The humble sweet potato. Not as popular as the common potato. But – Just as versatile and in my opinion, better in every way!
In some parts of the world the sweet potato it’s more popular than the potato we’ve grown accustomed to. Certainly in the Asian community in Britain, we still eat sweet potato. But it’s not as ingrained in our diet as in some African countries or Japan, for example.
Before the last few weeks I’ve only ever cooked the sweet potato simply by roasting it and topping it with some Greek style yogurt, chilli powder, salt and black pepper. Very simple but tasty! Since 1st of October I’ve taken a new perspective on food and training as part of my lifestyle change and I’ve been adding different whole foods. While I already knew the sweet potato is healthier than the popular potato, I saw a BBC four documentary on aging and straight away realised that it truly is a super food. More on that later.
You can cook sweet potato as you would with an ordinary white or red potato!
So far I’ve used the sweet potato in a few simple ways…
Simply roughly chop the sweet potato, boil in a pot with a pinch of salt. After about 5 minutes of boiling it should be cooked all the way through. Then place the potato chips/wedges on a baking tray; drizzle with olive oil, salt and black pepper. I also add chilli powder and mixed herbs also! Then pop it in the oven for about 20 minutes or grill.
Girlfriend was very sceptical about trying it, but after one or two she loved it! She has since asked her mum to start buying it!
I’ve seen this in a few restaurants and have tried it, it is delicious! I make it in the usual way of peeling the potato before fully boiling it. Then mash it up, adding a drop of milk, a knob of butter and season.
Jamie Oliver does a speedy version of this in his 15 minute meals show. Thinly slicing the sweet potato before boiling, then mashing it. It is quicker, as it can take awhile to peel! Plus the skin contains a lot of nutrients and vitamins. I tried it with the skin on for the first time yesterday (pictured above) and honestly, it’s just as good – so I think I’ll be doing that more often
I fried it for the first time a few days and it was very good! It adds a different texture to a stir fry and you’ll get that sweet potato taste come through. I would cut the sweet potato into strips next time, and have them a bit chunkier for taste.
I mentioned earlier about its health benefits. A BBC four documentary on aging and how the Okinawan people of Japan live longer than any other group of people. Not only do many Okinawan’s live past their 90’s, they also are active and happy in their old age! The Okinawan lifestyle and genetics are responsible for this. The sweet potato is one significant ingredient in the Okinawan diet. The common variant there is the rare purple sweet potato. I’ve only tried the white or orange sweet potato, and prefer the orange one as you can tell from earlier pics.
I also mentioned earlier that the nutritional value of the sweet potato is significantly superior to the common potato we tend to know and use a lot of. I knew that it would contain beta carotene due to its colour, however compared to carrots as well it is remarkable. 100 grams of carrots gives an average male 93% of his RDA (Recommended daily allowance) of Vitamin A (Which is partly what beta carotene metabolises as), the sweet potato? 79%. Not bad at all when you’d get virtually nothing from the normal potato – exceptions being Vit C and Potassium, but they’re easily found elsewhere. (Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vitamin_A)
Aside from Vitamin A, it contributes to your RDA of B Vitamins and other important minerals. Here’s what SelfNutrition data says about sweet potato – “The good: This food is low in Sodium, and very low in Saturated Fat and Cholesterol. It is also a good source of Dietary Fiber, Vitamin B6 and Potassium, and a very good source of Vitamin A, Vitamin C and Manganese.” The bad? None stated. Read More at http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/vegetables-and-vegetable-products/2667/2#ixzz2ErVewThH
Interestingly it also suggests that it is good for weight loss because it craves hunger (mainly due to it having good fiber and low GI), but also good for healthy weight gain! So it really is a win/win. It’s perfect for those who want to lose weight or exercise and train. Sometimes when you train, you can become really hungry. But having sweet potato there for your carbs can work out really well…
Aside from this, vitamin A and etc…The sweet potato can be as versatile as the common potato, is definitely more tasty and extremely healthy in comparison.
Make the change! It’s also quite cheap. Asda stock them; a pack of 5 for £1. On top of this, I’ve found that they store longer than the normal kind of potato. Normal potatoes will sprout roots after one or two weeks.
Let me know what you think about the sweet potato. Have you always eaten it? Have you suddenly discovered it like me? If not – Give it a go and comment below and tweet me about how you get on