4 Healthy Sweet Potato Recipes
How to Make Sweet Potatoes Delicious Without Excess Sugar or Fat
Western culture seems to focus on three ways to cook sweet potatoes: as pie, as French fries, and smothered in butter, brown sugar, and marshmallows for the holidays. But the rest of the world uses this delicious tuber as a staple food item and can teach us a lot about healthy sweet potato recipes.
We homestead to be happier and healthier, and sweet potatoes fit well into that plan. After growing sweet potatoes in our own gardens and harvesting them to reside in our pantries, we must know how to cook them for our best advantage.
High in fiber and low on the glycemic scale, the sweet potato is a good choice for diabetics as long as it’s not cooked with added sugar. It’s also packed with crucial vitamins but contains a natural sweetness to make all that healthiness a delight to have on our plates.
Roasted Sweet Potato Salad
Do you want something fresh and light to start? This healthy sweet potato recipe uses just enough oil to roast the vegetables and to bind the flavors of the salad dressing. If you want more protein, add strips of cooked chicken breast or peeled and steamed shrimp.
- 1 large sweet potato
- 1 red bell pepper
- 1 medium onion
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 6 cups mesclun mix salad
- 4 tablespoons apple juice concentrate
- 1 more tablespoon olive oil
- 2 tablespoons light balsamic vinegar
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon dried onion
- ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- ¼ cup pumpkin seeds
- ¼ cup pomegranate seeds
- 4oz goat cheese
Heat oven to 400 degrees. Peel sweet potato and cut into long, thin pieces resembling apple slices. Cut red bell pepper in half and remove stem and seeds. Peel onion and slice lengthwise so it falls apart into long, thin pieces. Brush all sides of the red bell pepper with olive oil and place on an oiled baking sheet. Combine the remaining olive oil with the sweet potato and onion slices, tossing to coat the vegetables. Spread sweet potatoes and onions on the sheet beside the red bell pepper. Roast about 20 minutes, until sweet potatoes are tender, onions begin to caramelize at the edges, and the skin of the pepper blisters and blackens. Remove from the oven. Immediately place the pepper in a zippered plastic bag and close. Allow the pepper to “sweat” within the plastic bag while you make the salad dressing.
Combine the apple juice concentrate with the balsamic vinegar and olive oil. Add black pepper, dried onion, and red pepper flakes. Shake vigorously to combine flavors.
Remove the red bell pepper from the plastic bag. Gently remove and discard the peel. Cut the pepper into long, slender slices.
Wash mesclun mix and spin it dry. Divide mesclun among four plates. Lay roasted sweet potatoes, onions, and pepper atop the lettuce then drizzle with the prepared salad dressing. Sprinkle with pumpkin seeds, pomegranate seeds, and goat cheese.
Sweet Potato Seafood Bisque
If you don’t have seafood, substitute cooked, cubed chicken breast. Or omit all meat for a vegetarian option. This healthy sweet potato recipe makes a wonderful accompaniment to no-knead artisan bread.
- 1 red bell pepper, roasted and skin removed
- 2 tablespoons butter
- ¼ cup finely diced celery
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 medium leek, finely diced
- 5 cups chicken or vegetable broth
- 2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed (about 2 pounds)
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1/8 teaspoon saffron, bloomed in ¼ cup hot water
- Juice of 1 small lemon
- 1 teaspoon Spanish paprika
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil or ½ tablespoon dried basil
- 8oz raw peeled shrimp
- 4oz sea scallops
- 8oz light fileted fish, such as swai
- ¾ cup heavy whipping cream
- 2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream and 4 small sprigs fresh basil, for garnish
If you have not yet roasted the red bell pepper, cut it in half and remove seeds and stem. Brush both sides with olive oil and set on a baking sheet in an oven heated to 400 degrees. Cook around 20 minutes, or until skin begins to blister and blacken. Remove pepper from the oven and immediately slide it into a plastic zippered bag, closing the bag to allow the pepper to “sweat.” Once the pepper has cooled, remove it from the bag. Carefully remove and discard peels. Set pepper aside to use later in the recipe.
