Earth Fresh

December 16, 2009 13:08 ET

Local Sweet Potatoes are in Season

Traditionally a part of holiday feasts, sweet potatoes are packed with well needed nutrition.

Attention: Assignment Editor, Food/Beverage Editor TORONTO/ON--(Marketwire - Dec. 16, 2009) - Sweet potato are in season from local farmers. Ranking as one of the most nutritious vegetable sources, this is an ideal holiday meal choice for the health-conscious consumer. Sweet potatoes offer many health benefits and are easy to cook for one or for a crowd. Although it favours as a holiday meal staple, there is no reason not to have this super antioxidant weekly.

Loaded with nutrients, vitamins and minerals sweet potatoes are often referred to as a super food. "When it comes to healthy foods, the sweet potato is hard to top. Rich in vitamins A, C, and B6, they boast excellent antioxidant properties and offer a rich source of potassium and iron," says Danielle Andreychuck, a Registered Dietician. "Sweet potatoes are also a great source of dietary fiber. When eaten with the skin, they offer more fibre than one cup of oatmeal."
A great staple to keep on hand in the kitchen, they can be baked, microwaved, steamed, boiled, sautéed or grilled. Enjoy them on their own or in everything from entrees, salads and side dishes to muffins, breads and desserts.
Sweet potatoes are a great accompaniment to any type of meat, poultry or fish. Add chunks of sweet potatoes to soups, stews and even chilli. Raw sweet potatoes can be peeled and grated to add to salads or thinly sliced to star on a vegetable and dip platter. Or, for a delicious change-of-pace breakfast, try a baked (or microwaved) sweet potato topped with low-fat yogurt and a drizzling of honey.

Nutrition Information (one small plain sweet potato):
Serving Size: ½ cup
Calories: 100
Fat: 0
Cholesterol: 0
Carb: 24g
Dietary Fibre: 3g
Protein: 2g
Vitamin A 440%
Vitamin C 41%
Calcium: 3%
Iron: 2%

Sweet Potato Recipe:

Maple Glazed Sweet Potatoes with Raisins:
6 sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
¼ cup raisins
¼ cup chopped pecans
¼ cup unsalted melted butter, melted
½ cup maple syrup
½ cup boiling water

Peel and cube the sweet potatoes and then spread them in a single layer on a 9 x 13 inch pan. Mix in the raisins and chopped nuts. Mix the water, syrup and butter into a bowl until butter is melted. Pour over the sweet potato mixture. Cover with foil and bake at 400 for 50 minutes. Let cool slightly before serving. Serves 8.

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