February is National Sweet Potato Month!
By: Vivien Veil
In honour of the sweet potato, I am going to share a very delicious recipe that will make you pay homage to the potato’s distant cousin. Oven baked sweet potatoes make a splendid light meal for anyone watching their waistline.
I rarely ate sweet potatoes growing up. Sweet potatoes only made their appearance once a year during a Thanksgiving feast. However, this root vegetable’s popularity is quickly soaring. Thanks to its marvelous health benefits and taste, chefs and foodies all around the world are churning out tasty sweet potato recipes like butter.
Yields: 8-10 servings Total Time: 45 minutes
- 3 big sweet potatoes, cut into long and thick wedges (about 1/2 inch thick)
- Extra-virgin olive oil or coconut oil, for brushing
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon ground coriander (ground cilantro)
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 1 tablespoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon curry powder
- 2 teaspoons paprika
- 1 teaspoon chili powder or cayenne pepper
- Optional: Honey or maple syrup, for brushing
- Preheat your oven to 400 – 425 degrees F (200 – 220 degrees C). Get a baking sheet and line it with aluminum foil and set aside. Note: You can also use parchment paper. It helps absorb the oil better – making it a healthier way to bake the sweet potatoes.
- Place the sweet potatoes in a big bowl and brush with extra virgin olive oil or coconut oil. Make sure you get them evenly coated. Then, add the garlic powder, ground coriander, cumin, onion powder, curry powder, paprika, black pepper, sea salt and chili powder/cayenne pepper. Note: for an even healthier dish, use coconut oil instead of olive oil. Coconut oil is the best oil to cook with as it is stable enough to resist mild heat-induced damage. Plus, it’s good for you!
- Rub the spices on the sweet potatoes and distribute evenly. Note: I like wearing thin cooking gloves to prevent my hands from getting dirty.
- Place the oiled and spiced up sweet potatoes in a single layer on the lined baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes on the middle rack until the sweet potatoes are softened. Do not cook them too long or else the sweet potatoes will burn. Transfer the pan to the oven’s top rack and bake for an extra 10 minutes or until wedges are crispy. OR you can finish the last 10 minutes by passing them onto your hubby next time he has the BBQ going. Grilled sweet potatoes taste much better off the grill, especially if you baste them with honey or maple syrup. Note: Keep an eye on the wedges after transferring them to the top rack. Depending on your oven, you may need to take the sweet potato wedges out sooner than 10 minutes. Be a hawk!
- Remove from the oven. See below for serving tips. (:
Food Combining Tip: Strive for proper food combining, especially if you want to prevent bloating, gas and other unwanted intestinal problems. Try not to mix proteins with starches. Your stomach should be gas-free after a meal – plus, you will digest your meals quicker and more efficiently.
- Serve sweet potato wedges with lots of raw salad and your favourite dip. I love eating them with sun-dried tomatoes, hummus and guacamole.
- Sprinkle the sweet potato wedges with fresh chives, fresh rosemary, or fresh coriander. Top with coarse salt.
- Other serving options: brown rice, quinoa, spelt/whole grain pasta, and steamed/roasted vegetables
Sweet potatoes provide a healthy dose of complex carbohydrates. Sweet potatoes are a must in any athlete or fitness lover’s diet. They give off a constant stream of energy into the bloodstream and help regulate blood-sugar levels.
Loaded with antioxidants – sweet potatoes will kick fatigue out the door, which makes this a perfect meal before a hard workout.
Nutrients: Vitamins B1, B3, B5, B6, C, E, beta-carotene, folic acid; calcium, iodine, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, zinc