The Secret Ingredient is…..

220px 5aday sweet potato The Secret Ingredient is.....…..Sweet Potatoe.

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 carbohydratesdietary fiberbeta 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.)

 The Secret Ingredient is.....In 1992, the Center for Science in the Public Interest compared the nutritional value of sweet potatoes to other vegetables. Considering fibre content,complex carbohydratesprotein,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:

North America

 The Secret Ingredient is.....

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.

pf button both The Secret Ingredient is.....

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  • Nora

    I actually really love sweet potatoes but never buy them! I guess I was just so used to using regular potatoes. I need to eat them!!
    Nora recently posted..Letting It GoMy Profile

    • Jason

      Come back on Friday for two awesome and completely different recipes using the sweet potato to get you back in the groove.

      Plus check out my Facebook page ( later today for pictures of lentil burgers and sweet potato cakes or burgers and fries in our house.

  • Jon

    I heart me some Sweet Potato! I have a KILLER sweet potato recipe that could fuel you through an Ironman, with it needing 3 sticks of butter and three cups of various forms of sugar ;)

    Mostly, I cube it and roast it with other veggies and then mix it with couscous.
    Jon recently posted..Overcoming Frustration- Ups and DownsMy Profile

    • Jason

      That would certainly raise your glycemic index. LOL. What do you eat after that burns out in the first 2 hours?

      Love the idea of it mixed with couscous too. So good.

  • Jeff Irvin

    We loves us some sweet potatoes in our house …yum!
    Jeff Irvin recently posted..My Bike Crash and Road Rash PicsMy Profile

  • Christel

    Yum, sweet potato tempura! :)

  • Marlene

    Looking forward to seeing the results of this challenge. I love sweet potato but don’t use it nearly enough!
    Marlene recently posted..Nothing like a little 10K PR on a TuesdayMy Profile

    • Jason

      I am eating some of my recipe right now and having made your menu you are going to love this recipe. You will not be let down by me.

  • Scott

    WHAT?!?!?! Black Beans had such a commanding lead!!! I demand a recount!!!

    • Jason

      It was hands down on my site but on Matt’s site the bean got crushed by the sweet potatoe. I think Jennifer (Miles, Muscles, Mommyhood) and Adena rigged it.

      • lindsay

        ok. this explains that i’m not crazy afterall! i thought you’d announced beans and matt announced sweet pot so i was confused. sorry beans, but i’m glad sweet pot won.
        lindsay recently posted..dancing for the presidentsMy Profile

        • Jason

          On Matt’s page the SP won but on my page BB won. Combined SP won out.

  • jennifer

    Ooh, one of my favorite training lunches is to bake a sweet potato (coat the outside w/olive oil & salt it before baking)… top it with cottage cheese (and lots of pepper, yum) and serve with a side of sauteed swiss chard. All the food groups, super healthy.
    jennifer recently posted..The run that almost wasntMy Profile

  • Emily

    I love sweet potatoes but don’t know what to look for when shopping for them. Tips? (Yes, I know…I’m a total food dummy)
    Emily recently posted..Presidents Day Spring ClingMy Profile

    • Jason

      For me it all depends on what I’m making. If I am making sweet potato chips then i want one that resembles a white potato in that it is oval in shape with as few ‘eyes’ as possible (those are the dimples/holes in potatoes.) If I am roasting them to make sweet potato puree then I want the ones that are fattest to get me to the weight as fast as possible. If I plan on eating the skin then I want the best looking one that doesn’t have fibers growing out of it.

  • adena

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  • natasha

    What a coincidence I just remembered how much I love the sweet potatoe this last week and had 1/2 of a steamed sweet potatoe with lunch. This week it’s been 1/2 of one with dinner baked fries style. Yes, I went a little overboard ;-) The nutritional value makes it even better. I’ve never understood the whole part about adding sugar to it though… I look forward to seeing the recipes!
    natasha recently posted..The What- When and Why of Your Nutrition Plan USA TriathlonMy Profile

    • Jason

      I never understood the sugar either. It has a natural sweetness so enjoy that part. I wouldn’t say that is overboard since it is so good for you. Now you may get turned off eventually from eating them all the time but otherwise keep on chewing.

  • adena

    ok I registered with that stupid commentluv and will click the checkbox to get notified. If you could reply to this then we’ll know if the comment stuff is working.
    adena recently I wasMy Profile

    • Jason

      OK, here is my response to your comment.

  • Neysa

    I was pretty surprised reading your post to see how many of the ways sweet potatoes are prepared in North America use sugar! Sweet potato is just so, well, sweet to start off with, I can’t imagine adding more. Roasting, BBQing, or lightly sautéing with a bit of butter really bring out their natural sweetness, without having to add anything. Also great blended with hummus, or in a vege mash with potato, carrot and pumpkin! Can’t wait to see your recipes, looking forward to something delicious. May have to put up the common Australian uses of the sweet potato!

    • Jason

      I was quite surprised by it as well. I made black bean burgers two nights ago and used a sweet potato puree that required a sweet potato and that was all. Nothing extra.

      Thank you for stopping by and leaving a comment.

      I didn’t find anything specific to Australia as they lumped NZ and AUS together.

      Here is the link I found from with the Top 5 dishes:

  • http://50after40.blogspot jim

    Love sweet potatos … so good for you!

    • Jason

      Used them tonight in some scallion potato pancakes. Check out the review of the recipe on Sunday.

  • Chuck

    They are awesome with peanut butter and marshmallow fluff. I always have a sweet potato that night before a race–usually with honey and cinnamon
    Chuck recently posted..Recipes!My Profile

  • Lesley @

    Sweet potatoes are probably in my top 10 favorite foods!!! Yum.
    Lesley @ recently posted..Quick Check-inMy Profile

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