I am always trying new and inventive ways to get my daughter Sophie to eat her vegetables. Sometimes I get lucky, and she will actually like what I serve and eat a helping--but rarely more than that.
So recently, when I was reminded about the healing and nutrient dense powers of sweet potatoes, I decided to make some for Sophie. It really is a superfood, and we would all be well served to get more sweet potatoes into both our vegetable and dessert dishes. Baked, roasted, cut into fries and roasted with a little olive oil—or even in a pie, sweet potatoes are a healthy choice.
As an excellent source of vitamin A (in the form of beta-carotene) and a very good source of vitamin C, sweet potatoes have healing properties as an antioxidant food. Both beta-carotene and vitamin C are very powerful antioxidants that work in the body to eliminate free radicals. Free radicals are chemicals that damage cells and cell membranes and are associated with the development of conditions like atherosclerosis, diabetic heart disease, and colon cancer. This may explain why beta-carotene and vitamin C have both been shown to be helpful for preventing these conditions.
Since simple is best for my daughter, I baked the sweet potatoes until tender, then removed them from the skin. I puréed them in the food processor with a little butter, salt, pepper and Chinese 5 spice powder (which has cloves and cinnamon, among other spices). She ate them, and asked for more! I will now happily add this to my vegetable repertoire. And next time, I may even whip some into a pie for dessert….
5-6 sweet potatoes, washed and pricked
2 oz butter
salt and pepper to taste
¼ teaspoon Chinese 5 spice powder
Bake sweet potatoes in oven or microwave until tender. Scoop potatoes from their skins into a food processor. Add butter, salt, pepper and 5 spice powder. Purée until smooth. Serve warm.