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Pantry Basics

Sweet Potatoes: Get Every Bang for your Bite
March 19, 2013 • Posted by Rebecca Marber

Sure, plain old potatoes are vegetables. We tell ourselves this when we want to justify that bag of chips or plate full of french fries. In reality, white potatoes lack significant nutrition and have even been banned from many school cafeterias. Sweet potatoes, on the other hand, have been proven to deliver a number of health benefits. When it comes to picking your potatoes, it’s best to follow the vegetable rule of thumb: the more colorful, the better.

For starters, sweet potatoes have a lower glycemic index than white potatoes, meaning that they will keep you fuller for longer (think of it like this- sweet potato:brown rice, as white potato:white rice). Sweet potatoes are also high in antioxidants which help the body fight against inflammatory problems such as arthritis and cancer. If this isn’t enough, these superfoods are packed with vitamins that do wonders for your immune system and are linked to weight loss.

Also important to remember in the battle between sweet and white potatoes is the ways in which they typically are prepared. Though sometimes baked, we usually see white potatoes in fried, greasy form which adds greatly to the caloric damage per bite. Sweet potatoes, however, are usually boiled or baked, which may be considered unappealing or boring to those who aren’t used to eating them. In reality, sweet potatoes are much more flavorful than white potatoes, but for those not yet convinced, I have a recipe that will convert any non-believer.

Lemon Tahini Sweet Potato Salad could be my new favorite food. I tried this at a restaurant recently, and decided to recreate the recipe at home because I was craving it so much. It was amazingly easy to make, but I will say, it went fast. I doubled the recipe here so you can keep some in the fridge for later (unless, of course, you’re sharing with others).

Sweet Potatoes with Lemon-Tahini Sauce

Ingredients

2 sweet potatoes
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1/3 cup tahini paste
1/3 cup water
1 garlic clove (minced)
1/2 cup fresh mint leaves
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tsp toasted sesame seeds

Directions

  1. Peel skin from sweet potatoes and cube. Place on baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Roast at 400 degrees for approximately 40 minutes, or until soft and golden, flipping every 10-15 minutes.
  2. Add lemon juice, tahini paste, garlic, mint leaves, salt, and olive oil to bowl in small bowl and whisk until combined. Set aside until sweet potatoes are finished roasting.
  3. Once soft, remove sweet potatoes from oven and add tahini sauce. Chill in fridge. Serve with sprinkled sesame seeds on top.

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