sweet potatoes

Another great superfood…

By | Nutrition, Uncategorized

Post by Katie C., blog contributor

Recently I wrote a post about one of my favorite superfoods, Greek yogurt. Another food that I absolutely love is sweet potatoes.

Sweet potatoes have a lot of nutrients, contain more fiber than other potato varieties, and are a good source of beta carotene which is helpful for fighting cancer, heart disease, asthma and rheumatoid arthritis.

If you already cook with potatoes, you can substitue sweet potatoes for just about any other type of potato. Another bonus is that they’re lower on the glycemic index and are a good source of carbohydrates. I love sweet potatoes so much that I don’t eat any other type of potato anymore.

If you’ve only had sweet potatoes topped with marshmallows and brown sugar, I promise that there are healthier and better-tasting ways to each them. Here are some of my favorite ways to eat sweet potatoes:

  • Baked in the oven at 425 for about 45-60 minutes. I actually like to eat them cold the next day with a little olive oil
  • Topped with broccoli and chicken
  • Topped with chili
  • Topped with Greek yogurt and chives
  • Twice baked
  • Sweet potato fries – cut sweet potatoes into wedges, matchsticks, or chips, take in oven at 425 until they reach desired crispness
  • Sweet potato spread
  • As a substitute for any recipe that calls for regular potatoes, including mashed

Do you cook with sweet potatoes? What are you favorite ways to prepare them?

Why I Spent My Sunday Morning Scrubbing and Peeling Sweet Potatoes (and it wasn’t even for Thanksgiving!)

By | Blog, Kids nutrition, Nutrition, Uncategorized

Post by Katie C., blog contributor

How many pounds of sweet potatoes does it take to feed children in fifteen Madison Metropolitan School District elementary schools? This weekend I learned the answer to this question firsthand: 750 pounds! When I saw what 750 pounds of sweet potatoes looks like, I was sure that would easily provide enough snacks for at least a week. Wrong. Those 750 pounds would provide a snack for just one day!

No, I’m not making a career change to work in elementary school lunch rooms (although changing what is served to children is a passion of mine). This weekend I helped with the REAP Food Group Farm to School Program. Every Sunday, a group of volunteers gathers at RP’s Pasta to clean, cut, and package enough local produce to provide a healthy snack to over 6,000 school children. This Sunday was no different; when I walked into RP’s, boxes of local sweet potatoes were stacked all around the kitchen, ready to be scrubbed, peeled, cut, and packaged. I plunged my hands into a sink overflowing with sweet potatoes and started scrubbing. While

Even after washing my hands multiple times, the sweet potatoes left their mark!

 doing so, I was able to talk to one of the program coordinators to learn more about the snack program. I found out that these fifteen schools get a fresh snack three times a week; one snack comes from REAP and the other two are either provided by parents or another program. The schools have to pay for the snack, but some schools are able to use the USDA-funded Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Snack Program Grant. Read More