So here are two things I just recently learned.
- Sweet potatoes and yams are two completely different species.
- I’ve probably never actually had a yam in my life.
Weird right? I always thought the orange ones were yams and the brownish ones were sweet potatoes.
Yams are exclusively from Africa and Asia, are giant and way starchier than sweet potatoes.
Sweet potatoes are grown in Asia and here in the US, can have brown skin and either whitish or purple flesh, or have orangish brown skin and vibrant orange flesh like this.
All this time I thought I was eating yams. Hm. Weird.
The good news is that when sweet potatoes battle yams for the heart of the nutrient conscious, sweet potatoes win!
Both are good sources of fiber, Vitamins A and C, and B6. But sweet potatoes have more fiber and protein than yams. A really incredible benefit of a sweet potato is that it can actually help regulate blood sugar due to a boost in adiponectin levels, a protein hormone which is low in people with Type 2 Diabetes. This, along with the safe glycemic index of sweet potatoes, translates to blood sugar regulation.
This is great for people with diabetes, or those who monitor their glycemic load, which is really advisable for everyone, but especially for those battling candida levels. (I’d still only recommended for those further along in the diet as they do have a decent amount of natural sugar. Later phases stuff. If you’re not there yet, hang in there! These are something to look forward to.)
This, of course, is not to say eating a mountain of sweet potatoes is advisable. Portion control and complementing them with healthy fat, will help our bodies to get the most of the nutrients they contain, as well as eating them with a green vegetable and a protein.
The orange colored variety of sweet potato has a pigment-related nutrient which has strong anti-inflammatory properties which further aids digestion and soothes the brain and nervous system.
They’re an old Thanksgiving staple for good reason. Their earthy, mild sweetness and seasonal peak in November and December makes them an obvious fall dish.
But why not try something not-so-obvious with them this year? in the words of Bon Appétit Magazine in the Thanksgiving issue, “Mess with the mashed potatoes, and your family might revolt. But vegetable sides are fair game…”
I have to agree as was proved in my case study of proposing spatchcocking the turkey this year to Nick. I saw real fear and distrust in his eyes. And I thought I was sentimental about Thanksgiving.
So here’s a new spin on sweet potatoes for your table this year, or for later on if you can’t bring yourself to miss out on the traditional formula. Dog-ear this one for later 😉
The “bag method” is the easiest I’ve found so far to make sure these medallions are evenly coated with oil and spices. I re-use the thin plastic bag from the produce section . Add the sliced medallions, olive oil and the spices. Give it a spin, trapping some air in there, and closing the opening. Then give it a good shake and tumble to distribute evenly.
Lay them out on a baking sheet and pop them into a 400 degree oven for 20 minutes or until toasty brown.
Serve them with a dollop of plain, unsweetened yogurt and round out the flavor with a garnish of cilantro.
Did you try them? What did you think? Like ’em kind of spicy? Or are you more a fan of the sweet version?
- 4 Medium sized sweet potatoes
- 2 Tbs Olive Oil
- 1Tsp Curry Powder
- 1Tsp Onion Powder
- 1 Tsp Garam Masala
- ¼ Tsp salt
- Pepper to taste
- Plain unsweetened yogurt and fresh cilantro for serving.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Slice sweet potatoes into ¼ inch medallions.
- Place in ziplock bag.
- Drizzle with oil, add seasoning and shake bag.
- Lay out in a single layer on cookie sheet.
- Roast for 20 minutes or until toasty brown.
- Serve with a dollop of yogurt and fresh cilantro.