Guest Post by Lindsay Hazard, dietetic intern at UT Southwestern
As a busy mother of a toddler, wife of a traveling husband, marathon runner and clinical nutrition graduate student, I am always looking for a way to eat not only healthy but a way to eat healthy QUICKLY! My goal is to always have options available in my refrigerator and freezer to create said meals. As most of you know, this always tends to be harder than it sounds!
During a recent stint of marathon training, I constantly craved sweet potatoes. I wanted to find a way to have them readily available without waiting an hour for them to bake! Since sweet potatoes are a delicious and nutritious source of carbohydrates that my marathon training requires, I figured this would be a perfect food to incorporate multiple times a week into my diet.
My favorite thing about sweet potatoes is the versatility of them! They are not only a great side dish or snack; they can be a great meal if you just add some protein to them! For example, I like to “stuff” my sweet potatoes with chicken, cheese and spinach! A big-time saver is to use protein left over from the night before, along with an additional veggie and cheese. This is frequently what I do for lunch at my internship and what I can then serve to my almost 2-year-old daughter for dinner. As most moms know, the accomplishment of serving your toddler a healthy dinner that she/he will actually eat is huge! My husband is actually out of town tonight so I plan on eating one with a leftover bison burger and grilled red bell peppers (YUM).
Interested in making gourmet sweet potatoes part of your weekly meals? Great, prepare for hardly any work at all!
The best thing about this recipe is that it literally includes 2 things: water and sweet potatoes – SO EASY. I wash the sweet potatoes and without drying them plop them into my crock pot. It is best to leave them wet so that there is some moisture in the crock-pot. Typically, I do this after dinner, set the crock-pot on low for 10 hours and take them out when I get up in the morning, this can also be done in the morning before work/school. When done, either eat them now or simply stick them in a container in the refrigerator. Then, throughout the week, pull them out, add a lean source of protein or additional veggies and pop it in the microwave for a few minutes for a sweet potato fix! This “recipe” is also great because you can make as many or as few as you want in the crock-pot.
Want to know the best part?...
Not only do sweet potatoes count as a vegetable, they also are a good source of carbohydrates. Sweet potatoes are an excellent source of potassium and vitamin A. They also contain nutrients like thiamin, riboflavin, vitamin B6, phosphorous, vitamin C, magnesium and copper and fiber. They may taste sweet and delicious, but they are one of the better things you can make part of your regular diet. Enjoy!!!