As a long-time lover of sweet potatoes, I thought I knew pretty much everything about these nutritious, delicious, and versatile, sweet tubers.
While sometimes labeled as yams in the produce department, what we usually buy are different varieties of the sweet potato. Popular in African and Caribbean cuisines, true yams are a totally different, but equally nutritious vegetable.
Packed with fiber, potassium, vitamins A, C, and phytonutrients, sweet potatoes are nutrition powerhouses. Just like white potatoes, they can be baked, mashed (a little soft cheese adds creaminess, basil adds just the right amount of tang), and turned into delicious baked ‘fries’ (slice, toss with a little olive oil and your favorite seasonings, then bake for 30 minutes in a 425 degree oven)
My all-time favorite way to enjoy sweet potatoes has always been roasted ... see the very simple recipe below, which works nicely for any type of root veggie.
Then, thanks to the "lunch ladies" in Green Bay, Wisconsin Public Schools, I discovered a TOTALLY new way to love sweet potatoes ... in the RAW!
Scroll to bottom of page for instructions on how to keep sticks from browning. Now, that's an idea for a SUPER tasty, SUPER healthy, SUPER snack! I'm betting that most kids will love their crunchy sweetness as much as I did.
Roasted Root Vegetables
4 medium-sized root vegetables (choose a variety from potatoes, rutabagas, turnips, parsnips, beets, sweet potatoes, etc.)
2 chopped carrots
1 medium chopped onion
3-4 Tablespoons vegetable or olive oil
3 Tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
Season with your favorite herbs and spices
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Cut vegetables into large chunks.
3. Place in a medium bowl and pour oil over top. Add Parmesan cheese and seasonings. Mix well.
4. Spread an even layer on a baking sheet.
5. Bake for about 1 hour or until tender. Start checking the vegetables at about 45 minutes to see if they are the proper texture.
Yield: 4 servings (approx. 1 cup each)
Roasting root vegetables adds a delightful sweet flavor. Cut vegetables into chunks that are similar in size so they will finish roasting at the same time.
Some seasoning options:
- 1/4 teaspoon of dried thyme, 1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary, and 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning and 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 Tablespoon minced garlic with ground black pepper to taste