They boast a wealth of nutrients for everyone: beta-carotene, fiber, vitamin C, potassium, magnesium, and phytochemicals. And according to research by Delia Hammock, MS, RD, both animal and human studies suggest that a compound found in sweet potatoes may stabilize blood sugar and lower insulin resistance—good news for people with diabetes and prediabetes.
“Sweet potatoes—despite their name—have a medium to low glycemic index,” says Hammock, “so they produce smaller blood glucose and insulin fluctuations in the body.” For the greatest benefit—the lowest glycemic impact and for additional nutrients—she recommends eating sweet potatoes raw in salads and slaws, or cooked and eaten with the skin and without added sugar or salt.
Adapted from a recipe by Ashley Bonnema of Ashley’s Kitchen
1 1/2 pounds North Carolina sweet potatoes (about 2 large)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup chopped celery
1 teaspoon finely chopped garlic (1 large clove)
1 pound ground beef, 90% lean
1 can (15 ounces) tomato sauce
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh thyme or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme or herbes de Province, divided
1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon milk
Preheat oven to 350°F. Oil a 6- to 8-cup shallow baking dish. Pierce sweet potato skins; microwave until tender, about 4 to 6 minutes; cool.
In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion and celery; cook and stir until tender, about 5 minutes. Add garlic; cook and stir 1 minute. Add beef; cook and stir until it just begins to brown. Stir in tomato sauce, Worcestershire, 1 teaspoon of the thyme and 1/4 teaspoon of the salt and pepper; bring to a boil.
Transfer to baking dish; spread evenly. Scoop sweet potato from skins into medium bowl; add butter, milk, remaining 1/2 teaspoon thyme and 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper. With electric beater, beat until smooth; spread over meat in baking dish. Bake until bubbly, about 20 to 25 minutes.
Yield: 4 to 6 portions
TD&N Nutrient Analysis for 6 portions: Calories: 316; Total Fat: 14 g; Saturated Fat: 6 g; Polyunsaturated Fat: 1 g; Monounsaturated Fat: 6 g; Cholesterol: 59 mg; Sodium: 711 mg; Carbohydrates: 30 mg; Fiber: 5 g; Protein: 18 g
Recipe and photo used with permission from the North Carolina SweetPotato Commission, www.ncsweetpotatoes.com