We use sweet potatoes a lot in our daily eats — even when it’s not holiday time. Their sweet flavor and creamy texture make many tasty classics that much better (just like in this Sweet Potato & Black Bean Chili from our Thanksgiving recipe roundup blog). But most of all, we love that sweet potatoes lend themselves to making healthful meals and snacks come together quickly. Try these super simple meal ideas using sweet potatoes today!
For breakfast — Baked sweet potato with egg: Poke a fork into your potato 3-4 times and microwave on high for 4 minutes. Gently squeeze the potato — if it is soft, remove it from the microwave. If it’s still hard, microwave in 1-minute increments until soft. Slice in half and top with an egg (any way you like it) and a shake of smoked paprika. Or add salsa and avocado.
For lunch — Chili potato: Make a slit in a baked sweet potato and mash the flesh slightly with a fork. Top the potato with your favorite vegetarian or turkey chili (we’re partial to our turkey chili) and sprinkle with a tablespoon of shredded cheddar cheese and nonfat plain Greek yogurt or top with diced avocado and salsa.
For dinner — Colorful confetti salad: Cube a sweet potato and toss with 1 teaspoon olive oil and a pinch each of: sea salt, cumin, chili powder, garlic powder. Bake at 375 degrees for 15-20 minutes, or until potato is soft. Top 2 cups of mixed greens with the sweet potato, 1/2 cup rinsed/drained black beans, 2 tablespoons crumbled goat cheese, 1/4 cup halved grape tomatoes, 1/4 cup chopped red bell pepper, and 1/2 cup chopped grilled chicken. Drizzle with 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar mixed with 2 teaspoons olive oil and a pinch of salt, pepper, and garlic powder.
As a snack — Creamy cinnamon potato boat: Slice a baked sweet potato in half and mash half lightly with a fork, keeping the mashed flesh in the skin like a bowl. Wrap the other half up and save for another meal or snack. Stir in a dash of cinnamon, a teaspoon of almond or peanut butter, and top with 1/4 cup of nonfat vanilla Greek yogurt.
As dessert — Deconstructed sweet potato pie: Slice a sweet potato in half and peel and dice one half (wrapping and storing the other half for another time). Microwave diced potato and 1 teaspoon of water in a small bowl for 3 minutes. Add 1 teaspoon butter, a sprinkle of cinnamon, 1 teaspoon chopped walnuts, and 1 teaspoon maple syrup and microwave for an additional minute or until potato is soft.
Fun fact: Yams and sweet potatoes are not the same thing. In fact, they’re not even closely related! Unless you’re in a specialty market or international market, that orange potato on your plate is most likely a sweet potato. There are two major types of sweet potatoes available in the US — one with lighter skin/flesh that tends to be dry and crumbly when baked and one with coppery skin and deep orange flesh that is moist and almost creamy when baked. Yams are long and tubular (They can reach up to five feet long!) with very hard, black, bark-like skin and light flesh.
What’s your favorite way to eat sweet potatoes? Do you eat them even when it’s not holiday season?