KEEPING MONACO HEALTHY WITH SUSAN TOMASSINI: SWEET POTATOES: THE PERFECT WINTER SUPERFOOD!
Far more nutritious than regular potatoes, these ultra-versatile, root veggies are great for making a whole range of delicious winter recipes – including soups, curries, risotto, fries and even brownies. They’re guilt free too. One medium sweet potato has only 100 calories and plenty of fibre to keep you feeling full and less tempted to over-indulge with holiday treats. Naturally sweet-tasting, their complex carbs are released slowly into your system, providing a balanced source of energy that helps you stay warm and toasty on chilly days.
Most people know that vitamin C is important to help ward off cold and flu viruses, but few are aware that this crucial vitamin plays an important role in bone and tooth formation, digestion, and blood cell formation. It helps accelerate wound healing, produces collagen which helps maintain skin’s youthful elasticity and is essential to helping us cope with the stress of the holiday season. It even appears to help protect our body against toxins that may be linked to cancer and degenerative disease.
The rich orange colour of sweet potatoes their high concentration of carotenoids like beta carotene, which your body uses to make vitamin A. Carotenoids help strengthen our eyesight and boost our immunity to disease, they are powerful antioxidants that help protect against the effects of aging. Research has shown that people with the highest blood concentrations of carotenoids had the least likelihood of cancer recurrence.
Roast them, purée them, steam them, bake them, or (my favourite) grill them. You can add them to soups and stews, or grill and place on top of leafy greens for a delicious salad. I like them grilled with onions and red peppers. Want the kids to reap their benefits too? Simply cut into wedges, bake in the oven and sprinkle with Himalayan salt. Ketchup optional!
The ideal temperature for storing sweet potatoes is warmer than the refrigerator and cooler than room temperature. An unheated garage or basement or a cool, dark cabinet or pantry is ideal. If stored properly, they’ll last three to six months. Otherwise, only buy as many as you can eat in a week or two.
This recipe is sure to please the whole family! (courtesy One Green Planet)
SWEET POTATO STUFFED SHELLS WITH CASHEW ALFREDO,
FOR THE PASTA:
1 500g package of large pasta shells
5 cups sweet potatoes, cubed
2 tablespoons coconut oil
1/4 teaspoon oregano, fresh and minced
4 cups tomato sauce
FOR THE CASHEW ALFREDO:
2 cups cashews, soaked for 1 hour
1 cup water
1/2 of 1 lemon, juiced
2 garlic cloves
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast (use parmesan cheese if you prefer)
1 tablespoon rosemary
1/4 cup fresh parsley
TO MAKE THE SWEET POTATO MASH:
Preheat oven to 200°F.
Spread cubed sweet potatoes on baking sheet and drizzle on one tablespoon of coconut oil and a pinch or two of salt.
Let bake for 15-20 minutes. If the sweet potatoes are spread out in 1 layer they will cook faster. When they are soft and slightly browned on the outside, they are done. Let cool for 10 minutes and mash together with some fresh minced herbs.
TO MAKE THE CASHEW ALFREDO:
Soak cashews for 1 hour.
Blend them in a blender until smooth.
Add in the rest of the ingredients and blend again until creamy.
Fill all of the shells with a spoonful of sweet potato.