Bloom saffron by pouring ¼ cup hot water into a small bowl. Sprinkle in the saffron and allow it to sit at least ten minutes to infuse the water.
Cut the seafood into pieces of equal size. Set aside.
Within a 6-quart saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the celery, leeks, and garlic, stirring and sautéing until tender. Pour in the chicken or vegetable broth then add the cubed sweet potatoes. Cover the pan and simmer until the sweet potatoes are soft, about twenty minutes. Remove from heat and add the roasted bell pepper. Use an immersion blender or carefully pour the hot mixture into a blender and pulse until smooth.
Pour the soup back into the pan and return to a simmer. Add salt, lemon juice, bloomed saffron, paprika, black pepper, and basil. Add more salt, pepper, or basil to taste. Once soup has reached a gentle but steady boil, add the seafood and stir. Cook five more minutes, stirring occasionally, until shrimp is pink and fish is opaque. Remove from heat and stir in ¾ cup whipping cream.
Ladle soup into four large bowls. Spoon ½ tablespoon whipping cream into each bowl, using an attractive swirled pattern. Garnish with fresh basil.
Tricolor Mashed Potatoes
Simple to make and stunning on a full dinner table, these mashed potatoes give just enough sweetness to amplify a light gravy. Learn how to cut a whole chicken and serve it roasted or fried beside the potatoes for a true home-cooked experience. For a low-fat version of this healthy sweet potato recipe, substitute warm chicken or vegetable broth for the cream.
- 1 pound russet potatoes
- 1 pound colorful sweet potatoes, such as garnet yams
- 1 pound sweet potatoes or Irish potatoes of a third color, such as purple
- 6 tablespoons butter
- 3 cups heavy whipping cream
- 3 teaspoons salt
Peel and dice all the potatoes, keeping them separated by color. Within three separate pans, boil the potatoes until fork-tender. Drain the potatoes in separate colanders then place in separate bowls.
Add two tablespoons butter and one teaspoon salt to each bowl. Allow the butter to melt then pour in one cup whipping cream for each bowl. Mix using a potato masher if you desire more texture or with an electric mixer for a smooth product, wiping the blades before you move on to the next color.
Scoop one color of potatoes into a large bowl or pan, holding the bowl askew so the potatoes stay on one side. Add the other two colors in the same manner. With a spoon or spatula, gently swirl the colors together, being careful not to mix too much. Keep warm until ready to serve.
Tropical Brown Rice and Sweet Potato Pilaf
Gluten free, corn free, low on the glycemic scale, vegetarian, and packed with protein, this healthy sweet potato recipe might be the perfect dish. Omit cheese to make it vegan.
- 2 cups brown rice
- 1 15.5oz can coconut milk
- 2 cups water
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 large or 2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
- 1 cup fresh pineapple, diced
- 1 small onion, diced
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- ½ cup pecan gems
- ½ cup red berries, such as goji berries or dried cranberries
- 4oz crumbled goat cheese such as chevre
Combine rice, coconut milk, water, salt, and black pepper. Cook within a rice cooker or a saucepan until completely done, about 45 minutes. While the rice is cooking, prepare the other ingredients.
If using dry goji berries, cover them with warm water and allow them to soak while you roast your vegetables.
Heat oven to 400 degrees. Combine sweet potato, pineapple, onion, and olive oil in a bowl. Toss gently to coat all pieces with oil. Spread out on a metal baking sheet. Roast 20-25 minutes, until sweet potatoes are tender and onion is beginning to caramelize. Remove from oven.
Once rice and vegetables are completely cooked, gently scoop them into the same large bowl. Scrape the baking sheet to ensure all every drop of delicious juice makes it into the pilaf. Add pecan gems and red berries. Gently toss to combine evenly. Crumble goat cheese on top. Stir just enough to distribute cheese in the pilaf and serve.
Whether you’re sitting down to a large family meal or just feeding a few people, it’s easy to make healthy sweet potato recipes.
Do you have a healthy sweet potato recipe your family loves?