Anytime you add a vegetable to improve a dish feels like a victory! Adding fibrous, vitamin rich vegetables like sweet potatoes boosts the nutrition of any dish, including (and perhaps, most importantly) dessert! Who doesn’t love a good, cinnamon spiced and healthy sweet potato pie? Or a smooth, creamy sweet potato pudding? Using these delicious tubers in dessert recipes can improve the nutrition quality of the foods you’re indulging in and make them feel a little less, well, naughty.
Benefits of sweet potatoes
Sweet potatoes are rich in many nutrients including Vitamin A, vitamin C, manganese, B-vitamins, potassium, and many others! What makes them especially helpful for boosting the health of desserts is their fiber content. The 8 grams of fiber found per potato helps slow down the rush of glucose into your blood that’s brought upon by eating sweets.
How to make the most of them
There are a few tips and tricks to know about if you want to get the most nutritional benefit. First of all, the darker and richer the color of potato, the more antioxidants per serving. Picking the most nutritious sweet potatoes might not seem like the easiest feat, because you can’t always ask a grocery store employee to slice open the different tubers. However, you can look for tubers with the darkest skins. Dark skins correlate with deeper, more vibrant orange flesh (avoid golden, white, light orange varieties altogether if you want the most nutrients).
Additionally, you should always eat sweet potatoes with a source of fat. Many of the nutrients found in sweet potatoes require fat to be absorbed and utilized by the body. Adding a little avocado oil, coconut oil, egg yolks, or even grass-fed butter to your recipes is a great way to insure you are capitalizing on all of those nutrients! Last but not least, avoid nutrient losses by cooking sweet potatoes in the microwave! Microwaving sweet potatoes is not only the quickest and easiest method of cooking, the quick cook time and water-free method keeps the nutrients in the potato! Simply poke the skin of the sweet potato with a fork a few times then microwave on high for 4 minutes. Flip the potato over, as best you can with their awkward shape, then microwave another four minutes. Let cool slightly before peeling the skin away with your fingers.
Now let’s turn it into a dessert!
Once you’ve found your perfect potato and learned the most nutritious ways to consume them, it’s time to start adding them to dessert! Sweet potatoes benefit from a good pureeing to help rid them of any fibrous strings. If you have a food processor, blender, or other pureeing device, it’s wise to use them for a good smooth consistency. Simply add your cooked potato to the device, add 2-4 Tbsp of water (or other liquid called for in your recipe like eggs or coconut milk) to help them blend, then puree for 2-3 minutes or until completely smooth. Now you can add them to quick breads, cookies, pancake batter and more! Give your desserts a healthy twist by trying these recipes to get you started!