At some point in my adult years I discovered that sweet potatoes are available at grocery stores year-round! I also discovered that sweet potatoes are naturally sweet and do not require all of that butter and brown sugar and certainly not the marshmallows for every day eating. As a result of this epiphany, I started incorporating sweet potatoes into my diet more and more. Especially after seeing it consistently land in all kinds of super food top 5 lists for its vitamins, minerals and fiber. Did you know the sweet potato is a super food all star? Similar to carrots, bright orange sweet potatoes contain beta-carotene and Vitamin A. They also offer Vitamin C, potassium and are a fat free Vitamin E source. Wait, did you catch the part about being fat free? If that isn't enough, sweet potatoes also contain the uber-trendy buzz word of the day: antioxidants. You get the picture, they are good for you.
But also, and this is the really important part, they taste delicious without a lot of work. Or really any work if you just bake them. Baked sweet potatoes are sweeter than any other mode of preparation and baking makes the texture smoother since slow baking changes the starch to malt sugar and some of the malt sugar to caramelized sugar, which equals yum!
And baking a sweet potato is the simplest form of cooking. This morning when I got back from the gym I realized I had eaten all of my leftover pasta from the weekend and didn't have anything to take to work for dinner. But what I did have were a couple of sweet potatoes in my fridge. So, prior to jumping in the shower, I followed these simple steps:
- heat the oven to 400 degrees
- line a baking sheet with foil
- scrub sweet potatoes (I just cooked 2 this morning)
- poke sweet potatoes with a fork all over
- dribble a bit of olive oil on top (this is optional)
- bake for 45 minutes
And that was it! By the time I got out of the shower and readied myself for work, the sweet potatoes were ready! I simply plopped each potato in a tupperware container and I had a dinner to go for today and one for tomorrow!
Curious about what to do with it once it is cooked? Here's what I do:
Slice it open and add a little butter and cinnamon
or - and this is my new favorite thing when I take it one to work - grab some plain yogurt I prefer Fage 0% Greek yogurt for its deliciousness
Paprika and butter is another favorite combo of mine but at work I generally stick with just the yogurt for the convenience factor. And let me tell you, it is a satisfying meal in and of itself, or you can serve it as a side dish.
I have some other fun and tasty sweet potato options I'll have to share with you later, but in the meantime, tell me how you like your sweet potatoes.