Sweet potatoes aren’t just to be smothered in brown sugar on Thanksgiving; they’re a nutritious addition to any meal. They’re one of the biggest sources of betacarotene, and studies show that they can raise the vitamin A in our blood. In fact, several studies from Africa show that sweet potatoes contain between 100 to 1,600 micrograms of vitamin A in every 3.5 ounces. They also contain vitamin C, manganese, biotin, potassium and fiber.
Not only are there a variety of health benefits, but there are a variety of ways to incorporate them into your diet — even in FGCU dorms.
For more recipes and tips, visit health.com.
THREE WORDS: SWEET POTATO HASHBROWNS
Need something different to go with your usual eggs and bacon? Try grating a few sweet potatoes into little shreds (it’s a good way to let out some aggression). Once they’re shredded, sauté them — or microwave them —with onion in just a little olive oil until they look brown and delicious. You can season them with some salt, pepper and/or whatever else you’d like.
BAKE THEM INTO CHIPS
Instead of snacking on salty, fried potato chips from the store, try making your own. Residents with an oven (or those with friends who have an oven), can preheat the oven to 475 degrees and slice a sweet potato into thin slices and place across a baking sheet. Bake them for 25 minutes or so, until they’re crispy like chips. Don’t forget to flip them halfway through. For a more savory chip, sprinkle them with some grated parmesan as soon as they’re out of the oven.
MASH ’EM UP
Mashed potatoes are known as a comfort food. Comfort yourself with the antioxidants of sweet potatoes. For those of you in North Lake or West Lake, you can do this easily. Just cut two or three large sweet potatoes into chunks about two-inches wide (or thinner – thinner strips will cook faster) and boil them. You’ll need to cook those until tender, and that’ll take about 15 to 20 minutes. Drain the water and mash with milk, butter, salt and pepper.
WHO DOESN’T LIKE FRENCH FRIES?
Again, just like Russet potatoes, sweet potatoes can be made into French fries. Cut your sweet potato into strips and then spread them onto a baking sheet or a microwave safe plate. I’d recommend brushing them with some olive oil, too. Add some salt and even some pepper and Cajun seasoning if you’d like to bring some spice to them.
Bake the fries at 450 degrees for 25 minutes; flip them halfway through, or microwave them until they look crispy at the edges and you have baked sweet potato fries.
BAKE IT IN THE OVEN
Just as a Russet potato, a sweet potato can be wrapped in aluminum foil and baked in the oven. Try baking them for 45 minutes at 450 degrees. If you don’t have an oven — looking at you, SoVi residents — try wrapping your sweet potato in a wet paper towel and microwaving it for 8 to 10 minutes.
From there, you can slice the potato down the middle and butter it like normal, or you can mix some butter and brown sugar in a separate bowl and then spread that against your baked sweet potato. If you’re looking for something more savory, you can sprinkle it with salt and paprika. The possibilities are endless.