Superfood: sweet potatoes
Sweet potatoes count as one of your five fruit and vegetables a day and are easily available all year round. In fact, there are many different varieties of sweet potatoes, in a variety of textures, sizes and colours ranging from white/ yellowish tones to deep
The root vegetable is thought to have originated in Central America and is now produced mostly in China.One of the proven benefits comes from its high levels of beta-carotene, the primary source of provitamin A carotenoid. The more orange the root, the higher the levels of carotenoid, which is essential for a good vision, boosts immune functions, protects
against infection and helps to provide a natural healthy tan (beware of overeating sweet potatoes though - it can lead to carotenoderma, orange discoloration of the skin).
Other nutritional benefits of this superfood come from its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties and good levels of dietary fibre. It’s also rich in iron and calcium, manganese, potassium and vitamin C and fairly low in calories - clocking up only 90 calories per 100g if baked.
Sweet potatoes are eaten widely around the world and their versatility means there are many recipes. We’ve chose a delicious vegetarian suggestion from Goodnessis.com.
The toppings for your sweet potato are entirely up to you, depending on the season and what is available. Baking the sweet potatoes brings out their richness and smooth texture. The sweet potato has a cooling nature, sweet flavour; strengthens the spleen- pancreas; removes toxins from the body and inflamed conditions in the body. It is very rich in vitamin A (in the form of beta-carotene), vitamin C and fiber. The sweet potato is composed mainly of starch, which is very easy to break down and soothing for the stomach and intestines.
Whole baked sweet potato with sesame broccoli & avocado
Ingredients: serves 2
- 2 small - medium round sweet potatoes
- 1 tsp oil
- 2 cup broccoli, thicker stems remove, florets
- 1 Tblsp toasted sesame seeds
- 2 medium avocados
- 2 Tbsp each of fresh coriander & parsley
- squeeze of lemon
- sprinkling chilli flakes
Tamari-toasted pumpkin seeds, mustard greens, Greek yogurt/ sour cream, freshly ground pepper.
Preheat the oven 200C/400F. Wash but don't peel the sweet potatoes and prick them a few times with a fork. Place on a baking sheet and roast for 40 - 50 minutes, depending on the size of your potatoes. Bake until the skin is crisp and the flesh inside is soft. You can test them by piercing through the skin to the center with a knife.
While the sweet potatoes are baking, rinse the broccoli, cutting off the thicker stems and the florets into smaller pieces, saving some of the smaller leaves. You can lightly steam them or heat them with a little oil in a skillet, adding the broccoli pieces and leaves. Sprinkle over some water and move them around a bit. Place the lid on for a minute, remove then stir. Replace lid, and then steam for another minute, until they’re just tender enough but still with a little crunch. Sprinkle with salt and toasted sesame seeds. Uncover, and set aside.
Cut open the avocados and remove the stone, peel and chop into small pieces, add the fresh herbs, salt, lemon and gently stir through the chilli flakes. Set aside.
Remove the sweet potato from the oven and slice each one down the center, almost through the bottom. Open up to reveal its orange flesh. Optional: drizzle the inside with a little ghee before filling. Add a few spoonfuls of the sesame broccoli, the spicy avocado and top with a dollop of yogurt/sour cream, tamari-toasted pumpkin seeds, micro mustard green, sprinkling of salt, drizzling of ghee and a few rounds of freshly ground pepper.