Wellness Encyclopedia: Sweet Potatoes + Sweet Potato Toast, 3 Ways

Wellness Encyclopedia: Sweet Potatoes + Sweet Potato Toast, 3 Ways

Learn all the reasons you should be sweet on sweet potatoes…

My love affair with sweet potatoes began with my first Whole30. Before that, I’d never eaten them, save for the occasional, unpleasant Thanksgiving fork-full of sweet potatoes topped with marshmallows at my grandmother’s house (a more confusing dish I dare you to find). For unknown reasons (reasons likely related to their affiliation with marshmallows), they were practically banned from my mother’s table, so it wasn’t until that initial Whole30 that I was introduced to how truly incredible sweet potatoes can be in both flavor and nutrition. Now, these power-packed roots are a staple in my diet, and as fall draws closer and the weather cools, they’re ever more present on my table. Root vegetables like sweet potatoes are packed with vitamins and minerals key to powering us through the colder months. Think of a root as the powerplant to what grows above the earth’s surface, brimming with energy and, in the case of sweet potatoes, rutabagas, turnips, carrots, and their ilk, deep beneficial nutrition. As we enter into September and the leaves begin to turn (no joke: yellow and orange leaves were spotted in Central Pennsylvania this weekend), whether we’re fully aware of it or not, our diets will likely turn towards more warming foods to prepare our bodies for the months that lie ahead. Learn all the reasons you should be sweet on sweet potatoes below, then scroll to the bottom for three easy sweet potato toast recipes.

What are sweet potatoes?

Only distantly related to regular white potatoes, sweet potatoes are a perennial vine that boasts gorgeous trumpet-like flowers and a delicious edible root. Thought to be native to Central and/or South America, remnants of sweet potatoes dating as far back as 8,000 years have been found in Peru. Often confused with yams, sweet potatoes typically have lower sugar content and are smaller than yams, which are native to Africa and are typically not grown in the US. Yams boast white flesh and rough skins, and can grow up to eight feet in length! Additionally, it’s safe to eat sweet potatoes raw, whereas yams are toxic unless cooked properly.

What are the benefits of sweet potatoes?

Rich in antioxidants like beta-carotene, which converts to vitamin A in your body, sweet potatoes could boost cellular turnover for younger-looking skin and help protect eyesight from macular degeneration (pro tip: adding a little fat, like coconut oil or olive oil, to your sweet potato will boost absorption and conversion of beta-carotene). A natural prebiotic, fibre-rich sweet potatoes feed the good bacteria in your gut, promoting better digestion and regularity and helping to eliminate bloat. The anthocyanins in purple sweet potatoes could boost brain function and protect against degeneration of brain tissue and prevent memory loss, these same pigments have been linked to collagen production, potentially reducing the signs of aging. While many are quick to write off starchy root vegetables like sweet potatoes, research has shown that they could actually improve blood sugar regulation. Because we digest them slowly, thanks in part to their high fibre content, blood sugar is kept at a steady state instead of spiking and dropping the way it would with other carbs and starches.

How do I use sweet potatoes?

One of my favorite – and unexpected – ways to use sweet potatoes these days is by tossing a handful of steamed sweet potato into a smoothie. They’re a creamy, low sugar alternative to banana and delicious combined with a dash of cinnamon, a splash of nut milk, and your favorite protein powder. Sweet potato also lends itself well to soups, salads (try roasting some up and serving with arugula), baked goods, and they can be used in place of white potatoes in most cases. And while sweet potato fries are in fact delicious, it’s important to keep in mind the healthiest way to enjoy these delicious roots is as unadulterated as possible: steamed, baked skin-on, or lightly dry roasted. Try the recipe below for a new take on toast that will keep your belly happy and feeling full ‘till lunch:

Sweet Potato Toast, 3 Ways

Ingredients

Sweet potatoes (1 medium sweet potato makes about 3-4 slices)

To prepare the sweet potatoes: Preheat your oven to 400 degrees fahrenheit and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Rinse and dry sweet potatoes. Slice sweet potatoes lengthwise, about ¼ inch thick and place on baking sheet. Place in the oven for about 20 minutes, or until bottoms are slightly browned and pieces are cooked through but firm.

PB-Banana-Cacao:

Natural peanut butter or nut butter of choice

1 Banana

Cacao nibs

Cinnamon

Method

Spread sweet potatoes with nut butter and top with banana slices. Sprinkle with cacao nibs and cinnamon.

Avocado “Toast”:

Ripe avocado

Cumin

Sea salt

Black pepper

Method

Layer slices of avocado on top of sweet potato slices. Sprinkle with cumin, sea salt, and black pepper.

Blueberry-Almond Butter:

Almond butter

Blueberries

Nutmeg

Method

Spread sweet potato slices with almond butter and top with blueberries and nutmeg.

Enjoy!

+ Be sure to check out more Wellness Encyclopedia posts!

Follow Julie on Instagram + check out her blog.

Free People Blog

In the Kitchen: Egg/Avocado Recipes for Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

In the Kitchen: Egg/Avocado Recipes for Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Incorporate two of our favorite ingredients — egg and avocado — into your menu for any time of day…

From our FP Gather chef Greg Glowatz…with photos by Jillian Guyette.

