Sweet Potatoes: One of the Healthiest Foods
We definitely love sweet potatoes! First of all, growing sweet potatoes is easy. Once established, they are a maintenance free plants. Second, they are delicious and one of the healthiest food you can eat.
Once they are cooked, a medium sized sweet potato (or half a cup, cooked) provides about 390% of your daily need of Vitamin A and 40% of Vitamin C. They are also high in fiber, low in calories and contain calcium, potassium, beta carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin and iron. An USDA study suggest that colorful potatoes are higher in nutrition as well.
In addition to the healthy tubers, the rest of the plant is nutritious and edible. Sweet potato leaves and stems are eaten regularly in many Asian and African cuisines. The tops and stems of the plant contain higher concentration of nutrients and minerals than the root (and more than most commercially grown vegetables). In fact, it’s nutritional value rivals spinach. You can use the leaves as you would spinach. The vines are tougher and require a longer cooking time. A very popular Korean dish that uses sweet potato vine is called Goguma Chilge Muchim ( sweet potato vine and mushroom stir fry).
How to Make Baked Sweet Potato Chips
We grew five varieties of sweet potatoes this year. The ones I chose to use for baked chips are a white variety called Nancy Hall, Purple Passion and Vardaman. You can use any type of sweet potato, but I love the colors of these three, especially the purple.
You will need:
- cookie sheets
- parchment paper
- mixing bowl
- olive oil
- sea salt
- a teaspoon of fresh rosemary, chopped (optional)
- Preheat your oven to 400 degrees (Fahrenheit)
- Scrub the potatoes clean with a veggie brush; there is no need to peel them. Cut both ends of the potatoes off. This is a good time to invest in a mandoline. You’ll want the potatoes to be cut in thin, even slices. I use an inexpensive hand held mandoline.
- Once you have the potatoes sliced, put them in a large bowl and dress them with some olive oil, sea salt and chopped rosemary. Gently toss them so that there’s enough oil and spices on each slice.
- Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and lay the sliced potatoes on in a single layer.
- Bake at 400, flipping once, until centers are soft and edges are crisp, 22 to 25 minutes.
- Once they are done cooking, let them cool on the cookie sheet for a few minutes.
- Store in an airtight container.
There are two methods to making sweet potato chips in the oven. Some use the low temp method in which you bake them at 250 for 2 hours, flipping chips once at halfway point to ensure even cooking. Or the high temp method in which you bake at 400, flipping once, until centers are soft and edges are crisp, 22 to 25 minutes. I’ve use both with success. I do prefer the high temp method when I am in a hurry, but you do need to pay closer attention (do not walk away from the oven). I have burnt chips before
Enjoy a Healthy Snack!
Sweet potato chips are one snack you don’t have to feel guilty about. Go ahead and eat them by the bowl full! For a even sweeter twist, toss them with a tad of sugar and cinnamon instead of the sea salt and rosemary. Either way, this is an easy and healthy treat that’s a cinch to make. Enjoy!
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