As winter drags by our attention shifts from refreshing salads to hearty root vegetables. Anticipating this cozy season, we decided to celebrate the sweet potato and all it’s various applications. Aside from being tasty and versatile, the sweet potato is also a nutritional powerhouse boasting a hefty dose of beta-carotene and host of other vitamins and minerals. Think beyond the sweet potato fry and there’s plenty to do with this vibrant potato. To prove our point, here are 7 unique ways to integrate sweet potatoes into your weekly menu.
No one can argue with a steaming baked potato topped with rich sour cream and chives. But when you switch up the casting and invite the sweet potato to the party, you can get away with a host of quirky toppings. Add these Roasted Grape, Goat Cheese & Honey Stuffed Sweet Potatoes (from How Sweet It Is) to your repertoire and you’ll see what we mean.
It’s hard to argue with your average lasagna, but even the best Bolognese can get boring. Sweet potato gives this predictable pasta dish a whole new dimension. Sweet potato puree boasts a creamy texture that mimics ricotta and its sweetness is not unlike a good tomato sauce. Give this Lasagna Béchamel with Sweet Potato and Cauliflower (from Vegan Richa) a try. It’s perfect for vegans and non-vegans alike.
As good as sweet potato is with pasta, it’s just as good when it is the pasta. No, we’re not talking about gnocchi or cellophane noodles; we’re talking about straight sweet potatoes, spiralized. If you’re looking to integrate more vegetables into your diet, this is an easy way to do just that. Give these sweet potato noodle bowls from Inspiralized a go, and you’ll see why this is a trend worth following.
BAKED IN A CAKE
With a name like sweet potato it shouldn’t be a shock to find these tubers in a cake. Pureed sweet potatoes make for a velvety pie filling or an extremely moist cake. With their knockout colour and natural sweetness, sweet potatoes up the visual appeal of classic desserts while adding to the overall flavour. Give baking with sweet potatoes a shot by whipping up this Sweet Potato Layer Cake from Love & Olive Oil for someone you love.
Taco Tuesdays might not inspire thoughts of sweet potatoes, but they could. Sweet potatoes and black beans are the bedrock of a stellar veggie burrito or taquito. And the sweet potatoes’, well, sweetness provides an excellent contrast to the spiciness of chipotle, jalapeno, habanero or whatever pepper you’ve decided to subject yourself to. Sweet potato is also right at home next to avocado. Do you really need another reason to try these Spicy Sweet Potato Avocado Tostadas (from Love & Lemons)?
ON A PIZZA
Potatoes on pizza are every carb lovers dream. It may seem strange at first but after the first slice of spud-topped pizza you’ll be hooked. Sweet potatoes are a great way to up the nutrition and the colour of a potato pizza. Give this Sweet Potato Kale Pizza (from Two Peas and their Pod) a shot and see if you don’t wind up with a family favourite.
AS A SALAD
When you think of salad it’s natural to think of a bowl piled high with leafy greens, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Greens are good for you, but if you find it hard to munch your way through a mound of kale, try breaking it up with a little sweet potato. Not only are sweet potatoes gorgeous in a salad, they also add a unique contrast with the textures and flavours of traditional salad greens. Give this Sweet Potato, Avocado & Kale Salad from Bring Joy a try.
Susan Keefe is a writer, graphic designer and food enthusiast living in Toronto. She has written for such online publications as Toronto Life and Trend Hunter Magazine. Find her on Twitter @sukeefe.