Breakfast

Avocado and Egg Toast

Serves 2.

Ingredients

4 slices multigrain toast

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, butter or vegan butter

3 pastured fresh eggs

1 avocado

1 or 2 heirloom tomatoes, depending on size

½ cup radicchio, shredded

Maldon or any flaky sea salt, to taste

Cracked black pepper, to taste

Method

Cut multigrain bread to the size and shape that you want and toast until golden brown. While the toast is still warm, spread on a little butter, vegan butter or a little extra virgin olive oil. Lightly scramble pastured eggs, season with salt and pepper and gently cook in butter, vegan butter or extra virgin olive oil. Top toast with scrambled eggs. Then add sliced heirloom tomatoes seasoned with sea salt, sliced avocado and shredded radicchio. Finish with more flaky sea salt and cracked black pepper. Enjoy!

Lunch

Avocado and Egg Salad

Serves 2.

Ingredients

3 cups kale, shredded fine

1 tbsp avocado oil

2 tbsp lemon juice

2 pastured fresh eggs

1 avocado

1 scallions

1 cucumber

2 carrots, rainbow or orange

1 sweet red pepper

3 tbsp sprouted hemp seeds

Maldon or any flaky sea salt, to taste

Cracked black pepper, to taste

Method

First, hard boil eggs first and set aside. I like to start in plenty of cold water. I turn gas on high and, when water comes to a boil, I turn heat off and cover eggs for about 8 minutes depending on their size. Cool and peel eggs and set aside. Toss shredded kale in avocado oil and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper and gently massage kale with lemon juice and oil. Cut cucumber in matchstick-sized pieces. Slice scallions, carrots, red pepper and celery as thin as possible. Next, assemble salad by placing dressed kale in bowls. Top with sliced scallion, carrots, celery, red pepper and cucumber. Cut hardboiled eggs in half and arrange on top with vegetables and sliced avocado. Sprinkle sprouted hemp seeds over top with cracked black pepper and sea salt.

Dinner

Avocado and Egg with Kimchi and Rice

Serves 2.

Ingredients

1 cup short grain brown sushi rice

1 ¼ cup water

2 tbsp brown rice vinegar

1 tbsp organic brown rice mirin

1 jar kimchi, raw probiotic

2 pastured fresh eggs

1 tbsp avocado oil

1 avocado

1 small cucumber

1 tbsp toasted sesame seeds

6 sprigs cilantro

Maldon or any flaky sea salt, to taste

Cracked black pepper, to taste

Method

Bring rice and water, with a pinch of salt, to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cover. Cook for 20 minutes or until water is fully absorbed. Keep covered to continue steaming for an additional 10 minutes. Gently fold rice with vinegar and mirin and a pinch of salt. (Also, I like to add some liquid from kimchi container to give rice additional flavor.) Separate into two bowls. Cook eggs in avocado oil and season with salt and pepper. Top rice with a sunny side up egg. Then add kimchi, sliced avocado, sliced cucumber, cilantro sprigs and toasted sesame seeds.

+ What are some of your fave avocado/egg dishes?

Free People Blog

Food For The Skin

Getting you fresh existence through the miracle that’s meals…

Within the last of our sequence with writer/wellness mentor Jolene Hart, we record out 3 of the most popular meals to maintain you as well as your skin-healthy, pleased and moist!

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1. Grape

The vitamin-thick but getting-rarer-by-the-minute avocado rsquo & it;s & nbsp E Vitamin that retains& nbsp’s clear presence cells moist and powerful.

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2. Cucumbers

While you consume it comprised of water, this vegetable creates a sluggish and constant flow of moisture for your physique. Don t ignore naturally occurring in creating your connective cells plastic, which aids, leading to healthiest and better .

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3. Almond seeds

Almond seeds are full of elegance nutrients, such as the tremendous-wholesome, however difficult to find fat GLA (gamma-linolenic acid), which maintains water and reduces infection.

Begin to see the LIVELY edition on Instagram

 

Agave Facemask

Post image for Agave + Aloe Face Mask

The next cure all face-mask!

This article originates from our website intern, Emily.

Motivation hit to mix agave and aloe once the plethora of both crops might be observed in Jana’s pictures from Italy. With one of these two elements (and some more) you’ve got yourself an easy, recovery, and decorating hide. Continue reading to understand just how to enjoy the advantages:

Agave Nectar: an old, organic remedy for all skin problems. Hasbeen proven to help with healing injuries and it has ANTI AGING qualities.

Aloe: A marvelous component internally and outwardly. It& rsquo;s efficient in managing skin conditions healing injuries and skin, and is particularly calming to skin.

Grape: Nature’s lotion.

Special Almond Oil: Cleans, smooths, eliminates black groups and discoloration, reduces skin problems… and thus a lot more.

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Agave Aloe Facemask

Ingredients:

1/4 mug aloe vera solution

1/2  avocado

2 tbsp of agave nectar

1 teaspoon sweet almond oil

Mix all elements in a dish and blend until clean. Utilize a large coating for throat and your encounter, such as the region under your eyes. Depart on for approximately half an hour and make a move to relax. Wash with water that is awesome .

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+Want more elegance articles?!

Scenery pictures by Jana.

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