Sweet potatoes are amazingly healthy for us! In fact, the orange fleshed sweet potato has been tagged as one of nature’s unsurpassed sources of beta-carotene.
They’ve been enjoyed since prehistoric times and by the 16th century, began to be cultivated in the U.S. where they remain a favorite for holidays and as a staple for traditional cuisine. They are inexpensive, readily available and delicious!
Sweet potatoes come in a vast variety and their skins and flesh can be purple toned as well as orange fleshed toned. They taste sweet like dessert but provide an wide range of surprising health benefits.
Some of the health benefits this tuber provides are:
Beta-carotene – sweet potatoes contain as much as carrots. They are great for fighting off cancer cells and other chronic diseases.
A great source of vitamin C – important to ward off cold and flu viruses as well as playing important roles in tooth and bone cell formation. It produces collagen that helps maintain skin’s youthful elasticity.
High in vitamin B6 – which helps reduce homocysteine (linked with degenerative diseases including heart attacks) in our bodies.
Healthy source of vitamin A (no other food provides more vitamin A than sweet potatoes), magnesium, iron and potassium.
Fiber – sweet potatoes are one of the top sources of dietary fiber.
Cancer – Diets rich in beta-carotene reduce the risk of prostate cancer up to 40%.
No fat – they contain no fat but can still make you feel full with all that fiber!
Don’t reserve this nutrient dense vegetable for holidays but get creative and treat yourself a few times weekly. They can be pureed, steamed, grilled and roasted and they are perfect for soups, salads and baked goods. Recently, they’ve become a crowd favorite when served like french fries. They have even been added to smoothies and make the transition from side-dish to dessert with ease.
Here’s a healthy dessert recipe where sweet potatoes are the star.
For more exciting, mouth watering recipes that use veggies as the starring or side role check out:
Your paleo friendly, mostly raw, no sugar, no bake, no gluten source for delicious dessert and treat recipes!
Sweet Potato Bars
- 1 cup almonds
- ½ cup sunflower seeds
- 1 cup dates, soaked at least 30 minutes and drained
- ½ cup desiccated coconut
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 2 cups sweet potato, steamed, or raw and grated
- ¼ cup honey
- ¼ cup coconut oil warmed until liquid
- 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- Place almonds and seeds into a food processor and process until broke down and crumbly.
- Add dates, coconut and cinnamon and process until well combined.
- Press mixture into an 8x8 pan or dish.
- Place all of the ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth.
- Spoon the filling onto the base and smooth out.
- Place in fridge to firm up and set. Cut into squares as desired.