Today’s Tip is about baked sweet potatoes. I’ve seen these baked whole, with fork-poked holes in them or sliced through the middle, seasoned with salt and served with butter (and, maybe, cinnamon as well), or roasted as small cubes with olive oil and various spices, and there’s no denying that baked sweet potatoes can be enjoyed in many ways, but lately I’ve been wary of using too much salt and (salted) butter and prefer instead to enjoy these sweet potatoes as close as possible to their natural taste.
Here’s what I do. I peel them (four medium-to-large ones), rinse them (and blot them with paper towels), cut them into round slices half an inch thick, and lay them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. I bake them at 180°C/approx. 350°F for 45 minutes, and voilà, they’re ready to eat as they are.
Sometimes I don’t like to fiddle with flavors too much. But if you want to turn them into a more special dessert, you can add a touch of cinnamon and a bit of maple syrup—or honey. Do that for the first serving and then just add another portion onto your plate to scoop up the syrup that remains there.
Oh, I meant to mention some of their health benefits as well.
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They have lots of fiber (6.6 grams, both soluble and insoluble, per cup/200 grams), so they’re good for your colon, help lower your cholesterol, and contain beta-carotene ((213% DV), which is essential for eye health, while also being an important antioxidant. Sweet potatoes also contain potassium (20% DV), which is good for blood pressure and, within limits, for heart health. Additionally, purple sweet potatoes, high in anthocyanins, have been shown to improve several markers for brain health in rats.
According to Healthline, which I’m referring to for this post, sweet potatoes are also a good source of some B vitamins (B3, B5, B6) and some other vitamins and minerals. The latter include manganese (43% DV), which calls for a brief comment.
Manganese is important within the daily value amounts but can also hurt the liver and become toxic for the brain—leading to neurological disorders similar to idiopathic Parkinson’s Disease if ingested in high amounts, e.g. through contaminated water or welding fumes. According to The Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, we shouldn’t worry about getting too much manganese from the diet, but I guess if we’re already exposed to pollution it’s better to keep manganese toxicity in mind. One way to counteract it, as mentioned in the above article, is by eating foods rich in iron.
Okay, well, I don’t want to dissuade you from enjoying those sweet potatoes. Just to say that everything should be consumed in moderation. And that, on second thought, rather than enjoying this dessert with maple syrup sometimes, another foodstuff high in manganese, it may be better, perhaps, to stick with honey 🙂
Okay, I’ll stop. Enjoy!
To a happier, healthier life,
P.S. I hope you’ve enjoyed this post. If you found it helpful in any way, I’d appreciate a pin/share! Thank you! 🙂