Sweet potato is a large starchy root vegetable with a slightly sweet taste. It is closely related to the common potato and is sometimes referred to as yams, particularly in areas of North America. They are native to the tropical regions of the Americas.
Sweet potatoes are grown in tropical and warm temperatures, but they are a common vegetable. They can be used in a variety of different recipes and they have many benefits which make them a great contribution to your vegetable intake.
Why are sweet potatoes good for you?
Sweet potatoes are very good for you. It is arguable that they are even better than regular potatoes due to their lower calorie count and they are higher in Vitamin A. However, without the competition of their counterpart, sweet potatoes are high in vitamin C, B6 and they are a great antioxidant.
It is said that one sweet potato is enough to fulfil your entire vitamin A intake for one day, WebMD suggests that they provide you with 400% of the vitamin A you need. Additionally, sweet potatoes are high in fibre which means that they promote good gut health. They contribute to the growth of healthy gut bacteria. It is also thought that the antioxidants included in sweet potatoes can help with the prevention of vision loss and eye health. In addition to contributing to boosting our immunity.
Are sweet potatoes good for weight loss?
Due to the nature that they are high in nutrients and vitamins, sweet potatoes can be a great addition to your diet in order to help you lose weight. Unstable levels of glucose can lead to conditions such as obesity and diabetes, but sweet potatoes are thought to be a low-glycaemic vegetable, meaning that it does not cause a rise in your sugar levels. This is particularly useful when you are trying to lose weight.
Although, it is important to consider that you will need to prepare sweet potatoes in the right way in order to reap their benefits. This can be in ways such as roasting them, steaming, baking or boiling. They can also be added to recipes or exchanged in place of something less healthy. Boiling a sweet potato is most likely the healthiest way to prepare this vegetable. It retains most of the antioxidants, which can be lost in the process of steaming or roasting the vegetable.
Sweet potatoes also have a high water content, with 77% of the vegetables being water. This makes them great for weight loss. When you're dehydrated, your metabolism slows down, meaning that fewer calories are burned.
Sweet Potato Recipe Ideas
Sweet potatoes are incredibly versatile. They can be prepared in many different ways and this means that they can be added and paired with lots of different foods. If you are a lover of sweet potatoes, we have made a list of sweet potato recipe ideas that you can try to enjoy the wide variety of sweet potato uses.
Salads with sweet potato recipes
Roasted Sweet Potato Salad by Eating Bird Food
This recipe involves sweet potatoes in roasted form. The prep time is estimated to be around 10 minutes and the cooking time is 30 minutes. The following ingredients are needed:
- 10 cups sweet potatoes (3 large sweet potatoes, chopped into bite-sized chunks)
- 4 ounces baby spinach (chopped small)
- 1/2 cup red onion (chopped small)
- 1/3 dried cranberries
- 1 avocado
Alongside these main ingredients is the need for salt, olive oil, apple cider vinegar, lemon juice and hemp seeds. Specific measurements can be found in the full recipe.
Sweet Potato Tex-Mex Salad by BBC Good Food
This recipe showcases another use for roasted sweet potatoes, but with a hearty vegan twist. This salad is high in fibre, vitamin C and the mixture of flavours makes it an interesting blend. The following ingredients are as followed:
- 600g sweet potatoes
- 400g black beans, drained and washed
- 198g sweetcorn, canned, drained and washed
- 250g chopped tomatoes
- 1 small red onion, sliced thinly
- 1 pack of coriander, chopped
- 2 avocados
Additional ingredients include chilli flakes, olive oil and lime juice. Exact measurements can be found on the full recipe.
Sweet Potato & Avocado Green Salad by Minimalist Baker
This salad is a simple, quick, fresh, healthy and easy recipe that makes for a perfect lunch. For this recipe, the following ingredients are used:
- 1 large sweet potato
- 1/4 cup tahini
- 1tbsp lemon juice and maple syrup
- 5 cups green of your choice (such as spinach)
- 1 avocado
- 2 tbsp hemp seeds
Additional ingredients will be needed, such as oil, salt and water, but a full list can be accessed through the full recipe. This meal is okay to be kept for up the three days but must be refrigerated.
For a wider list of sweet potato salad recipes, the following link can be extremely useful: 16 Sweet Potato Salads That Will Spice Up Any BBQ
Sweet Potato Fries in Oven
When making sweet potato fries, the most beneficial method is through the use of baking rather than frying. There are various different methods that can be used in order to produce sweet potato fries. For a healthier alternative, use an air fryer. The following recipes include oven cooked sweet potato fries.
Oven Baked Sweet Potato Fries by A Pinch of Healthy
This recipe provides a way to indulge in a simple, healthy and delicious form of sweet potato. This particular recipe is for the oven, but there is an alternative if you are wanting to use the air fryer. The following link provides this recipe: Simple Air Fryer Sweet Potato Fries Recipe
You can either leave the skin on your sweet potatoes or peel them, but that is up to preference. You will need the following ingredients:
- sweet potatoes, cut to chip size
A full step by step guide can be found under the link. These can be used as a side dish to many different meals.
