Hy-Vee at Midday: Sensational Sweet Potatoes

By Kimberly Proctor, Hy-Vee Dietitian


By Ashley Hinson

Sensational Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes often come to mind during the holidays, but why not enjoy them all year long? Delicious with traditional flavors such as cinnamon and maple, these versatile spuds have a savory side as well. Recently featured in Hy-Vee Seasons “30 Foods for a Better Body” list, sweet potatoes are a super food the whole family can enjoy. Today, your Mount Vernon Road Hy-Vee dietitian will show you some unique ways to add sweet potatoes to your plate.

Sweet Potatoes vs. Yams
Most “yams” purchased in the U.S. are actually sweet potatoes! Sweet potatoes are members of the morning glory family and are native to Central America and Peru. A true yam is native to Africa and differs greatly in texture, appearance and flavor from the orange-fleshed sweet potatoes we know and love.

Health Benefits
Sweet potatoes, with their deep orange color, are bursting with beta-carotene, an antioxidant and pre-cursor to vitamin A. Vitamin A plays an important role in building tissues and immune function. In addition, sweet potatoes are a good source of vitamin C and potassium. Calorie counters rejoice! A medium sweet potato baked in the skin contains only 100 calories while providing 4 grams of filling dietary fiber.

Sweet Potato & Apple Hummus
Hy-Vee dietitians
All you need:
2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cooked
1 (15 oz.) cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
3 Tbsp. apple juice
1 Tbsp. almond butter
2 Tbsp. brown sugar
2 Tbsp. maple syrup
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. allspice
¼ tsp. salt
2 apples, chopped
½ cup sliced almonds
All you do:
In a food processor or blender, blend together the sweet potato and beans. Pulse until smooth. Add to sweet potato mixture in the food processor the apple juice, oil, almond butter, brown sugar, maple syrup, cinnamon, allspice and salt. Mix until well blended. Stir in apple. Transfer to a serving dish and top with almonds. Refrigerate until serving. Serve with pita chips, vanilla wafers, sliced apples or sliced pears.

*Cooked sweet potatoes microwave directions: Scrub 2 (6- to 8-ounce each) sweet potatoes. Pat dry and prick. Micro-cook, uncovered, on 100% power (high) till tender. Allow 7 to 9 minutes for 2 potatoes, rearranging and turning potatoes over once. Let stand 10 minutes or until cool. Skin will peel off easily using a small knife.

Baked Cinnamon Tortilla Chips
Kimberly Proctor, RD LD
All you need:
4 Hy-Vee 100% whole wheat soft tortillas
Butter-flavored cooking spray
¼ cup sugar
½ tsp. cinnamon
All you do:
Preheat oven to 350°. Combine cinnamon and sugar in a small bowl, set aside. Using cookie cutters, cut desired shapes out of the tortillas. Lightly spritz cut-outs with cooking spray and sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar mixture. Bake at 350° for 10-12 minutes or until crispy.

Sweet Potato and Black Bean Chili
(Serves 6)
Hy-Vee Seasons 2012
All you need:
1 Tbsp. Grand Selections olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 (6 oz.) can Hy-Vee tomato paste
1 ½ tsp. ground cumin
½ tsp. Hy-Vee crushed red pepper flakes
3 cups vegetable broth
2 (15 ounces each) cans Hy-Vee black beans, rinsed and drained
1 medium sweet potato, peeled and cubed
2 cups packed chopped kale
All you do:
In a saucepan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onion and garlic; cook about 5 minutes or until onion is tender. Stir in tomato paste, cumin and crushed red pepper flakes. Add vegetable broth, black beans and sweet potatoes; stir and bring to boiling over medium-high heat. Reduce to medium-low heat; cover and simmer 15 minutes. Stir in kale, simmer 10 minutes more.
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