Why You Should Include Sweet Potatoes In Your Diet + 5 Delicious Sweet Potato Recipes

Hi everyone! I feel like it’s been forever since I’ve blogged haha. I was in Paraguay for 13 days and am finally home today! My flight got in at 6:45 am, so needless to say I will be sleeping all day ;) That’s why I have a guest post for you today from Laura, who blogs at This Runner’s Recipes

I can’t wait to try these sweet potato recipes! I’ll let Laura take it from here!

Sweet Potato Recipes

********************

Hi, everyone! My name is Laura, and I blog over at This Runner’s Recipes, where I talk about my passion for running, fitness, and food.

One of my favorite foods, which becomes quickly apparent if you read my blog, is sweet potatoes! I eat one of those delicious bright orange vegetables every day and never get sick of them.

As simple as they are, sweet potatoes are one of the best foods you can include in your diet, especially if you are training for a race or pursuing other fitness goals! Why should you include sweet potatoes in your diet? Here are four reasons:

Sweet potatoes are great source of complex carbohydrates and fiber.
Our bodies need carbohydrates to fuel exercise, especially if you run, cycle, or swim. A medium sweet potato (approximately 1 cup or 200 grams) contains 41 grams of carbs, 7 grams of fiber, and only 180 calories. The carbs will provide you with the energy needed to fuel your fitness and the fiber will help you feel fuller longer. Additionally, sweet potatoes are grain-free, which makes them an ideal option for those who avoid gluten and grains due to sensitivities or diet.

Sweet potatoes can help replenish your electrolyte levels.
No need to reach for a huge bottle of Gatorade after every workout—sweet potatoes can help replenish lost electrolytes. Without getting too technical, electrolytes are electrically-charged ions in our bodies that keep our nerves, muscles, and heart functioning properly. These ions include sodium, potassium, magnesium, calcium, and chloride. While you may want to supplement with sports hydration products after harder efforts where you lost a lot of fluid, sweet potatoes provide electrolytes without the high amounts of sugar found in many sports drinks. One medium sweet potato has 76 mg of calcium, 54 mg of magnesium, 950 mg of potassium, and 72 mg of sodium. A little bit of sea salt will add in more sodium if you’re a salty sweater.

Sweet potatoes are full of necessary vitamins and minerals.
If you exercise regularly, you need to make sure you get enough vitamins and minerals to support your active lifestyle. For example, many active women can experience low iron levels and anemia, so it’s important to eat iron rich foods. Sweet potatoes provide 8% of your daily iron levels, which is a good amount for a vegetarian source of iron. Sweet potatoes also provide more than your daily need of vitamin A, nearly all your daily value of vitamin C, and plenty of vitamin K and vitamin B6. Forget taking a multivitamin pill, just eat some sweet potatoes!

Sweet potatoes are affordable and always available.
Eating a clean and healthy diet can get expensive, especially when you add it on top of a gym membership or race fees. By eating seasonal fruits and vegetables, you can help lower the cost of your grocery bill while still eating a healthy. Sweet potatoes are almost always in season and easy to find at local grocery stores and farmer’s markets. Additionally, they are one of the most affordable foods in the grocery store, usually costing $1-$2 per pound. Sweet potatoes can store for a few weeks in a cool, dry, and dark place such as the pantry.

So now that you’re going to add sweet potatoes to your diet, here are five delicious sweet potato recipes!

Sweet Potato Fries
Sweet potato fries are one of my favorite ways to prepare sweet potatoes. They get a crispy on the outside, a soft inside, and only take about 30 minutes to prepare! Preheat your oven to 450 degrees. Wash the sweet potato and slice it into thin slices. Usually, I cut the potato in half widthwise and then slice the fries from there. Toss the slices with ½ tablespoon olive oil (or oil of your choice) and season with salt and pepper. Bake for 25-30 minutes, and be sure to toss halfway through so the fries cook evenly.

Sweet Potato Hash
Whether you make this for breakfast or dinner, sweet potato hash is a comforting, filling, and easy to make meal that serves one but can easily be increased to serve more. Heat a small amount of olive or other oil in a pan and add a diced onion. Chop a sweet potato into small pieces (about ¼ to ½-inch) and cook until browned and tender. Wilt some spinach in the pan, season with salt and pepper, and topped with two eggs cooked as desired.

Sweet Potato Tacos
This vegetarian taco recipe is a healthy take on a Mexican favorite! Chop a sweet potato into bite-size pieces, season with salt, pepper, cumin, and cayenne pepper to taste, and cook on the stove until tender. Toss with black beans, cilantro, and diced onion, top with avocado, and serve on whole wheat or corn tortillas.

Roasted Sweet Potato Salad
Add an extra nutritional punch to your salad by topping it with roasted sweet potato. To perfectly roast a sweet potato, preheat the oven to 425 degrees, chop the potato into about 1-inch chunks, toss with 1 teaspoon of olive oil, and seasoned as desired. Roast for about 35-45 minutes or until tender. While you can top any salad with roasted sweet potato, it is especially good with spinach, almonds, goat cheese, and carrots and an apple cider vinaigrette.

