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May 20, 2013

One of the World’s Healthiest Foods- Sweet Potatoes

These orange, chunky-looking things creep me out! They look so odd!  Bad looks but good personality I guess.  In fact, they are rated as one of the world’s healthiest foods.  They are in season November-December but available year round.   sweet_potato

History Lesson: They are one of the oldest vegetables known to man, discovered in Peruvian caves and native to Central America.  Christopher Columbus brought them to England and they quickly spread across the world and to the U.S. where they were given the new name “yam”.  However, the two are supposedly different.  Sweet potatoes are more yellow/orange and taper to the ends.  Yams are usually longer, darker, and starchier. But heck, who cares.  Just buy whatever the store sells!

How to Pick Them:  Pick sweet potatoes that have the least amount of bruises, soft spots, and cracks.

How to Store Them: Cool and dark area with good ventilation (not in a closed up bag).

How to Cook Them:  Steaming is suppose to be the healthiest way because it brings out the most nutrients.  However, the easiest way is to microwave them.  You can also bake, boil, or stir-fry them.

Nutritional Value:

  • High in Vitamin B6, C, D (Good for heart health, skin, bones, nerves, etc)
  • High in Fiber (About 7g per serving)
  • Contain Iron (Good for immune function)
  • Contain Magnesium (Good for anti-stress)
  • Contain Manganese (Good for the metabolism of carbs & appetite stabilization)
  • Contain Potassium (Good for heartbeat and nerve signals)
  • Contain natural sugars that release slowly (so energy levels stay balance and blood sugar level remain balanced)
  • Contain carotenoids (Good to strengthen eye sight, protect against aging, and boost immune function)

Soooo, now I present the B2C Shepherd’s Pie Recipe using sweet potatoes!  Serves 2 people!

Ingredients

  • 1 large sweet potato
  • 1lb lean ground beef
  • 1 bag frozen mixed veggies microwaved, drained
  • Dash of each ground cinnamon and nutmeg
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon 2% milk
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper

Directions

  • Scrub and pierce sweet potato; place on a microwave-safe plate. Microwave, uncovered, on high for about 10 minutes or until tender, turning once.
  • Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook beef until meat is no longer pink; drain. Add the corn and spices. Place in a 1-qt. baking dish coated with cooking spray; set aside.IMG_0324
  • When cool enough to handle, cut potato in half; scoop out the pulp and place in a small bowl. Mash with butter, milk, salt and pepper. Spread evenly over meat mixture.IMG_0325
  • Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 25-30 minutes or until heated through. ENJOY!

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