaded Sweet Potato Fries- The Sprouting Seed
Loaded Sweet Potato Fries- The Sprouting Seed
Creamy Sweet Potato Mash Stupid Easy Paleo
Creamy Sweet Potato Mash Stupid Easy Paleo
Chilli Lime Sweet Potato Fries Popular Paleo
Chilli Lime Sweet Potato Fries Popular Paleo
BBQ Pork Stuffed Sweet Potatoes-Primally Inspired
BBQ Pork Stuffed Sweet Potatoes-Primally Inspired
Apple Sweet Potato Bake Stupid Easy Paleo
Apple Sweet Potato Bake Stupid Easy Paleo
Autumn Spiced Sweet Potato Bread-Soundness of Body and Mind
Autumn Spiced Sweet Potato Bread-Soundness of Body and Mind
 

 

Sweet Potato Falafel with a Garlic Kefir Dip

Sweet Potato Falafel and Garlic Kefir Dip Loula Natural

Sweet Potato Falafel and Garlic Kefir Dip

I made these for a recent party where I was asked to bring a veggie dish that didn’t need to be hot! These perfect. Great as finger food but can also be served as a side dish. Great in wraps too for lunch box ideas. Sweet potato’s are full of beta-carotene’s. We eat them almost every day.

Sweet Potato Falafel with a Garlic Kefir Dip
Great party food, lunch box addition or as a side dish. Can be eaten hot or cold and can be prepared ahead of time or frozen.
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Ingredients
  1. 200g Sweet Potato (Yams) Peeled and diced. (you can also use half sweet potato half carrot)
  2. 100g parmesan/pecarino cheese (you also use coconut or nutritional yeast for Dairy free)
  3. 1 egg (you could use ground flax in water as an egg replacement)
  4. Salt and Pepper
  5. 3tbs Oat flour (or any other flour- coconut/almond/buckwheat)
  6. For the Dip
  7. 1 cup Kefir (or Kefir Cheese)
  8. 1-2 Cloves of garlic
  9. 3 Spring onions
  10. 1tsp coconut sugar
  11. Salt and Pepper
Instructions
  1. Steam the sweet potato for 10 mins. 'Rice' the potato in the food processor. Squeeze excess water out using a cotton soup/nut bag or muslin cloth. Add to a bowl with the other ingredients (except flour). Mix well and then using the flour on your hands and on a baking sheet roll into balls. Bake balls in the oven at 180-200 degrees C for 10-20 mins. Heat coconut oil in a pan and fry off to make a bit crispier (optional).
  2. To make the dip mix all the ingredients together in the food processor until combined.
Adapted from Cauliflower Cheesy Nuggets
Loula Natural http://loulanatural.com/
Garlic Kefir Dip collage Loula Natural

Kids lunch box approved

Vegetarian Lentil and Sweet Potato Cottage Pie

cottage Pie

We use Lentils quite alot. I use this same mix to make lentil tacos too. We also love lentil burgers. The kids love them and my husband is coming round to them- he likes them because he can feel full after eating them. I like them for their protein profile and the texture when cooked works well for ‘mince like’ consistency.

1 Cup Puy lentils (soaked and drained)

2 cups Stock

(we are not strict vegetarians so our stock is bone broth but you can use vegetable stock)

1/2 cup Passata tomatos or fresh skinned and seeded tomatos

1 Carrot

1 Onion

1-2 sticks of Celery

1/2 Green/red pepper (optional)

1-3 cloves of garlic (we love garlic)

1 tbs fresh herbs chopped (thyme, basil, parsley, oregano)

1 bay leaf

Salt Pepper

Sweet Potato Mash

I first put the carrot, celery, onion, garlic, pepper and herbs in the food processor to finely chop. Throw everything else into a pot or a slow cooker and cook slowly until the lentils are soft (4 hours on slow in a slow cooker).

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For the top of the cottage pie make the sweet potato mash (you can also add the herb butter cubes to the mix too). Add some cheese (I like sheeps cheese- optional). Then put in the oven at 200 C till heated through normally 15-20 mins.

Serve with some green vegetables or salad.

This is also a great weaning dish for babies a they can use their hands to eat this.

Its all about the Side Dish- Round Up

The Side-Dish round up

Side dishes can sometimes make or break a meal. It can also jazz up a meal plan as you can rotate the meat and insert different side dishes!

Here are some of my favourite from my catalogue;

Cauliflower Mash

Zemanta Related Posts Thumbnail

 

Sweet Potato Rosti

Zemanta Related Posts Thumbnail

Sweet Potato Mash

Sweet pot mash

Raw Parsnip ‘Cous Cous’

Parsnip cous cous

and here from my favourite bloggers…

Health Home Happy

Simple Sauteed Snow peas

snow-peas-1024x682

http://www.healthhomehappy.com/2013/05/simple-sauteed-snow-peas-side-dish.html

Small Footprint Family

Simple Pickled Beets (and how to grow them)

beets

http://www.smallfootprintfamily.com/pickled-beet-recipe

Our Nourishing Roots

Butternut Squash Sweet Potato Casserole with Pecan crunch

butternutsquashcasserole-1024x768

http://ournourishingroots.com/butternut-squash-sweet-potato-casserole-with-pecan-crunch/

Simple Clean Living

Southwest Quinoa and Black Beans

Southwest-Quinoa-and-Black-Beans

http://www.simplecleanliving.com/southwest-quinoa-and-black-beans/

Real Food Girl; Unmodified

Apricot Glazed Haricots Verts with Bacon

haricots verts

http://www.realfoodgirlunmodified.com/apricot-glazed-haricots-verts-with-bacon/

Sweet Potato Rosti

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWe eat a lot of sweet potato. The kids and I love it- my husband doesn’t mind them- but its not a potato! We eat them mainly as chips but since I don’t have an oven, only a halogen oven, sometimes I don’t have the space for chips. This happened recently so I got creative!

Ingredients

1 Large Sweet Potato

1 tbs Coconut oil

salt/pepper

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAusing a julienne peeler I peeled the sweet potato. I put the ribbons into a bowl and poured in the coconut oil, salt and pepper. I used my hands to ensure all the ribbons were lightly coated.

In a frying pan I gathers some ribbons up into a nest shape and carefully placed in the pan. After a couple of minutes I carefully turned them over. I then removed them onto kitchen paper and continued until the bowl was empty.

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At this point you could freeze them or store them in the fridge if you want to make them ahead.

I then put them in the oven to reheat and to crisp them up. at 180 C for 10-15 minutes.

We had them with Roast chicken and veggies! They were yummy and nice to have something a bit different!

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