Sunday, June 30, 2013

Sweet Potato Mash-Up

Besides having a butt-load of healthy benefits, sweet potatoes taste amazing. Can anyone agree with me? Bake 'em, mash 'em, stick 'em in a stew — if they weren't so tough without cooking, I might try to eat them straight-up like an apple.

One of my favorite reasons to keep sweet potatoes around is so I can have fudge ... every. single. day. Yep, with just a few extra ingredients, I can turn these orange little potatoes into chocolate magnificence. 

Before I tell you how to make the fudge, let me explain all the nutritious reasons why you should keep them in your kitchen.

  1. Vitamin A — Sweet taters are full of vitamin A, which promotes healthy vision, skin, nails and hair. Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin, which means the body can more efficiently absorb it into the bloodstream with healthy fats. Consider eating sweet potatoes with good fats like coconut oil, extra virgin olive oil, flax seed, avocado or crushed pecans.
  2. Beta-Carotene — You'll know a food has beta-carotene, an antioxidant, by the color orange/red. Food sources that contain beta-carotene help prevent cancer because they protect the body from free radicals (the root cause of cancer). This is one of the main reasons sweet potatoes are listed as an acceptable food for body-builders and athletes — because the formation of new muscle causes your body to produce free radicals and ammonia, so you need extra antioxidants to get rid of them.
  3. Anti-Inflammatory — When your body is at rest and not fighting free radicals so much, things are at peace on your insides, meaning all your body parts aren't swelling up due to stress, and your body can begin to heal.
  4. Low Glycemic Index — Studies show that foods lower on the G.I. can actually help your blood sugar levels regulate at optimal levels, which is good for average joe and great for people trying to lose weight, and especially great for diabetics. 
  5. Convenience — You can find our orange tubers on grocery store shelves all year long, and for a decent price. You can also eat them in different dishes and they will taste totally different, offering a unique taste with each recipe (salty vs. sweet).
So now that you know why you should be eating more sweet potatoes, let me tell you how.

I don't do numbers — seriously, I probably make them different every single time, so this is my best effort at telling you how I make these recipes. Sorry!

Chocolate Sweet Potato Fudge

  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Coconut Oil
  • Stevia
  • Cocoa Powder
  • Egg Whites
  • Cinnamon (optional)
  • *In the past, I've added 1-2 scoops of protein powder, which helps the batter stick together and not be so gooey.
  1. Cook 2-3 sweet potatoes in the microwave for 10 minutes. Repeat this for however many taters you want to cook. (I made a big batch of about a dozen.)
  2. Let them cool off before peeling them and tossing them in a big bowl. After they're cooked, the peeling will come off super-easily. You should be able to just pick at the peeling and tear it off in a few big chunks.
  3. Pour melted coconut oil over them. (I ran out of coconut oil, but I would have probably used about 1/2 cup or so. This time, I used about 2 tbsp.)
  4. Add cocoa powder (I used about 3/4 cup), egg whites (1/3 cup) and stevia and cinnamon to taste.
  5. Use beaters to mix it into a brownie-batter consistency.
  6. Taste it to make sure you like it and you don't want to add anything else.
  7. From here, you can make ...

Sweet Potato Fudge Fro-Yo

  1. Simply put it in a freezer-safe bowl and store in freezer until you want to eat it.
  2. Transfer it to the fridge to thaw for 1-2 hours before it's fro-yo consistency, but really, you guys, this stuff is awesome.
  3. Side Note: Don't leave your metal spoon in the bowl and put it back in the freezer, because when you get ready to microwave it to eat it the next time, you will be mad that you have to wait until it thaws enough to remove the spoon.

Sweet Potato Fudge Balls or Brownies

  1. Embrace your inner child and make little mud pies.
  2. Plop some batter on a lined cookie sheet and then freeze or refrigerate them.
  3. You can pour the batter into a cake-sized baking dish and refrigerate them, and then you can cut them into fudge squares.
  4. Really, whichever way you make them, they're good frozen, chilled or warm.
So far, I've been able to store this batter in the fridge for about three weeks, and it still comes out tasting fresh and fudgy. I think it would keep for longer if I wanted it to, but I go through them too fast!

What would you put in yours? I'm sure there are a TON of sweet potato recipes out there, and I'm sure to share more. Tell me your favorite one in the comments below!

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