Nourishing Foods: Sweet Potato
Sweet potatoes are on everyone’s mind this season. They seem to go hand in hand with the holidays, and fortunately, eating these and other sweet vegetables needn’t be limited to this time of year. Cravings for sweets can be greatly reduced by adding sweet vegetables, such as sweet potatoes, yams, parsnips, beets, squash, turnips and rutabagas to your daily diet. Sweet potatoes elevate blood sugar gently rather than with the jolt delivered by simple refined carbohydrates, so there’s no energy crash after you eat them. Much higher in nutrients than white potatoes and especially rich in vitamin A, sweet potatoes offer a creamy consistency that is satisfying and soothing. They are healing to the stomach, spleen, pancreas and reproductive organs and help to remove toxins from the body. They can increase the quantity of milk in lactating women and can lessen cramps and premenstrual symptoms. If you don’t have any sweet potatoes in your kitchen, go out and buy some (organic and local if possible) and make the recipe below.
Recipe of the Month: Sweet Potatoes with Lime and Cilantro
This recipe is an eye-opener for those who find sweet potatoes cloyingly sweet or those who are tired of eating them smothered in marshmallows and brown sugar. Japanese sweet potatoes, with their pale flesh and delicate flavor, are a treat if you can find them. I know that you probably aren't seeking another complicated holiday recipe this month, so here is a super easy, low maintenance recipe to add to your winter repertoire.
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 30-40 minutes
Yield: 4 servings
4 sweet potatoes
1/2 bunch fresh cilantro
butter or olive oil, salt (optional)
1. Wash the sweet potatoes and bake them in the oven whole, in their skins, at 375 degrees until tender, about 40 minutes.
2. Wash and chop cilantro leaves.
3. When sweet potatoes are done, slit open the skin and place on serving plate. Season with salt and dots of butter or a sprinkle of oil, if you like, then squeeze fresh lime juice all over, and shower with cilantro leaves.
(Adapted from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition)