Tuesday, March 9, 2010

The Sensational Sweet Potato!

Ahhhh, the delights of Sweet Potatoes!  These beautiful orange-red gifts from nature pack a hearty punch of vitamins and minerals, not to mention fiber!  With large doses of Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Beta-Carotene, Calcium, Potassium and a slew of other nutrients- you can be guaranteed a happy and healthy body and mind when you consume these beauties.  Oh, and did I mention how delightful they taste??  Roasted, Baked, Stewed, Mashed, and even Raw (yes, I said RAW!), they are delicious for breakfast, lunch, dinner or snacks!  My family eats sweet potatoes a few days a week as they are a favorite food for all of us.  I know when I feed my sweet little daughter Sweet Potatoes that they will do nothing but help her to grow strong, smart, and healthy (well, except for maybe America's favorite way to serve them: smothered in butter, brown sugar and roasted marshmallows!!)!  There is some confusion out there about sweet potatoes and yams- but here in America you will most likely never see a true yam in your local market.  You can find yams (which are toxic raw, but cooking removes the toxicity) in Asian and some other "Ethnic" markets. A true "yam" has a whiteish/grey or purple, to sometimes pinkish color, and is a very long and somewhat thin tuber, sometimes growing over 6 feet long! They are mostly grown in Africa, Asia, and South America. However, in your grocery store you are likely to see "Sweet Potatoes" right next to what are labeled as "Yams" in the produce department.  They are generally one and the same, just different varieties of sweet potatoes.  So even those large jumbo "yams" are actually sweet potatoes, as long as they have that beautiful yellow to orange-red flesh!  So try to fit more sweet potatoes into your daily diet, and enjoy the benefits and rewards!  I would like to share a recipe that I have been making for years, that really showcases the true flavor of the Sweet Potato!  It uses raw sweet potatoes, which not many people know you can eat, or know how delicious they really are raw, so I hope you will give it a try! It is also the quickest and easiest way to enjoy Sweet Potatoes, no waiting for them to cook, just enjoy the benefits and flavor as soon as you can put it together! Please enjoy, it is perfect for family get-togethers, potlucks, dinner with friends, packed in a lunch, or even for a delicious breakfast!  

Simple Sensational Sweet Potato Salad

2 large (jumbo) Sweet Potatoes
2 medium Granny Smith Apples
2 medium Oranges
1 cup dried, sweetened cranberries
3/4 cup roasted Sunflower "nuts" (kernels with the shells removed), lightly salted
1 cup crushed pineapple

1. Peel and grate the sweet potatoes and apples (remove the cores as well from the apples).  You can use a food processor to make this really quick, or you can also use a cheese grater (which is the method I use, it's quick, easy, and a lot easier to clean than the food processor!). Place into a large bowl.
2. Cut the oranges in half, and squeeze the juice over the grated sweet potatoes.  I like to use a citrus reamer to get all the juice out, and try to get as much of the pulp as possible into the salad.  Stir well.  The orange juice will keep the sweet potatoes and apples from oxidizing (turning brown), and keep their bright beautiful color. Not to mention it tastes great!
3. Add in the cranberries, sunflower nuts and crushed pineapple.  Stir well to combine.
4. You can serve immediately, or cover and place in the fridge to serve cold later, or just to make ahead of time for an event.  The flavor becomes more intense as it sits a while, and the orange juice has a chance to work it's "magic".
5. Enjoy the crisp, fresh, and light flavor of this salad!!

Prep time: about 10 minutes (or less if you grate the sweet potatoes and apples with a food processor).
Serves: about 8


  1. Great photo and it looks like a great salad. I didn't know about the toxicity of a true yam. Thanks for the education. Your blog is very cool.

  2. Glad I could share some new info for you! I hope you can try my salad, it's a family favorite!! =)