Sweet'n Healthy Sweet Potatoes

Whether you call them yams or sweet potatoes, they're good and good for you. Their orange color is a marker for their beta-carotene content. In addition, sweet potatoes contain calcuim, figber, iron, potassium and vitamins, A, B6 and C. Rated top vegetable in overall nutritional value by the Center for Science in the Public Interest.

They may help to stabilize blood sugar levels. That makes them an excellent substitute for white potatoes, whether baked, mashed or turned into fries.
When shopping for sweets, look for roots that are clean, plump, dry and smooth. Store them in a cool, dry place, never refrigerate. They can be stored up to a month, although they are best used within a week or two of purchase.

The Louisiana Sweet Potato Commission recommends cutting the roots with a stainless steel knife, as a carbon blade will cause the roots to darken. The commission also suggests using metal rather than bamboo skewers if using sweet potatoes in kebobs; the metal will help cook the potato from the inside.

Sweet Potato Fries

4 sweet potatoes, peeled
2 tbsp. olive oil
2-3 tbsp. chopped parsley

1. Preheat oven 400F. Coat baking sheet with olive oil.
2. Cut sweet potatoes into 1/2" thick lengthwise strips: toss with oil. Arrange in single layer on baking sheet; bake 15-20 mins.
3. Turn potatoes over; bake additional 15-20 mins or until golden brown.
4. Arrange fries on a platter. Season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with parsley.

Note: For a sweeter version, omit parsley and sprinkle with cinnamon and nutmeg before baking.

Serves 6

Per serving: 142 calories, 2g protein, 5g fat, 4g fiber, 23g carbohydrate, 71mg sodium.

Article from Energy Times, March 2010

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