Like other orange vegetables, sweet potatoes are perhaps best known for being high in beta carotene, an antioxidant that is converted to vitamin A in the human body. This protective antioxidant has been shown to help ward off several types of cancer, protect the skin from sun damage, and preserve eye health. Research has shown that including a few grams of fat with your sweet potato (or any beta carotene containing food) is an important way to boost nutrient absorption.
Sweet potatoes are also high in the antioxidant vitamins C and E, as well as vitamin B6, potassium, and manganese. Vitamins C and E also play an important role in disease prevention, and are thought to have skin and hair health benefits.
Vitamin B6 and potassium are great for heart health and blood pressure regulation, while manganese is a little-discussed trace mineral that helps support healthy blood sugar levels and appetite stabilization.
With nearly 7 grams of fiber per serving, they are also a great choice for a slow-burning complex carbohydrate.
Tips and Recipes
In addition to being nutrition superstars, sweet potatoes are also widely available throughout the year, relatively inexpensive, and extremely versatile. They work equally well in a smoothie, roasted with spices, as a pizza topping, or even in desserts!
Below are 8 of our favorite sweet potato recipes. You won’t want to miss these delicious ideas!
Moroccan Sweet Potatoes and Chickpeas
Recipe by Lindsay S. Nixon: The Happy Herbivore
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- ½ tsp paprika
- ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
- ¾ tsp ground ginger
- 3 sweet potatoes, skinned and diced
- 1 15-oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- Juice of 1 lemon
- Lemon wedges for garnish
- Preheat oven to 375°F. Line a large cookie sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
- Mix the spices together in a small bowl, whisking to combine, and set aside.
- Rinse sweet potatoes under cold water and transfer to a large mixing bowl.
- Pour half the spice mixture over the top and mix with your hands until well coated.
- Transfer sweet potatoes to a cookie sheet, making sure there is no overlap, and set aside.
- Rinse chickpeas under cold water, then transfer to the mixing bowl and cover with remaining spices.
- Mix with your hands until well combined and transfer to the cookie sheet.
- Bake sweet potatoes and chickpeas for 10 to 15 minutes, or until sweet potatoes are fork-tender.
- Halfway through, give the chickpeas a good shake so they turn over. You want the chickpeas to be golden and slightly crisp.
- Squeeze lemon over sweet potatoes and chickpeas before serving. Serve over cooked greens with additional lemon wedges.
- Sweet Potato Pie Smoothie
- Sweet Potato Pancakes With Cinnamon Maple Sage Butter
- Spicy Sweet Potato Hummus
- Sweet Potato Tofu Pizza
- The Smoky Tofu Sweet Potato Stacker
- White Bean and Sweet Potato Burgers
- Spiked Sweet Potato Truffles
Got an amazing sweet potato recipe? Share it with us!