Why Sweet Potatoes?
I noticed something after I started incorporating sweet potatoes into my dinner routine — I stopped “needing” a snack before bed. I have a major sweet tooth and get the irresistible urge to reach for chocolate multiple times a day. Getting my fix of junky carbs right before bed was becoming a bad habit. Unfortunately, willpower is an ineffective tool for combating such urges, but I found something that did work; sweet potatoes killed my late-night carb cravings.
Now, I’m not one for “nutritionism,” which, according to my definition, is the cult around glorifying and demonizing specific properties of food. When we label carbs as “bad” or worry about getting enough protein, we are subjecting ourselves to a warped and needlessly complicated philosophy on food.
Conversely, when we eat a wide variety of whole foods, we naturally get all the nutrients and calories we need to feel our best, without having to count macros, keep a food diary or read nutrition labels. That said, it’s worth noting that sweet potatoes may just be a perfect food.
Whether you’re Vegan, Paleo, Gluten-Free, Low-Carb, Flexitarian, a self-described Clean-Eater (or someone who just doesn’t give a ****) … sweet potatoes deserve a place in your diet.
So, What Makes These Tubers So Miraculous?
Sweet potatoes are power-houses for vitamin A and a host of other antioxidants. This and the high fiber content make them effective anti-inflammatory agents. Inflammation is the root of many common problems within the body, causing weight gain and contributing to chronic disease. It’s important to include nutrient and antioxidant-dense foods like sweet potatoes in the diet to counter the toxins and stresses we all face that cause inflammation in the body.
Sweet potatoes also help regulate blood sugar levels. This is probably why I stopped needing a sugar boost right before bed on the nights I eat sweet potatoes for dinner. The high-fiber content (6 grams per 1 cup or roughly 1 medium sweet potato) slows digestion, keeping insulin release and blood sugar levels steady.
Sweet potatoes are naturally sweet, but only deliver 6 grams of sugar per serving. That’s a small price to pay for all the nutrients, fiber and protein that you also get. To learn more about the surprising health benefits of sweet potatoes, view this Potatoes vs. Sweet Potatoes Infographic.
The New Black
Beyond their impressive nutritional attributes, I’ve come to appreciate the versatility of the humble sweet potato and with regards to flavor, have started viewing sweet potatoes as a “neutral” food item. Meaning, they go with everything. You can push a sweet potato dish in so many different directions — sweet or savory; mellow or spicy.
Sweet potatoes complement just about every cuisine including Mediterranean, Japanese, Thai, Mexican and Italian to name a few. You can dress them up or enjoy them plain. I’ve yet to taste a meal that wouldn’t go well with sweet potatoes.
That’s why sweet potatoes are the perfect foundation for building an infinite number of satisfying and delectable un-recipes like the ones you’ll see on this site. When you’re meal planning, start with sweet potatoes and treat them like your blank slate. This strategy guarantees a flavorful, healthy meal that can’t be beat.
Visit How To Make The Perfect Sweet Potato to get started.
Thanks for joining me in this journey. Please contact me! Share your un-recipe successes and failures with me. I’d love to see and hear about your creations. Share your photos on instagram and tag them with #stuffedsweetpotatomonday.