Baked Sweet Potato Fries by Gimme some Oven
This is a very easy recipe and they claim to be the best! They are crispy and baked instead of fried, making them a healthier option. They are vegetarian and vegan friendly, making them a great snack or side dish to other meals. The ingredients are as followed:
- Sweet potatoes
- Olive oil
- Garlic powder, smoked paprika, black pepper and salt
A full recipe is available on their website. They even include some customisable options such as adding cheese, adding heat in the form of cayenne pepper and other seasonings which can alter the taste of the fries, making them much more interesting. This can be taco seasoning, curry powder and Caribbean Jerk seasoning.
Crispy Baked Sweet Potato Fries by Cookie and Kate
This sweet potato recipe will leave you will some great, fresh and crispy sweet potato fries that are great for a snack or a side dish to your favourite meal. The ingredients are as followed:
- 3 medium sweet potatoes
- 1 tbsp cornstarch
- sea salt
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- spices, such as black pepper, cayenne pepper, garlic power
A full list of instructions can be found on the recipe site.
Sweet Potato Vegan Recipes
Sweet potato is a great vegetable to use for those who are vegan or vegetarian and the veg can be used widely to create plenty of recipes that would otherwise consist of meat.
Satay Sweet Potato Curry by BBC Good Food
This vegan curry recipe is a great, hearty meal that provides you with at least two of your five a day. It is under 400 calories and can provide the whole family with a new wholesome recipe. The ingredients are as followed:
- 3 tbsp Thai red curry paste (ensure the brand is vegan)
- 500g sweet potato
- 400ml coconut milk
- 200g spinach
- 1 tbsp peanut butter
- 1 onion
- Coconut oil, lime juice, garlic and ginger
This curry can be served with rice or another dish of your choice. The full recipe can be accessed on their website.
Chilli Stuffed Sweet Potatoes (Vegan) by The Simple Veganista
This recipe is an interesting twist on your typical jacket potato with chilli. Instead, it substitutes the common potato with a sweet potato. The ingredients are as followed:
- 2- 4 Sweet Potatoes
- 3-4 cups vegan chilli
This is a very simple recipe and it is centred more on the baking of the potatoes, rather than the creation of the vegan chilli. However, it does provide you with some toppings that you are able to customise the top of your jacket potato with. This ranges from avocado to vegan sour cream.
Sweet Potato Chocolate Pudding with Pecan Crumble by Forks Over Knives
This recipe is incredibly interesting as it subverts the traditional use of sweet potato and uses it to create a dessert. We have seen this be done with brownies, but a chocolate pudding opens a new avenue. It is a plant-based recipe and the ingredients are as followed:
- 1 large sweet potato
- 4 whole dates, pitted
- 1/4 unsweetened plant based milk
- 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 tbsp maple syrup (pure)
- 1 tsp tahini
- 1/4 cup raw pecans
- 1/4 cup chopped dates
The recipe also calls for other smaller ingredients such as salt, nutmeg and cinnamon. The website gives a full step by step guide on how to make this sweet potato vegan recipe.
Sweet Potato Recipes - Side Dish
Sweet potatoes can be used as a main meal, but they are quite often used to create side dishes. Aside from sweet potato fries, it can be hard to know just how to use sweet potatoes to create a variety of dishes. The following sweet potato recipes can be used as a side dish.
Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Garlic and Parmesan by Together as Family
This recipe puts a slight spin on sweet potato fries, and involves the following ingredients:
- sweet potatoes
- olive oil
- parmesan cheese
- garlic seasoning
For a full step by step guide, ensure you check out the website above.
Rosemary-Pecan Sweet Potato Mash by Good House Keeping
This sweet potato mash recipe is great for a side dish to your favourite meal. This dish can also be kept for two days, just ensure that the dish is heated before consuming. The ingredients are as followed:
- 3lbs sweet potatoes
- 1 1.5 cups of pecans
- 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
The recipe also calls for smaller ingredients such as olive oil, cayenne pepper, rosemary, salt and maple syrup. The full recipe includes a step by step guide.
Air Fryer Vegan Sweet Potato Fritters by All Recipes
This vegan recipe is a great addition to any dish! You will need an air fryer to make them, but this quick and simple recipe will leave you with a great sweet potato side dish within 40 minutes. The following ingredients are needed:
- 1 1/2 cups of sweet potato (shredded)
- 1/2 cup almond flour
- 1/4 cup onion, diced
This recipe also calls for ingredients such as olive oil, salt, black pepper, turmeric and cooking spray. For a full list of instructions, visit the recipes website.
Sweet Potatoes and Chicken
Sweet potato and chicken can make a great meal, but knowing how to prepare them so that you are not making the same combination each time can be tricky. We have gathered some recipes that show the different ways you are able to do this.
Sweet Potato and Chicken Traybake Recipe by Tesco Real Food
Tesco's simple and easy traybake recipe is advertised as the perfect midweek dinner for a family. It's healthy, gluten free and dairy free. The following ingredients are needed:
- 500g sweet potatoes
- 2 red onions (or other variety if preferred)
- 350g broccoli
- 8 garlic cloves
- 6 chicken thighs (skinless)
- 2 lemons
- 150ml chicken stock
As well as the abovementioned ingredients, other products such as paprika, dried thyme and olive oil will be needed.
15 Chicken and Sweet Potato Recipes by All Recipes
This website features 15 different recipes from stews to pasta, all combining the use of sweet potatoes and chicken. This is a great place to refer back to each time you are wanting to create a dish using these two ingredients.