Super Simple Roasted Sweet Potatoes

Sweet Potatoes Roasted

What are sweet potatoes good for? The answer. A lot! Both on the nutrition side and their unique flavor. They can be prepared on the sweet side or, my personal favorite, savory. Their natural sweetness paired with a little sea salt, pepper + olive oil is just so delicious. And roasting them, that’s the kicker. If you haven’t tried roasted sweet potatoes you are truly missing out. But lucky for you, there’s a recipe below!

Yam versus Sweet Potato. What’s the difference?

I have to admit that I’ve been easily confused trying to decipher the difference between a yam and a sweet potato. I’ve heard that yams are the dark orange looking “potato” and sweet potatoes have a lighter, almost white flesh. Maybe you’ve heard the same or maybe the opposite. One thing is true though: it can be confusing. So if you’re confused like I once was, here’s the scoop on the difference between yams and sweet potatoes.

The Yam.

Although they often get confused or lumped into the same category, yams and sweet potatoes are not really that similar. They are both root vegetables, but come from two completely different “families.” Yams are native to Africa and Asia. They have a cylindrical shape with a tough brown outer skin and white, purple or red looking inner flesh. In fact, many of the grocery stores you’ve been to probably don’t even carry real yams.

The Sweet Potato.

You’ve likely only had sweet potatoes since yams are fairly uncommon in standard supermarkets. There are a couple of different varieties of sweet potato that you should be familiar with. One is the more firm potato with a tannish-white flesh. This variety remains more firm when cooked and is slightly less sweet. The other is the softer, sweeter potato with the bright orange flesh. This variety becomes softer when cooked and is commonly used in your Thanksgiving candied “yam” recipe or as mashed sweet potatoes. So what it comes down to is that you’re most likely eating sweet potatoes, just different varieties. And don’t be fooled by the orange looking potato at the grocery store labeled as a yam…it’s really just a sweet potato after all. Who knew?

Sweet Potatoes

Sweet Potato Nutrition.

In general, the potato often gets vilified for being too starchy or too high in carbohydrates, but what we don’t take into account is the many other health benefits that sweet potatoes offer.

Micros.

Sweet potatoes are a great source of antioxidants, which help combat oxidative damage and inflammation in the body. They also contain other nutrients like Vitamin A, C and E, fiber, potassium and B vitamins. And they’re loaded with phytonutrients [phyto=plant, so a phytonutrient is essentially a plant nutrient]. Phytonutrients may help prevent disease, fight inflammation and assist in everyday body functioning. And there are more than 25,000 phytonutrients found in plant foods! The main phytonutrients found in sweet potatoes are carotenoids which have antioxidant effects in your body.

Macros.

While sweet potatoes are naturally higher in starch and carbohydrates, that doesn’t mean that you should avoid them. Because of their fiber content, the carbohydrates from this whole food source are digested more slowly which is better for your blood sugar, satiety and your waist line. Sweet potatoes also contain something called resistant starch. Resistant starch is essentially a complex starch molecule that your body can’t digest. This means that it takes your body longer to breakdown, which also helps to avoid that blood sugar spike and keeps you satisfied longer.

The skin of the sweet potato contains many nutrients and fiber too, so don’t forget to eat it. Just make sure to scrub the skin well to remove any dirt or bacteria.

And don’t forget to add a little healthy fat with your sweet potato, whether you roast it in olive oil or serve it with some grass-fed butter. This vitamin A rich superfood relies on fat in order to absorb the fat-soluble vitamin A, plus healthy fats taste great, are super nourishing, and leave you super satisfied!

Bottom line, sweet potatoes deserve a place in your healthy, whole-food based diet.

Sweet Potatoes Chopped

Roasting 101.

When roasting sweet potatoes it’s important spread them out evenly on the baking sheet to avoid a lot of overlap. This will ensure that each sweet potato wedge cooks evenly and each has a chance to get delicious and slightly crispy. I’m of fan of sweet potatoes whether I’m just snacking on them by themselves, adding them to a salad or pairing them with dinner. Either way they make a perfect addition to your healthy, whole-food based diet. Check out the full recipe + directions below.

Sweet Potatoes Seasoned

Super Simple Roasted Sweet Potatoes

servings: about 4

Ingredients

  • 2 medium-sized sweet potatoes, washed
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • sea salt + black pepper to taste

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Scrub skin of sweet potatoes to remove any excess dirt. Using a sharp knife, slice each potato down the middle length wise, and then again in half lengthwise. Next, make about ¼ inch cuts down the width of the sweet potato to make even wedges. Place sweet potato wedges on parchment paper lined baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil, sea salt + pepper. Using your hands, “massage” the oil and spices into each sweet potato wedge, making sure to coat them evenly. Spread sweet potatoes out on baking sheet making sure to avoid as much overlap as possible. Place in oven and bake for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes flip sweet potatoes and cook for another 10-15 minutes until tender.

serving suggestion: eat as a mid-afternoon snack, add to salads or as a side dish with dinner. 

Super Simple Roasted Sweet Potatoes
 
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: about 4
Ingredients
  • 2 medium-sized sweet potatoes, washed
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • sea salt + black pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Scrub skin of sweet potatoes to remove any excess dirt.
  3. Using a sharp knife, slice each potato down the middle length wise, and then again in half lengthwise.
  4. Next, make about ¼ inch cuts down the width of the sweet potato to make even wedges.
  5. Place sweet potato wedges on parchment paper lined baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil, sea salt + pepper.
  6. Using your hands, "massage" the oil and spices into each sweet potato wedge, making sure to coat them evenly.
  7. Spread sweet potatoes out on baking sheet making sure to avoid as much overlap as possible.
  8. Place in oven and bake for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes flip sweet potatoes and cook for another 10-15 minutes until tender.
  9. serving suggestion: eat as a mid-afternoon snack, add to salads or as a side dish with dinner.

Sweet Potatoes Roasted

What’s your favorite way to eat sweet potatoes? Let me know in the comments below 🙂

 

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Angela Freed

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