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Lifestyle Choices for Wellness

Timely discussion on topics of health and wellness to encourage action and improvement in personal wellness.
2014-06-22 19 16 34

Tussle of the Taters


Recently, the sweet potato (but not the regular potato) has been touting the sought after "super food" status that all foods strive to bear...and all health and fitness buffs swear by.

But what about the sweet potato's pale, pasty brother, the regular potato? He's become nothing but a carbohydrate rich ghost that would sooner be fed to the pigs than eaten by someone of health conscious mind. Or so it appears.

So, the question is: in a throw down between these tubers- is one truly better than the other?

First, lets look at what they have in common...

They are both called "potatoes".

They're both nutritious, energy-rich foods whose cultivation stretches back thousands of years.

They both originated in Central and South America and have since spread throughout the world.

They both taste great and make a fine side dish.

However, when we look at the nutritional profiles of these similar foods, we start to see where they start to differ…

Regular

Sweet

130

Calories

90

3g

Protein

2g

3g

Fiber

4g

0g

Fat

0g

29g

Carbs

24g

2g

Sugar

7g

A (14 IU)

C (17.4 mg)

B6 (.3 mg)

Vitamins

A (22,000 IU)

C (22 mg)

B6 (.3 mg)

Potassium (750 mg)

Magnesium (37 mg)

Iron (1 mg)

Minerals

Potassium (542 mg)
Calcium (43 mg)

Magnesium (31 mg)
Manganese ( .57 mg)

The Cleveland Clinic produced a great handout on this battle of the spuds that provide the verdict of:

"Both spuds pack a powerful nutritional punch. Yet sweet potatoes provide 400% of your daily requirement of vitamin A. They also have more vitamins C, fewer calories, more fiber and fewer total carbs than white potatoes, despite more sugar. But don't forget about white potatoes-they're more versatile in cooking and less expensive! "

Most people think we have to wait all year until holiday time and turkey dinners to enjoy this orange delight.

Not true! Finding ways to fit sweet potatoes into your daily meals is easier than you might think! They can be substituted for regular potatoes in almost any situation. Like this delicious fry recipe-an indulgence food turned  healthy!


Crispy Sweet Potato Fries

Ingredients

  • Sweet potatoes. (1 per person)
  • 1 tsp corn starch (optional)
  • 2 tbsp- enough to lightly and evenly coat the fries.
  • Flavor of choice- salt, pepper and spices (cumin, cayenne pepper, paprika, curry powder, garlic powder, etc)

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Peel the sweet potatoes and cut them into fry-shaped pieces. Try to cut them into similarly sized pieces so the fries will bake evenly.
  2. Toss the uncooked fries into a mixing bowl or a plastic bag, or just onto your baking sheet. Sprinkle with cornstarch (if using) and pour in a few tablespoons of olive oil, enough to lightly coat the fries. Season with salt, pepper, and spices. I'd try to use half a teaspoon per potato or so. Mix/shake to distribute evenly (corn starch should be evenly mixed in so there are no powdery spots).
  3. Pour the fries directly onto a non-stick baking sheet for best results (lining with aluminum foil produces mixed results and parchment paper can burn in the hot oven). Arrange your fries in a single layer and don't overcrowd, otherwise they will never crisp up.
  4. Bake for 15 minutes, then flip the fries so they can cook on all sides.
  5. Bake for 10 to 15 more minutes, or until the fries are crispy. You'll know they're done when the surface of the fries change from shiny orange to a more matte, puffed up texture. It's essential to bake them long enough, otherwise they won't be crispy.


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