Matt from The Athlete’s Plate and I will be having our second challenge and the secret ingredient is Sweet Potatoe.
The sweet potatoe entered my life about two years ago and I have been asking myself where has this been my whole life. I always associated the sweet potatoe with sweet potatoe pie and all that marshmallow topping and I guess I was just turned off by it.
Since moving to Texas and marrying Karen is when the sweet potatoe entered my life and will never leave. It is just that….sweet but so much more. As I started training and finding out about different types of foods for my body I discovered that the sweet potatoe is more than just taste, as it has great nutritional value.
It doesn’t end there as because of besides simple starches, sweet potatoes are rich in complex carbohydrates, dietary fiber, beta carotene (a vitamin A equivalent nutrient), vitamin C, and vitamin B6.
For example, a medium sweet potatoe is (114g) has 103 calories, no fat or cholesterol, 24g of carbs, 4g of fiber, and 2g of protein. Let’s not forget the micronutrients in a sweet potatoe. How about 438% of your daily intake of Vitamin A, 37% of Vitamin C, 4% calcium and iron (%’s based on a 2,000 calorie diet.)
In 1992, the Center for Science in the Public Interest compared the nutritional value of sweet potatoes to other vegetables. Considering fibre content,complex carbohydrates, protein,vitamins A and C, iron, and calcium, the sweet potato ranked highest in nutritional value. According to these criteria, sweet potatoes earned 184 points, 100 points over the next on the list, the common potato.(NCSPC)
Sweet potato varieties with dark orange flesh have more beta carotene than those with light coloured flesh, and their increased cultivation is being encouraged in Africa, where vitamin A deficiency is a serious health problem. Despite the name “sweet”, it may be a beneficial food fordiabetics, as preliminary studies on animals have revealed that it helps to stabilize blood sugar levels and to lower insulin resistance.
A little bit of research (thanks Wikipedia) produced the following ways that sweet potatoes are used here in North America:
- Candied sweet potatoes are a side dish consisting mainly of sweet potatoes prepared with brown sugar, marshmallows, maple syrup,molasses, orange juice, marron glacé, or other sweet ingredients. Often served in America on Thanksgiving, this dish represents traditional American cooking and of that prepared with the indigenous peoples of the Americas when European American settlers first arrived.
- Sweet potato casserole is a side dish of mashed sweet potatoes in a casserole dish, topped with a brown sugar and pecan topping.
- Sweet potato pie is also a traditional favourite dish in Southern U.S. cuisine.
- Sweet potatoes slices are fried in bacon drippings and eaten with the bacon on toast. This is a traditional autumn breakfast food in rural Kentucky.
- Sweet potato fries or chips are another common preparation, and are made by julienning and deep frying sweet potatoes, in the fashion of French fried potatoes.
- Baked sweet potatoes are sometimes offered in restaurants as an alternative to baked potatoes. They are often topped with brown sugar and butter.
- Sweet potato butter can be cooked into a gourmet spread.
- Sweet potato mash is served as a side dish, often at Thanksgiving dinner or with barbecue.
I have created my dish for this challenge and have some great photos of the dish. The recipe will be displayed on Friday along with nutritional information and your chance to vote for the best sweet potatoe dish.