Crispy Chickpea Stuffed Sweet Potatoes
I originally posted this recipe on my own blog, but it’s just too good not to share here! Roast a whole sweet potato at 400 degrees for 50-60 minutes, or until cooked all the way through. Halfway through the cooking time of the sweet potato, toss about ¾ cup of chickpeas with 1 teaspoon of olive oil, salt, pepper, and paprika. Roast the chickpeas for 25-30 minutes, stirring a few times so that they cook evenly. Split the sweet potato open, stuff with the roasted chickpeas, and finish off with a sprinkle of parmesan cheese.

5 Sweet Potato Recipes
****

How delicious does that look? There aren’t sweet potatoes in Paraguay (or at least that I know of) so I can’t wait to have a nice, hot dinner with some sweet potatoes :)

What is your favorite way to prepare sweet potatoes?

I also want to try making noodles of of them…do you cook them first or after?

*****************************

Follow Reach Your Peak:

Share this article!

Comments

  1. Welcome back Patty! Can’t wait to hear about your trip.
    As for that sweet potato recipe, genius! I love sweet potatoes and roasted chickpeas so throw them together and it would be epic.
    Jen @ Pretty Little Grub recently posted…Packing for a Ragnar RelayMy Profile

  2. Great post – I didn’t know that sweet potatoes containing electrolytes!

  3. Going grocery shoppin’ now and going to pick me up some sweet potatoes! You made me hungry! :)
    Annmarie recently posted…Wild Workout Wednesday: #SpringFeverFitness GiveawayMy Profile

  4. I adore sweet potatoes. I make a sweet potato puree that is super simple and makes the best burger topper :)
    Nicole @ Fitful Focus recently posted…The Boyfriend Chronicles: Paleo Diet ResultsMy Profile

  5. We eat sweet potatoes at my house on a regular basis. My favorite way to eat them is baked, served with a little butter.
    Wendy@Taking the Long Way Home recently posted…SpontaneityMy Profile

  6. I’m a huge fan of sweet potatoes. My favorite way to make them is as sweet potato fries.
    Kathryn @ Dancing to Running recently posted…2015 Florida Vacation Recap – Part 2My Profile

    • I love sweet potato fries! Though I haven’t made my own yet…I’ll have to try! Any good recipe you recommend?

  7. Sweet potatoes (all types) are the only thing worth living for! Hahahahaha! ;)
    Rebecca @ Strength and Sunshine recently posted…Slow Cooker Applesauce ChickenMy Profile

  8. I love sweet potatoes, especially sweet potato fries!
    Betsy recently posted…Fit Snack Box Review: April 2015My Profile

  9. I grew up with the marshmallowy ones on holidays and I hated them. Now I love them baked, with cinnamon and coconut oil, as fries, hash. so many great ways! These recipes look awesome

  10. big fan of sweet potatoes!! love them baked with a little butter and cinnamon.
    Mar @ Mar on the Run recently posted…Thinking Out Loud v14 — ResponsibilityMy Profile

  11. Yum! I do love sweet potatoes. I am glad to hear confirmation that they are super good for you :)
    Rachel recently posted…How THIS Training Cycle Was DifferentMy Profile

  12. Sweet potatoes make me so happy. I usually roast them in the oven with a host of other veggies, but sometimes if I’m in a pinch or I’m baking something that already requires oven time, I’ll just microwave the sweet potato. Different texture, but still good!
    GiselleR @ Diary of an ExSloth recently posted…9 Ways to have the most Productive Morning EverMy Profile

    • I’m always too impatient so I use the microwave haha but I need to try roasted veggies in general. I know a lot of people meal prep by making a ton of roasted veggies. Any seasonings you recommend?

  13. You didn’t have to convince me to eat sweet potatoes but I’m so in love with the facts you put out there for people who didn’t know. I love these little nuggets of orange goodness!! We have sweet potato hash at least 2 times a week – so good. I’m going to try that crispy chickpea stuffed sweet potato, sounds divine!!
    Sam @ PancakeWarriors recently posted…10 Tips for a Bikini BodyMy Profile

  14. I LOVE sweet potatoes! They’re so easy to just boil or bake while you do something else.
    Carmy recently posted…Sh*t Runners SayMy Profile

  15. Mmmmm sweet potatoes!! I love sweet potato everything! Thanks for sharing the great recipes Laura and I hope you had a great vacation Patty!
    Janice @ Fitness Cheerleader recently posted…10 Reasons to Love Spring RunningMy Profile

  16. Oh my goodness!! I made these last night (with a few minor amtdsjuents due to lack of ingredients) and they were absolutely delicious!! I was surpised as I would not have thought anything other than brown sugar and cinnamon would have worked on sweet potatoes. I did not have any cumin or chipotle chili powder so I left those out all toghether, and I did not have any garlic so just used garlic powder. Also, due to laziness, I only seasoned one side of the smashe potatoes. They were so good, I cannot even describe it. The way the potatoes crisp up and the sugar carmelizes the spice mixture yum! This should seriously be a recipe in a fancy steakhouse. I will definitely make this again and again and again. Thank you for sharing!!!

Trackbacks

  1. […] Why You Should Include Sweet Potatoes In Your Diet + 5 Delicious Sweet Potato Recipes […]

Speak Your Mind

*

CommentLuv badge