Tuesday, November 13, 2012

super (food) sweet potatoes

With Thanksgiving right around the corner the farmer's markets and grocery stores are overflowing with sweet potatoes.  They're so fabulous we just had to do another blog post about them.  Today we have Sydney Gallimore sharing why she loves these versatile, wonderful root vegetables so much and (shhh....) she's even giving us her mom's delicious recipe.

Fall is my favorite season for many different reasons. I love when the trees are bathed in hues of reds and oranges, when the weather cools down so I can wear my favorite scarf, and, of course, fall produce. My favorite fall ingredient is sweet potato.

Sweet potatoes contain lots of awesome health benefits. Here’s a quick list of all the good stuff packed into this delicious little tuber.

1. High in beta-carotene and other carotenoids which can strengthen our eyesight, boost our immunity to disease, and help fight cancer. Not to mention all of those antioxidants are great for fighting off the signs and affects of aging!

2. They’re high in vitamin B6 which can help prevent against heart attacks

3. Sweet potatoes are a good source of vitamin C, which can help ward off cold and flu viruses, and reduce stress. Vitamin C also produces collagen, which helps you maintain your youthful looking skin!

4. Sweet potatoes are also a source of potassium, which helps regulate heartbeat and nerve endings, which can prevent muscle cramps, reduce swelling, and regulate your kidneys.

5. Sweet potatoes have iron, which helps with red and white blood cell production, reduced stress levels, and helps regulate your immune system.

6. Sweet potatoes are high in fiber which is metabolized slowly, so you feel full longer; this may help fight against fatigue and weight gain! Sweet potatoes are a great diet food!

7. One average sized sweet potato contains about 112 calories, 2 grams of protein, and 26 grams of carbohydrates. The sweet potato is a true super food!

My favorite thing about sweet potatoes is how versatile they are. You can scour the Internet and find recipes for sweet and savory sweet potato dishes, and they’re all delicious. Or, pick your favorite potato recipe and simply substitute a sweet potato to increase your health benefits! My favorite way to serve sweet potatoes is in a soup. Here’s my mom’s recipe, which is both sweet and savory, and totally delicious!

2 tablespoons butter
1 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 celery stalks, stalks and leaves chopped separately
2 pounds sweet potatoes peeled, cut into 1-inch pieces (about 6 cups)
1 tart green apple peeled, chopped
1 teaspoon granulated white sugar  [note:  change this to evaporated cane juice crystals]
2 tsp salt
2 tsp pepper
3 cinnamon sticks
3 sprigs fresh Thyme (1 tsp dried)
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
4 1/2 cups chicken stock
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
Sour Cream or Crème Fraîche as garnish

Heat oven to 400˚F
Spread the potato cubes evenly on a baking sheet, and drizzle with olive oil and roast for 20 minutes. Potatoes should be a bit under cooked, not yet tender
Melt the butter in a heavy pot over medium heat
Add onion, celery, sugar, and apple and sauté until soft
Add the garlic, cinnamon sticks, nutmeg, and thyme and sauté for 2 minutes
Add the chicken stock, potatoes, salt, and pepper and bring to a boil
Reduce heat and simmer uncovered about 15 minutes, or until potatoes are completely tender
Puree the soup in the pot using an immersion blender (or in a blender working in batches) until smooth Add the maple syrup and whisk in the cream over medium-low heat, until warm throughout
Season to your liking
Add water or simmer for a bit longer until soup reaches desired consistency
Ladle into bowls and garnish with sour cream or crème fraîche

Sydney Gallimore is content manager for Pippin Hill Farm, a boutique winery & wedding venue in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Photos: Wally Hartshorn

2 comments:

MidnightAgenda said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
MidnightAgenda said...

Hey! I just made some yesterday!

Sliced on my brand spanking new mandolin slicer, I tossed with a bit of veg oil, vanilla sugar, cinnamon and paprika.

Baked in one layer on parchment lined sheet for 45 min at 350, flipped once.

Delicious dinner/dessert. (seriously, that's all I had for dinner last night)((and I don't regret it))