When I was growing up, one of my favorite foods was baked potatoes. We’d load it up with sour cream, green onion, and homemade bacon bits. Nowadays, I’ve been drawn to baking sweet potatoes instead. Here are some reasons why you should make the switch too!
Health Benefits of Sweet Potatoes
When compared to potatoes, sweet potatoes are much more nutrient dense. Sweet potatoes are rich in vitamin A (in the form of beta-carotene), vitamin C, manganese, copper, pantothenic acid, and vitamin B6. They are also a good source of potassium, fiber, niacin, vitamin B1, vitamin B2, and phosphorus. As a result of its high beta-carotene content, sweet potatoes are rich in free-radical fighting antioxidants. Studies have found that its unique colour-based phytonutrients give sweet potatoes anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties.
One of the most interesting health benefits of sweet potatoes is its ability to regulate your blood sugar. Despite their sweet taste they’re considered lower than regular potatoes on the glycemic index. This means the natural sugars in sweet potatoes are released slower, preventing your sugar from spiking. A medium-sized sweet potato contains 6.6 grams of dietary fiber that is instrumental in reducing your cholesterol and controlling your blood sugar. Research has found that extracts derived from sweet potatoes can increase your blood’s levels of the protein hormone adiponectin. When someone is low in adiponectin, they tend to have low insulin sensitivity. Adiponectin works to regulate your body’s insulin metabolizing processes.
Baking sweet potatoes is just as simple as baking regular potatoes. One of the big disadvantages of making baked potatoes is that it’s not exactly sharable. Rather than making French fries (don’t get me started about how bad buying prepared french fries are for you), try preparing your sweet potatoes with this food hack that is simple and sharable!
Hasselback Sweet Potatoes
Hasselback-style potatoes are potatoes that are partially sliced across the short-edge along the whole length of the potato. At first it might be difficult to slice the potatoes without cutting through. When you’re just starting out, I recommend placing chopsticks on both sides while you’re slicing. This will serve as a guide to stop you from cutting your sweet potatoes in half. When choosing sweet potatoes, try to get potatoes that will sit well on a flat surface. To make them sit steady when you’re cutting them, just cut a thin slice off the flattest side. You can do this with carrots too!
When you bake your potatoes hasselback-style, the skin comes out French fry crispy while the inside comes out soft. The best part about preparing hasselback sweet potatoes is being able to load them with herbs, and some of my favorite toppings!
Healthy Sweet Potato Recipes
Here are some of my favorite hasselback-style recipes to try out:
- If you’re following the Paleo lifestyle, here’s the perfect hasselback sweet potato recipe for you!
- If you’re a big fan of the health-boosting properties of thyme or grow your own, try this easy to make thyme stuffed sweet potato recipe.
- If you’re feeling cheesy and savory, this is one of my favorite parmesan hasselback sweet potato recipes. When preparing this recipe, I like to use grass-fed butter and organic parmesan.